Fishing easements 101

These are some of the basic details about fishing easements.

• They are for fishing only, not hunting, trapping, hiking or picnicking. They are open only when the trout season is open.

• Pets are not allowed because they might scare cattle.

• Easements are marked with a brown easement sign. Many easements have stiles over fences. But some landowners who allow access but haven't sold easements also have stiles. Check the DNR trout angling booklet for details.

• About 99 percent of easements are for both sides of the stream, but a rare few are just for one side. Easements are perpetual and permanent.


• The DNR has bought easements for a few warmwater smallmouth bass streams.

• There are some walk-in easement corridors where anglers are allowed to walk on private land to get to a stream.

• Some sections of stream with easements have small gaps without legal access. That is too hard to show in the booklet, so the DNR has a Web site showing smaller streams with the gaps. It's

• Easements are usually for only 66 feet from the center of the stream, so, unless you have permission, you probably can't wander away from the stream.

• The DNR doesn't pick up trash, so bring out your own litter.

• Landowners are not legally liable if you're hurt on their land. They still own the land and pay taxes.

• Easements not only allows anglers to be there but also the DNR to do habitat improvements.


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