Over the years there have been many disputes regarding the right to fish in Devoke Water. In 1605 the Stanleys went to the extreme lengths of making the tenants at Woodend sign an agreement that prevented them from fishing the streams that ran into the tarn; regardless of the fact that these were actually on Ulpha Land. During the mid eighteenth century the Stanley family employed a fisherman from Dalegarth, who would in turn charge locals 2 shillings for the right to fish in here.
They were so concerned about fish stocks that the tarn was closely watched during the spawning season. It looks as though their biggest issue was with the residents from Ulpha. The bailiff, Henry Hartley was known to break the rods of any Ulpha residents he caught fishing the tarn; once again this was done regardless of the fact that they were fishing on Ulpha land at the south side of the tarn.