For a good overview, check out this link from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:
Audrey T, I think the first step is to read the posting of Douglas Hunt to learn any NY requirements.
If there are no issues then let us know the size of the pond and what you think you want or need. If the pond is small enough I can help you with few additional questions. As it gets larger there will be more questions.
I started with a 5x6 preformed pond with 2 goldfish and some frogs. I now have a much larger pond and I have learned a lot along the way.
Be sure to get someone who really knows what they're doing to do the digging. Ask for references. Our guy, Pete Breiner, passed away a few years ago, but he made sure we had enough springs to keep the 3/4 acre pond filled and also enclosed the bank with chicken wire to keep the muskrats out. That was about 20 years ago and it still looks beautiful!
There never was a problem, I was just requesting suggestions for IDEAS, my husband does digging, an engineer is his profession. I appreciate everyone's input. Thank you