Angry Homeowner

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by midfork, Sep 8, 2001.

  1. midfork

    midfork New Member

    Had an interesting confrontation last night on the Middle Fork.

    A homeowner, near the kayak course, came down to the river after my buddy, son and I had been there about an hour. She casually starts throwing rocks right where we are fishing.

    My buddy asks her to stop, while I'm standing there thinking "this is a hint."

    Long story short, she tells my buddy he's trespassing, etc and proceeds to run back into the house to get her video camera. I was on the other side of the river, so really couldn't say much, but this lady was way out of line.

    She was also pretty lucky she ran into us: two good guys, that catch & release, always pick up trash, and otherwise mind our own business. I know plenty of guys that would not have stood for this in any form. She also claimed that their rights extend to the middle of the river, which is not true.

    Suffice it to say, being a native New Yorker, her behavior was unlike any I'd seen since I moved here. Had it not been for the fact that my 10 year old son was with me this chick would have gone for a swim!

    If you know where this spot is, be ready.:XX
     
  2. Chris Scoones

    Chris Scoones Administrator Staff Member

    As long as your in the water or below the high water mark your not doing anything wrong. In fact she's breaking the law doing what she was doing. If kindly enlightening her of this fact doesn't change the mood call the state police.

    Email me a little more information please. The forks are my main haunt and I don't like hearing about this type of crap. Maybe I'll write a letter.

    ~Chris
    Chris@WashingtonFlyFishing.com

    p.s. Can't you New Yorkers ever stop causing problems. :D
     
  3. DreDGeR

    DreDGeR New Member

    As a Land Surveyor, I can honestly say this situation can become a heated and confusing topic. When that "rude" and "spiteful" woman claimed her property was to middle of the river, she was referring to Riparian Rights. Riparian boundaries and the establishment of them are very complex and are dependant on many circumstances. The determining factor is if the river is deemed as "NAVIGABLE WATERS". What is NAVIGABLE WATER? In it's simplest, but VAGUE form, it is water that is being used, or capable of being used, as a common highway for trade or travel. Only a court of law can determine whether a river is navigable or not, leaving everyone, including the state to live with the decision. This woman's property line may very well extend into the river, but her only claim is to the bed of the river, and in no regards does she own the water above it.
    I do not know if the Middle Fork has been "legally" determined to be navigable or not. A call to the Aquatic Lands Division of the state DNR might bring an answer, but even they are hesitant to say what is what. Just be careful, we shouldn't spend the time arguing with rude and jealous people when we could be perfecting our presentation! :D


    --TiGHT LiNeS---
     
  4. Chris Scoones

    Chris Scoones Administrator Staff Member

    Good points DreDGer.

    I live on a river myself and of course will be receptive to any angler passing by but I've also found 99.9% of the kayakers & tubers to be very well mannered. I guess my jerk reaction is to be a little miffed that one of the locals wouldn't understand that regardless of their property rights or perceptions of them that folks passing by is just going to be a fact of life.

    Didn't mean to come off half cocked though so I'll be looking into it to at least understand and let others know where they stand on that body of water.

    Thanks for the input.

    ~Chris
     
  5. midfork

    midfork New Member

    Yes, but I was fishing from the other side of the river! And if she has such rights, all she had to do was explain it and I would have taken her at her word....and validated it later.