Beach access question....

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Bradley Miller, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Bradley Miller Dances with fish

    Posts: 442
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    Ok, so I had a half a day to go fishing yesterday and thought I would give SRC fishing a shot since I've never done that and it looks pretty amazing sooooooo.....I drove up and down hood canal looking for a likely looking place to get on the beach, with no luck. Private property signs, no trespassing signs, fences, etc. all were pretty discouraging. Unknowns regarding public right of way, signs warning of 'felony trespass', and an informative chat with a helpful fisheries dude ( at the Hoodsport hatchery) are all ingredients in the recipe of ' how the heck to you fish without a boat?' question, at least for me. I'm not interested in breaking any rules or laws, but I am interested in my right to access. Help.
    (Side note: I would love a good excuse to buy a little pontoon boat if that helps me solve the problem....)
    :)
  2. Theron Active Member

    Posts: 229
    Near Coupeville, WA
    Ratings: +117 / 0
    The beach at Lilliwaup is public
    Bob Triggs likes this.
  3. Steve Kokita FISHON206

    Posts: 592
    Burien, Washington
    Ratings: +146 / 0
    Fish the beaches at St Parks, but make sure you have a Discovery Pass.
  4. Greg Armstrong Active Member

    Posts: 1,054
    Pugetropolis
    Ratings: +358 / 0
    You can also check for DNR lands.

    A boat is a definite help though, because a lot of the public beaches are only accessible by water - go for it!
  5. Bradley Miller Dances with fish

    Posts: 442
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    One of the things the Fisheries guy told me was that private tidelands are only private if you are touching the beach: so theoretically, you could be floating on a private beach but not trespassing; just as long as you don't stand up. I'm kind of thinking that if you park on the side of the road, you're in the public right of way..... the trick seems to be getting from your car to the water. Hmmm.......
  6. travisbrown73 New Member

    Posts: 14
    Everett, Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Am I correct to think that below the mean high-water mark on a puget sound beach is public? I thought that if the location was boat-navigable (at high tide,) then it was not private...
    I could be way off-base here, though.
  7. Bradley Miller Dances with fish

    Posts: 442
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    I've no idea! However, if you're not in a boat, then it seems like what the fisheries guy said is reasonable. I am starting to think I need to drive to Olympia and try to get someone from F/W to sit down with me and fill in the 'black hole' of ignorance I seem to be in. :)
  8. Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    Posts: 3,861
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,263 / 1
  9. Jason Rolfe Wanderer

    Posts: 1,178
    the beach
    Ratings: +373 / 0
    I would bet that some kind of puget sound Kayaking forum or book would have really good details on beach access in the Hood.

    J
    Bob Triggs likes this.
  10. Walt K Searcher

    Posts: 88
    Poulsbo, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Negative. It varies from property to property in Washington, but some folks (like me) own their tidelands down to mean low tide or extreme low tide (again, varies from property to property). I let folks walk on my beach and fish, but not take crabs or shellfish. You may float in the water above the tidelands and fish without the landowner's consent, but can't take crabs or shellfish off the bottom without the landowner's consent. Of course, Native Americans have treaty rights that allow them to take one-half of the naturally occurring (not planted) shellfish on private tidelands, but have to go through some hoops to do so.
    Ed Call likes this.
  11. Skeena88 Member

    Posts: 235
    Covington WA
    Ratings: +17 / 0
  12. bconrad Member

    Posts: 323
    S Rivers
    Ratings: +11 / 0
  13. Bradley Miller Dances with fish

    Posts: 442
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +104 / 0
  14. Tony Tony

    Posts: 509
    Lynnwood Wa
    Ratings: +72 / 0
    This comes up almost yearly and has been discussed in depth the laws in Wa. are convoluted at best do a search on the web and make your own decisions on what you are willing to do
    Tony
  15. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,103
    Des Moines
    Ratings: +821 / 0
    I guess the simplest answer is that some water front owners pay taxes on the tidelands as part of their property, usually if there is a dock, oyster or clam pens or the property is adjacent to a public park the area is usually private, otherwise most people dont bother paying the taxes for the tidelands. Even if there are signs up that could just mean that the person wants to scare people off.
    I usually just wade in and play dumb if they come out and throw a hissy fit.

    Besides, you cant own the water maaaan, its gods water. -super troopers
  16. Rich Schager You should have been here yesterday...

    Posts: 152
    Harstine Island
    Ratings: +17 / 0
    "... otherwise most people dont bother paying the taxes for the tidelands".

    I live on the waterfront, and I've neve heard anyone ever say or do that !
  17. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,516
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +343 / 1
    Me either. I own 200 feet of bulkhead and the existing tidelands to the "mean low tide "line. I can't imagine not paying the taxes because they are not calculated seperately. They are calculated on the lots that the bulkhead is on. I'd lose my two beach lots to the county tax rolls. There are clams and geoducks there but many of the beaches in Pierce County are closed to digging because of Red Tide possibilities. That being said, our beach is open to walkers and fishermen as well as long as the beach is respected.
    Ed Call likes this.
  18. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,103
    Des Moines
    Ratings: +821 / 0

    All I know is that my dad has property on the water in shelton and he has to pay taxes on his tidelands, the guy next to him has a lot that he wants to build a dock on but cant because he doesn't have rights to the tidelands. My dad also raises oysters and clams on his property and can lease beach rights to other oyster farmers because when it was my grandfathers property he had the option to pay the extra taxes on the tidelands and include them as part of his property and be free to build a dock.

    That being said the beach rights issues are so convoluted and each property was bought or built at seperate times in different areas that its impossible to have even a general guideline about where you can or cannot go.
    some people own the tidelands and some don't. Plain and simple
  19. Bradley Miller Dances with fish

    Posts: 442
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +104 / 0

    For the time being, I have elected to use public parks for access: that seems simple enough and keeps me busy enough that I don't yet have ' beach envy'.
    HOWEVER; before too long I am going back to Hood Canal and try to schmooze my way onto some tidal property and see what happens. Thanks for the info!
  20. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,516
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +343 / 1
    By not paying his taxes the guy forfieted the ownership of the tidelands. Our taxes are based on the two lots that touch the tidelands and as such, we own the tidelands to mean low tide. The ownership of tidelands depends on the time of sale, etc. The property that we own along with my wife's sister and husband has been in the family since 1934 so the ownership is somewhat different than others because of the time of purchase. There are so many different rules, laws of ownership, etc. that they are very convoluted as suggested. Let's go fishing! Ask before you walk but most people will allow a courteous person to traverse or stand on their beach.
    Pat Lat likes this.