Beach access/tresspassing

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Jason Shutt, May 12, 2009.

  1. Bob Triggs STOP KILLING WILD STEELHEAD!!!!

    Posts: 3,903
    Ratings: +531 / 0
    This needs to get pressed in the courts to end up on better terms with the general public. It has been overturned in other states back east, and after hundreds of years of private property enforcement and taxes there too. It can be changed.
  2. Ken Hunter Member

    Posts: 155
    Shoreline, Wa, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Maybe since WWRC understands the need for more public space, they would change their focus. The current lack of money may motivate them to look in a new direction. An email campain from a group like this may help. They are very connected politically. It's called "change".
  3. D3Smartie Active Member

    Posts: 1,987
    WA
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    Michael - look up "Navigable water" in a legal definition and you should understand it a bit better.

    opening up the beaches to the public is the last thing i would want. Its amazing how knocking on a door, being friendly and a slab of salmon will open up miles of coast line.
    I have seen the results of this kind of legal action on the east coast and it is brutal. trash everywhere, spray painting on rocks and general destruction of what had once been a beautiful area.
  4. Mike T Active Member

    Posts: 849
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Ratings: +54 / 1
    I can't imagine eminent domain on this type scale being being at all legal, or for that matter good for any property owner considering the precedent it would create for all of us.
  5. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,072
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +533 / 0
    I don't think you'll ever see it happen. The only way would be for the owner to somehow "sell" it back to the taxpayers. I have tresspassed on beaches before. Not a good practice, but... I usually always ask permission if I see someone, if I can fish on their beach. I've never been refused. I gave a nice 18" coho to the last owner I met off "his" beach. He and his wife were quite grateful. As D3 says... you can buy a lot of beach that way. You must be careful of course. If I sneak along a beach somewhere, I NEVER turn around and stare into someones home. That is my best advice. On the other hand, I was shot at once! The bullet hit the water "nearby". It could have been an accident, but I don't think so. I continued fishing after taking a 2 minute breather. I was kicked off a beach for the first time about 2 seasons ago. I fished the beach for 35 years! I became stubborn and told the person I wasn't bothering them fly fishing and I had fished there for 35 years. I told the person I was fishing in "navigable waters". It confused the person. It worked but I was still a little nervous. One final note. I suspect you would either have to be arrested (after the person called the sheriff) to get truly taken off a beach, or get threatened with a shotgun. I apologize to those of you that own waterfront and I caught beautiful sea run cutts off your beach. I'm truly sorry. Can I offer you a coho for dinner tonight? :D
  6. DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Posts: 813
    Marine Area 9
    Ratings: +260 / 0
    I comfortably fish "private" beaches that have high bluffs. I'm happily fishing below and the residents above are oblivious to my presence. I'll pick up any obvious trash on my way out and the tide wipes away my footprints. If a beach is clearly posted I'll keep away unless the tide is low. Most long time Washington beach front residents don't seem to mind the occasional quirky fly fisherman, but the transplants from other states seem to feel more entitled to keeping people off "their" beach. My personal encounters with home owners have all been very friendly, in one encounter with some lonely middle-aged women... it was a little too friendly.

    When a beach fishery becomes overly popular it leads to major conflicts with home owners. The Bush Point controversy is a great example of this, and there is an uneasy truce between the home owners and the throng of gear fishermen that attack that beach every summer/fall. I suspect there will be more Bush Point type problems in the future as more people take up saltwater fishing. Then again declining salmon stocks and reduced hatchery production may be the thing that keeps us fishermen off the beaches in the end.
  7. Tyler Watters Stickin' pigs.

    Posts: 126
    Gig Harbor, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You sure you were fishing and not cougar hunting? :thumb:
  8. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,420
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +293 / 1
    I'm not sure you can sell back tide lands to the Public per say. I know we pay a crap load of taxes for the priviledge of owning the 150 of tide land we have. We (our family)also paid a small fortune to have a granite boulder bulkhead built to protect our property above on the high bank. The two beach lots we own are nearly straight up and down so for all intents, they are "unbuildable" but we still have to pay taxes on them as if they were. We are close to Dash Pt. State Park and DP County Park and therefore have lots of beach walkers across our beach. We have never kept people off as long as they respect the property and don't trash the beach. There have been times when gear fishermen have followed me there and I have never said "No" to them but I find they are not nearly as sensitive to the property as the flyfishermen. I think that is the nature of the beast. The Pink Salmon run brings out the worst elements of fishermen and then when its over, we go back to normal for two years. It's a price we pay for owning a piece of property.
  9. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    as i posted, at statehood, Washington gave the tidelands and river beds to the land owners. this is not a debatable item. asking permission is the ticket and if you are denied, its best to leave without making any comment. naviagable waterway is a term used in reference to rivers, not tide lands. it was meant to protect the lumber industry who used rivers to float logs to mills. that said, the river beds in this state still belong to the property owners. you can float over that property, but technically, you had best not anchor or get our of your floating device. the concept of 'floating over' also applies to tidelands, just don't anchor up on private property without permission. because the state approached this as they did, there is never going to be a 'taking back' of tidelands, forget about it. the one and only reason this is confusing is that each state approached this differently and so there is no uniform pattern to what is accessable. the big fight in oregon was/is river beds. it turns out that the river beds are in the public domain even though property deeds may indicate otherwise. various law enforcement agencies have been informed of this legal issue and for the most part respect the drifters right to pass through as well as anchor. but this has been to court more than once already after unsuspecting drifters have been arrested and cited for tresspass.

    ask, or move along should be the moto here. confrontation is a net loss to everyone involved.
  10. johnnyrockfish Member

    Posts: 320
    Kitsap County, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You can donate the tidelands to either the county or a non profit land trust, or place an Open Space/ Conservation easement on the land and your tax burden will be greatly reduced. The public does not necessarily have to be given the right to access it with a conservation easement but you still get the tax benefit. Contact your local agency.

    JR
  11. rotato Active Member

    Posts: 568
    home,wa
    Ratings: +50 / 0
    i fish and clam a beach that was formerly owned by the hailey of brown and hailey candy
    they donated it to the state to reduce their tax liability
    access is not posted but its there
    good nettles and huckleberries
  12. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,420
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +293 / 1
    There's a difference between donating and selling.
  13. johnnyrockfish Member

    Posts: 320
    Kitsap County, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    The tax benefits of donating can often outweigh the proceeds of selling. With a conservation easement you can reduce the taxes, control how the property is used, and still maintain ownership. There are lots of options that may or may not work for you. Good luck.

    JR
  14. Bob Triggs STOP KILLING WILD STEELHEAD!!!!

    Posts: 3,903
    Ratings: +531 / 0
    I picked up these links on a similar discussion on piscatorialpursuits. In that discussion some people weighed in with significant commentary.

    Public Trust Doctrine in Washington: www.ecy.wa.gov/pubs/93054.pdf

    Washington Legislation; Revised Code of Washington (RCW 79.125.001)
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=79.125

    When I was a boy growing up on the eastern seaboard along the Atlantic Coast and Long Island Sound shorelines the barbed wire fences ran all the way out to beyond the lowest water. people were routinely arrested for trespassing when they walked along the beaches below the vegetation lines, below the high water mark. This was true on Martha's Vinyard and Cape Cod too, and throughout New England in general. All of that has changed with court challenges and case law. There was always abuse of property and vandalism along the shorelines, well before this case was settled for public access. In my own experience I did not see an overall increase in this problem, probably because people were no longer so angry and resentful about their access being blocked off by the shoreline landowners. Most of us who waded the shoreline beaches back east saw ourselves as stewards of the beaches, no matter how we fished, we were in agreement on that. Lets not forget that these are some of the most populated, heavily developd shoreleine areas in America too. Even with the private beach boundaries here in Washington, and the odd patchwork of ways in which that is interpreted and enforced, this is still a tremendously opportune region for shoreline wandering and fishing.

    There are development and construction interests whom propose to build along our shorelines, to welcome some estimated 1.5 to 2 million more souls to the Puget Sound region over the next 15 years. This should be cause for concern when one considers what has already happened to public beach access over the past 100 years along these beaches and bluffs.
  15. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,420
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +293 / 1
    Our property has been in the family since 1934. We aren't about to turn it over or donate it. As long as we caqn afford the taxes, we'll pay for the right of ownership rather than take the chance that it might be kept from us. When I'm gone, my daughter, who is an attorney will help with the issue. Until then, we retain that control.
  16. kelvin Active Member

    Posts: 1,949
    Seattle,WA
    Ratings: +234 / 0
    property lines extend to the med low water mark thats it

    however this does not mean you will not have to deal with some ahole who thinks the open ocean is all theirs
    because they bought waterfront property

    mostly if your cool they are keep that in mind

    also claimining to be their neighbor helps
  17. Ken Hunter Member

    Posts: 155
    Shoreline, Wa, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    We're not talking about giving away the land. As Bob Triggs wrote, we are just talking about simple public access by people who for the most part are good stewards of the beach. It seems to work in Oregon and California.
  18. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    so just how is it going to work to purchase back the property those water front owners are paying big buck taxes on each and every year?
  19. Go Fish Language, its a virus

    Posts: 1,259
    Rheomode, Wa.
    Ratings: +72 / 0
    My taxes for waterfront are $3000 a foot. I have 105 feet.
    Please send me a check for $315,000 asap.

    David
  20. johnnyrockfish Member

    Posts: 320
    Kitsap County, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Whatever works for you. I only mentioned the conservation easement idea because you complained about paying high taxes on a high bank, unbuildable lot. You might appeal the assessment if it's really undbuildable.

    Good luck and out,

    JR