Private beach laws...

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Nick Clayton, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

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    I'm curious about Washinton's laws regarding private beach front property. HOw far out does the privacy extend? I mean, is it allowed to wade in front of a private beach as long as you're not up on land? Below high tide mark? Not at all? I'm just curious cause at the beach I was fishing this weekend there was a sign stating that from this point forward its private land.. to the right of the boat launch, yet I saw numerous guys wander down and around the corner. I did not want to be breaking a law and intruding on someones property so I did not venture down there. I'm going to search around a bit online about this, but figured some of you experienced beach fishermen probably know this off the top of your head


    Nick
     
  2. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Nick, there is a ton of recent and past discussion on this matter. Use the search function and you will find so much to read and confuse you. Here in WA there are some that own to the high water mark, others to the meandering tide and still more that own to the extreme low. I'm sure there are more options and area to area there may be distinct differences. I've limited some of my exploratory trips due to not wanting to be one of the bad guys wandering where I'm an unwelcome tresspasser. Kindness and courtesy won't keep you out of trouble all of the time, but it seems to work most of the time.
     
  3. Gary Thompson

    Gary Thompson dirty dog

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    I ask the same ? awhile back.
    After reading the replies I would go knock on doors with your best sales pitch and ask for permission.
    You just might get lucky and have a safe place to park also.
     
  4. Kim Hampton

    Kim Hampton Not Politically Correct

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    I wonder......If one were in a boat, the tide was high and you were off of some property owner who had rights to the extreme low water mark would you be trespassing? Or do you have to have your feet on the ground/bottom.
     
  5. Steffan Brown

    Steffan Brown ...

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  6. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

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    Kim:

    Water is not owed, it is navigable. No touchy bottom, you are okay.....

    MB
     
  7. Trent

    Trent Ugly member

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    How about if you are anchored, does that count as touching bottom/tresspassing?
     
  8. koolminx

    koolminx Member

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    No because the anchor is not fishing... You are :) :)
     
  9. gigharborflyfisher

    gigharborflyfisher Native Trout Hunter

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    Check the Pierce or Kitsap County assessor's website, they are very helpful for figuring out who has beach rights and who doesn't...
     
  10. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Koolminx, I'm not sure that the letter of the law would agree with you on that one. Seriously, I could see a case built by some property owner that would claim that the use of an anchor to hold in place in the water above their property was trespassing because they used that anchor to physically contact the property beneath them. Never underestimate the motivation of a property owner just like you can never underestimate the cunning of someone driven to get to a spot to fish. Both at times will do things that normally would not be too impressive.
     
  11. Tony

    Tony Left handed Gemini.

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    not to stir the pot too much but if you do a search online you will find that it is legal to cross private tide lands by foot at long as the area in question is covered by water at the time, see and read the public trust doctrine, we as citizens of this state are also allowed by law to cross private tide lands to access public tide lands, now to use either of these rights there are certain rules that you have to follow, you cannot access private tide lands by land if there are no public access points in other words you can't walk through someones yard to get there, but if there is a dead end road that ends up on the beach this is public land, parks are public land so lets say for instance I go to a park and for purposes of navigation or fishing or any other legal use I can cross or even stand on private tide lands to fish as long as they are covered by water I cannot harvest any thing other than fish but it is my right to fish, There are private owners of tide lands that I'm sure will dispute my right to do as mentioned but it is our right to do so and even though I'm not saying we should disregard the wants or rights of the owners I believe we should try to work together and try to come to a compromise of some sort. I can understand how intrusive it can be to have the public invade the privacy of others not to mention all the other messed up things the masses can will and have subjected the owners of such lands to (littering, or using someones beach as a restroom to name a couple) but on the other hand I can't understand one individual saying I can't cross even if I have no intention of staying or as is the case on a number of beaches one individual saying no you can't cross even though the people right next to them have no problem with you using the beach as along as you are good stewards of their property. I want to respect a persons rights but I also want my rights to be given the same consideration. So If I can't work out a reasonable compromise with the owners I believe I will personally have to stand up for my rights.
    tony
     
  12. Trent

    Trent Ugly member

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    Tony:
    Exactly where is that info located? Is it in the RCWs or the WAC, or somewhere else alltogether? Thanks for any info.
     
  13. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

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    Wow, had no idea this was such a grey area. Looks like I'm best just sticking to what i know is public and let the more knowledgable folks fight for their rights.
     
  14. gt

    gt Active Member

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    the case in oregon which caused this to come to light involved 2 duck hunters who anchored in the klamath r. land owner claimed ownership to the river bottom and they went to court. turns out the duck hunters won the legal action.

    so if you really have deep pockets, don't mind years of litigation, go ahead and anchor in front of someones 'no trespassing' sign, get arrested, go to court and clear this up for the rest of us in washington. works for me. in the short run, i won't drop the hook.
     
  15. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    But this is Washington.
    [
    I]Anchoring on a private tideland bottom in Washington is trespassing[/I].
     
  16. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    Also to add something to this... Almost all "right-of-ways" that run into the shoreline are public. There is a state law somewhere that doesn't permit a "road vacation" on the shorelines of the state. So if you go to look at some County Assessor's maps and find them, you will find access points. Now what happens is, when you go to a particular site in person, you will find that the ADJACENT homeowner has planted a lawn and landscaping there, so you may think you are tresspassing. YOU ARE NOT! Happy Hunting for access points. :ray1:
     
  17. tahuyamg

    tahuyamg tahuyamg

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    My family owns property on both sides of the canal. 180ft of water front in Union and another house past Tahuya with water front as well. In both cases the property line goes down to extreme low tide. In Union this means 5 acre's of tide flats, because so much sediment has been washed down by the Skokomish River. Every neighbor I know on both sides of Hood Canal go by extreme low tide for their property.These are private beaches period. We don't pay property taxes (which are expensive on the water) for people to come pick oysters and clams at there own leisure and lounge around on our property. Nor do I like to pick up other people's trash and dog crap. Speaking of crap, I also don't need to deal with some arrogant fly fisher who thinks he/she has the right to be there! My Grandfather bought the properties back in the early fifties so he and the family could have their own beach. Once someone trespasses and continues other's always follow and then the mess starts happening. It annoys me when people think they have the right to trespass on others property. I don't care what kind of BS you come up with justifying "why you have the right" to beaches that are private. Try running that crap by some of the old families who live out on the water in Tahuya. See how far that will get ya. Better yet try throwing some disrespect by dropping anchor 10ft off the property.
     
  18. Milt Roe

    Milt Roe Member

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    Well I guess that settles it then...
     
  19. Jeff Hale

    Jeff Hale B.I.G.F.F.

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    Mark-

    Can a person legally cross your property if they are wading below the extreme low tide mark? Can they anchor there?
     
  20. Kim Hampton

    Kim Hampton Not Politically Correct

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    Woaaahohoho....I guess I'll have to use my trolling motor to hold station against the tide 10' off the property instead of an anchor.....no problem.
     

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