WA River: No Trespassing / STAYOUT!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Andrew H, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Andrew H

    Andrew H New Member

    I was coming back from Portland and decided to stop by a river in the Longview / St. Helens area. First access spot I came to, I pulled over and got geared up. I started walking upriver from the park I was at and ran across this sign.
    Is this legit? Is there any way to know? I really wanted to hit a pool just upstream of the sign but I also didn't feel like getting shot. Nothing worse than bleeding out in the snow.

    Anyway, no fish. I'm certain there were at least 20 or 30 steelhead in that pool I was going for. I blame the sign.
  2. Teenage Entomologist

    Teenage Entomologist Gotta love the pteronarcys.

    Jeez. Some people are full of hate and want stuff all to themselves( All a man wants to do is catch some steelhead.)I can't quite read the sign though, what did it exactly stay other that STAYOUT?
  3. Andrew H

    Andrew H New Member

    It said:
    <-- STAYOUT
    STAYOUT -->
  4. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

    Doesn't look very legit.
  5. Teenage Entomologist

    Teenage Entomologist Gotta love the pteronarcys.

    Man, they really wanted people to STAYOUT!
  6. Andrew H

    Andrew H New Member

    Can a river be considered private property? Especially one that is navigable by a boat.
  7. Teenage Entomologist

    Teenage Entomologist Gotta love the pteronarcys.

    If you are below high water mark, or you can navigate a boat on the river, you can fish it.
    enlightened likes this.
  8. Andrew H

    Andrew H New Member

    Dammit. All those fish I could've had! Thanks for the input.
  9. Teenage Entomologist

    Teenage Entomologist Gotta love the pteronarcys.

    Unless the river is closed for the season.
  10. Josh

    Josh dead in the water

    Keep in mind that just because you are legal, doesn't mean that you won't get hassled/threatened/etc.

    You know how it is, bunch of morons out there some days.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  11. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    From what it looks like, I would guess you are legal if you are below the ordinary high water mark. However, if the property abutting it is private, you could be trespassing to get to the river channel. You must enter the navigable zone legally. And it does not have to have a sign to be trespassing. In WA anyway, the definition is pretty broad. But if you floated that stretch, your concern (IMO) is not legal...but how big a pain in the ass the local wants to be.

    Be safe!
  12. Mark Moore

    Mark Moore Just a Member

    Depends which river. I thought the same thing a few years ago while fishing the Kalama, I was informed otherwise after a fairly unpleasant exchange with a property owner. On some rivers the property line extends to the middle of the river and it is not permissible to fish from the bank.

    Either way it's not worth the headache. A heated exchange with a homeowner can at the very least ruin the day and maybe worse.
    Jeff Sawyer likes this.
  13. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    If the river is navigable, owning the riverbed is technically irrelevant. There are some threads on this forum that go well into the dirty details of navagability and access.
  14. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

    Signs below the OHWM. In Washington, that's just funny.
    constructeur and David Dalan like this.
  15. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    The purpose of signs saying "stay out" or "no trespassing" located below the ordinary high water mark of a stream is to deter you from entering, and it looks like it worked. It has nothing to do with the legality of you entering said area. My goal in life is to post all the good fishing holes that I'd like to fish in solitude and see if it works.

    Landowners sometimes post out of ignorance or are just hoping to deter legal entry for whatever personal reason they have. And some of them can be a real pain in the ass and threaten to call the cops (ask them to please do that) or even shoot you (for standing on a river bank they would commit murder?); it's a strange world out there, so act accordingly. My strategy is to be firm but polite and only leave if they threaten to shoot me (which hasn't happened, and if it did I'd call 911 immediately.).

    troutpounder likes this.
  16. papafsh

    papafsh Piscatorial predilection

    I would have knocked the sign over in the snow to cover it up, then proceeded to fish. If harassed by the person who put it up, I would just make sure they could see the pistol grip sticking out of my wader pocket ( you know especially if they threatened to shoot me ) or I might just shoot it full of holes, the sign that is, and then leave.

  17. later_Peter

    later_Peter Active Member

    As it was explained to me (in a fashion so that even I could understand):
    the river is like a sidewalk in that's in front of your house. You "own" it, you get to pay taxes on it, you get to maintain it, but, you are not allowed to set up anything that blocks the ability of another to pass.
    That's the deal as I understand it.
  18. Yard Sale

    Yard Sale Active Member

    So would putting up a fence to deny people their legal fishing access count as "harassment?"

    There a crazy ass mofo on the lower Klick that keeps coming out and yelling at me. Finally I asked him to go ahead and call the sheriff. 1st couple times the cop told him I was well within my rights. 3rd time he issues the guy a warning for harassment. Haven't seen the land owner since.

    Now I see barbed wire fence in another spot going well into the water. Wondering if that's legal...
  19. jwg

    jwg Active Member

    In the state of Washington it is illegal to interfere with someone who is legally fishing