WA River: No Trespassing / STAYOUT!

Jim Darden

Active Member
It seems to me that the fundamental purpose of government is to protect the rights of the people. Defending the Federal laws on river access would be a good place to start.......but I guess you have to be a big campaign donor first.


Well-Known Member
I think you're getting the concept of government figured out right here in this thread Jim. And guess what? It covers all walks of life. Welcome to the best gov't. that money can buy!


Mark Moore

Just a Member
I just don't get what Jim McNerney's compensation package has to do with this conversation. But since it is part of the conversation... for the first time in a decade Boeing has delivered more aircraft than Airbus. What other people make really isn't anyone's business. I just wish I had his agent, and his ability to run the most successful aircraft manufacturer in the world.

Complaining about it is a little bit like complaining about the fact that on some rivers (although not many) there is no legal right to stand on the bank and fish and being pissed just because we think it shouldn't be that way.


Active Member
I also talked with a retired law enforcement officer and he told me the the trespass law in Washington states that trespassing is defined as the uninvited presence of someone, onto or into someone else's property, with the intent of committing a crime. Then again, some hothead with a gun isn't the person to be discussing legalities with.
That's burglary. No need to intend to commit a crime for criminal TP, just need to knowingly enter private property unlawfully. The "knowingly" is the interesting part, though. For criminal trespass to stick, the prosecutor needs to prove that you knew you were trespassing. For instance, you walked right past a 'private property; no trespassing' sign. I'm pretty sure believing it was public property or having a good faith belief that there's a public easement would be good enough to form a defense. Civil trespass is different and doesn't require intent.

Of course, if you are cited, and a judge ultimately rules it as navigable...the ticket would stick.

Careful. Criminal trespass is a misdemeanor, not a ticket.
It is legit and I have talked to the property owner. His family has been there for more than 3 generations and has 2 more generations following. I have gotten permission from him to fish it . That said that whole stretch of river has a ton of sand. There is much better water up river. It was his Grandfather who donated the property across the street for the Camp ground. He is not a Ass. He has lived there his entire life. He has personally also done more than most of us combined to save Steelhead. Though I might not agree with him entirely. He is tired of people trashing and littering his place, and ignoring his signs. The best water there is at the park anyway.


Active Member
It's sad to say but trashing, littering, shooting towards cattle, buildings, driving off road, etc.
have probably closed off way more property than landowners with snooty attitudes.

Yeah theres two sides to every story.

I have been having my morning coffee and found someone peeing in my backyard because they wanted a tree to stand behind instead of peing off the boat, I have found a family having a picnic on my dock because they didnt want to eat on the boat,finding treble hooks and lures people lose on your dock while walking barefoot (seriously if you lose a lure or fly off someones dock dont friggen leave it there where someone can step on it).... im the one always picking up the trash floating on the lake after fourth of july blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

If that guys lived on that river for that many years he is probably so sick of peoples shit he put up those signs, I dont blame him.


Well-Known Member
I don't mind property owners posting the property they own. What pisses me off is when they post the property or public easement that they don't own, either out of ignorance or ill intent. And I'll never condone littering, hate it with a passion, but if property owners are all uptight about the public littering the public property or ROW, well, no one forced them to buy waterfront property. My main gripe in all this is property owners whose sense of entitlement allows them to believe they can prevent the public from accessing and using that which the public owns.


Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
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.
Is that the crazy ass mofo that nobody on the lower Klick likes, including his neighbors? Including the sheriff? The one that that trashes cars parked along 142 within a mile of his place?


Ignored Member
I remember watching a couple of very well known, highly respected northwest steelheaders (well one of them was) posting no trespassing signs on state owned land along the Sauk River years ago. Laughed my ass off while disbelieving what I was seeing. We later found several parcels of state land adjancent the river posted with no trespassing signs. I figured it was the same two respected steelheaders that were responsible.
Sounds like a typical "I don't beileve in public access" asshole that thinks he owns the river. As far as I know, as long as its navigable and below the high water mark your good to go and once your on the water they can't make you leave. If it were me, I would have fished it anyway, since it is your legal right to do so. The only issue that comes out of this is if you can access the river bank legally without crossing onto someones property to get there, but I would hope most people know how to do that.

This reminds me of one of my favorite runs on the Klickitat where I got yelled by Mr. Wannabe Badass that I was trespassing on his land by walking across a gravel bar, accessed from a public trail. Now I just access the run from downstream where he can't see me.
As far as I know, as long as its navigable and below the high water mark your good to go and once your on the water they can't make you leave. If it were me, I would have fished it anyway, since it is your legal right to do so.
On most rivers, yes. As mentioned more than once in this thread though, there are a handful of rivers where the property owners own the riverbed.