Private beach laws...

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

  1. Steve Saville

    Steve Saville Active Member

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    I on the other hand, have Public Access on both sides of my property due to DP State Park and DP County park. While I ask people, if they are friendly, they may remain. People mlove to walk between the parks on a nice level, sandy beach.
     
  2. JayB

    JayB Active Member

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    I've basically concluded that I'll just stick to wading from public beaches unless I get a personal invite from a beach owner, since confrontation is the last thing I'm looking for when I head out fishing.

    I spend much more time whitewater kayaking and wading rivers than I ever will fishing from beaches, and I'm curious how folks that live on beaches feel about wading rivers. Would you, or do you, support interpretations of the law that grant folks that live along rivers property claims that extend to the river bottom?

    I'm not trying to call you out, just wondering how you think about these things.
     
  3. Milt Roe

    Milt Roe Active Member

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    My last comment on this: You folks need to read about the Public Trust Doctrine (see the link below), and specifically how it relates to private tidelands. When the state sold the tidelands to private owners, it did not explicitly eliminate or clarify certain rights of the public for access and fishing along the shoreline held by the public under the Public Trust Doctrine. This is the crux of the issue, and private ownership does not necessarily convey a right to restrict public access or even public shellfishing on those shorelines like it does on upland property. The issue will need to be settled by the WA Supreme Court, and the decision could go a variety of directions.

    http://www.ecy.wa.gov/pubs/93054.pdf

    Page 44.

    2. Interests Potentially Protected in Washington
    a. Right of Public to Walk and/or Harvest shellfish on Privately Owned Tidelands
    The Washington Supreme Court has not had an opportunity to consider whether the public
    has a right to walk across privately owned tidelands, or whether the public may dig clams on
    those tidelands. One commentator notes that nearly all states recognize that the public trust
    doctrine provides the public a right to pass and repass over public trust tidelands. While
    states' courts have issued opinions which generally lend support to the public's right of
    access, precious few have directly addressed the issue of whether the public has a right to walk across privately owned tidelands.
     
  4. Jonathan Walkenberg

    Jonathan Walkenberg Member

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    as a member of a family that owns some waterfront property i feel i should chime in here.
    The majority of the public that happens upon our small beach is courteous, clean and respectful. The fact of the matter is though, it only takes one bad apple to ruin it for the rest of the people. Guys that cuss out the kids playing on the beach for interfering with his fishing, or the guys that come into shore from their boats and lets their dogs poop all over and do their business on our oyster beds.
    The public trust doctrine is a very vague set of guidelines in this state as you can see from what Milt has posted. The way I look at it with my property is that if people want to pass through, that is fine. But when they start to set up camp on the beach and dig our clams, take our oysters(most of which we have paid to have planted) they are over the line.
    If it isnt your property, or you dont have permission, stay off. be respectful, ask some homeowners if they have a problem with you fishing and if you are nice, throw them a salmon or two, they usually wont have a problem.
     
  5. JayB

    JayB Active Member

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    Are there any cases pending?
     
  6. Milt Roe

    Milt Roe Active Member

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    No cases pending that I'm aware of. I think people on all sides of the issue are afraid of the outcome if it goes all the way to the WA Supreme Court. Other states rulings have covered the entire range of possible outcomes. Only a matter of time before someone gets a load of buck shot in their butt. Then we'll get a WA ruling on the matter.
     
  7. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    Milt hit it on the head. The downside for us recreational folks is that there are no water rights lobbying groups in Washington like there are in the majority of other states, so if and when the courts get involved, we stand to lose unless we can organize fast and furious (like our brothers did in Utah recently).
     
  8. JayB

    JayB Active Member

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    Yeah - seems like it'd be a mistake to force the issue unless there's an organized constituency ready to tilt the balance in favor of public access.

    American Whitewater is the only group that I can think of off of the top of my head that also has a dog in this fight at the moment, but perhaps there are others out there.

    Seems like it might be possible to secure access rights with something similar to a conservation easement, but where land owners exchange well defined access rights for a permanent tax concession, or sell the rights to a conservation group or the state for the same purposes.

    Seems like that might be a useful mechanism for gradually acquiring access rights to some prime fishing/recreational waters even in the absence of a definitive settlement.

    http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Wiki/do-op/id/access:wa
     
  9. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    And this is why we can't have nice things :(
     
  10. tahuyamg

    tahuyamg tahuyamg

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    scenario: you decide your protected because of the Public Trust Doctrine. It's high tide your waste deep in the water. Because the house only has an 11ft setback your standing 16 ft in front of the house. You won't leave I call the Sheriff and report where you are and that I told you you were trespassing. Sheriff comes out an d most likely tell you leave or go to jail.
    Yep all it takes is one bad apple- or a few poachers. Mix it in w/ trash, dog crap, boat owners coming in to take a piss on shore, hell you name it. My family and I have been taking care of the property and tide flats for a few generations now and take pride in that. That's how the majority of waterfront property owners I'm familiar with on hood canal feel.
    As far as a river is concerned- if the property owner owns the river bottom., then it's trespassing. It's the same idea as the tide flats. I don't trespass on other's land. I may not like it but I sure as hell respect it.
     
  11. constructeur

    constructeur Active Member

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    Flyborg- No one has provided any empirical data stating the origin of the waste. Both sides says it's the other guy, and from my experience (spent most summers growing up in Union right by Marks vacation house) both sides are disrespectful polluters.
     
  12. tahuyamg

    tahuyamg tahuyamg

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    I just want to make it clear that in Union there is only beach property I am refering too. Tahuya is where the house is I am refering too. Union is small, there are a few houses in union on the water. I state this cause I don't want anyone thinking,"hey there's were that asshole mark lives and not it actually be the right house, that's all...
     
  13. tahuyamg

    tahuyamg tahuyamg

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  14. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    Well at least they're trying to pinpoint it instead of blaming it entirely on the anglers.
     
  15. gt

    gt Active Member

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    what i would like to know is where the septic drain fields of all of these water front owners terminate. seems as though there is quite a bit of 'run off' from exisiting home owners to go around.