Respecting private property

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Ybsong, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Steve Saville

    Steve Saville Active Member

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    I did not say you must allow access. What I said, and I believe it to be true, is that if you allow access, you cannot dictate flyfishing only because you own only the land to the mean low tide line. You don't own the water so therefore you cannot dictate the regulation of that water. You are not speaking of a landlocked piece of water, I assume, therefore passage by water on Puget Sound is a Public Right. Fishing in the water or on the water by boat is regulated by the State. The rules, according to the enforcement officers are very clear even though you need a lot of time to absorb the Washington State pamphlet. You could, however regulate the taking of shellfish on your land because the shellfish reside either on top of the land you own or beneath. That is a common practice.

    That being said, if you posted a sign stating access only by permission, when you gave that permission, you could convey your wishes however I doubt you could enforce a flyfishing only rule on you portion of the land. It would be an interesting court case.
     
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  2. Bradley Miller

    Bradley Miller Dances with fish

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    This may be a question that is of little value, or of theoretical interest only, but it's been in my mind. I'd like your take on this, Ybsong......
    The way I understand it, SOME beachfront property owners own the tidelands, and some (most?) do not, depending on whether or not they have purchased said tidelands from the State of Washington. How then is a person to know, practically, what the legal ownership status is when confronted by a landowner? Take his word for it? Wait for him to produce documentation? Wait for the sheriff and see if HE/SHE wants to see the docs? I mean: it's not legal to trespass on land that is owned by another. But it's not ILLEGAL for someone to claim that land as theirs when it isn't. Do you see the problem? Someone comes storming down to the beach and says 'get off my property' when in fact, it may not BE their property. I suppose the hapless fisherman might do a property records search and create a database for any beach that might seem like a fishing prospect, but......really?
    Maybe this never happens. But it seems like it must. I never knowingly tread on someone elses beach property, but I don't want to get chased off by a liar, either. What to do?
     
  3. Mike T

    Mike T Active Member

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    "The way I understand it, SOME beachfront property owners own the tidelands, and some (most?) do not, depending on whether or not they have purchased said tidelands from the State of Washington."

    I'm not sure what you consider to be tidelands, but if you're referring to beaches then you should know that many waterfront properties extend to the mean low water mark. By no means would I say that most do not. If you're not fishing at a park or other publicly posted beach then you ought to assume you're on private property until you can find out otherwise.

    "That being said, if you posted a sign stating access only by permission, when you gave that permission, you could convey your wishes however I doubt you could enforce a flyfishing only rule on you portion of the land. It would be an interesting court case."

    If the property owner owns the land that the guest is standing on, even if it's underwater, then I'm confident that the property owner can dictate the guest's conduct. Why would it be different from a guest's unwelcome behavior on dry land?

    Where this gets murky is when Indians are fishing. I've watched them damage a bulkhead when tying their beach seine to it. When we pointed out they'd break the ladder off they replied that their rights prevailed.
     
  4. Ybsong

    Ybsong Member

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    That’s a fair question Bradley. I’ve wondered the same. In my case, it’s obvious because there are signs that say so, and the shellfish nets are obvious and visible, so it’s clear someone owns the land. Due to the aquaculture tax revenue, it’s an important part of the purchase/sell process, and they make an extra big deal of it in title process (as one could sell the tideland, while keeping the dry land if they wanted to subdivide their property). But in general, I don’t know of a great way for the public to access that data easily. Wish there was one, so would love to hear if anyone has found one. As Steve mentioned, it’s not uncommon to see folks walking by with their families or dogs, and it’s a stingy landowner who’d give them a hard time. But the few who just don’t seem to give a damn (e.g. don’t clean up after their dogs), make the owners grit their teeth.

    ybs
     
  5. Bradley Miller

    Bradley Miller Dances with fish

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    Well, that's good to know. I was under the impression that the bulk of beachfront property owners did NOT own the intertidal zone, but some did because of some purchases that were made from the State of Washington back in the day. But if the majority of them do in fact own the beach then ok. That helps clarify the situation.
    Edit: and shame on anyone who doesn't treat a beach with due respect, no matter who owns it.
     
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  6. Mike T

    Mike T Active Member

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    I should be more specific, my experience comes from Pierce County, South Kitsap and Mason County. One should learn how to use their County Assessor's page to find plat maps and legal descriptions. I did this for my career, but it's helped with researching beaches and access.
     
  7. Richard Torres

    Richard Torres Active Member

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    A few years back I believe Bob Triggs had someone produce this flyer for us to post on public beaches. This would be a good way to inform anyone who fishes on your property what the reg's are. Does anyone know if they are still available?
    IMG_1737 (2).jpg
     
  8. Mike T

    Mike T Active Member

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    Puget Sound Fly had some a few months ago, 253-472-2420.
     
  9. jwg

    jwg Active Member

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    I did find maps some years ago and virtually all shoreline between Tacoma and Seattle, aside from public parks, was privately owned tidelands.

    More generally the figures I find say 60% of puget sound tidelands are privately owned.

    I cannot find the maps I mentioned on the web anymore.

    Jay
     
  10. Rich Schager

    Rich Schager You should have been here yesterday...

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    I live in Mason County and have viewed (parcel searches online) tidal ownership maps of all the areas I fish. And yes, most tidal lands are privately owned, including a lot of areas where the land owner and the tidal owners are different people.

    Rich.
     
  11. Steve Saville

    Steve Saville Active Member

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    Bradley, you are spot on about beach property. The piece that my wife and I share with her sister and husband has been in the family since 1934. We own 150 feet of beach almost exactly between Dash Pt. State Park and the Dash Point Pier Park. If you have ever been there, you lnow there is a huge flat in the area and we own a huge piece of that flat as the mean low tide mark is about 300+ feet off our bulkhead. We've never marked it though I have contemplated doing the measurements just for curiosity sake. But, we have a flood of walkers every nice day from park to park and back again. Most people are very respectful so we don't care but as I said, there is always some knucklehead who has to take a leak and heads for the relative privacy of our bulkhead, Then is when I get spun up. The entire stretch between the parks is privately owned, by the way, but like us, most are considerate of the beach walkers. During Pink Salmon season, the owners get a bit fed up with the noisy people who leave their trash on the beach but I have rarely seen any one of them deny access. I sent a couple of guys packing last season because they were harassing two guys flyfishing from a boat just off shore. They were anchored on my property but doing no harm. That's pretty unacceptable as well. Anyone minding their own business does not need to be harassed by a couple of idiots.
     
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  12. wadin' boot

    wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

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    Steve I'm sure those guys in the boat are thankful, that's a class act. Pretty much anytime i have been out in my Kayak fishing close to or in intertidal areas along private shore, I'll give the landowner a wave. If they don't wave back and look angry, I'll move on. Normally the landowner wants to talk about how things are going, and if you're excruciatingly polite sometimes they'll point you to a good spot or two.
     
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  13. Saltman

    Saltman "Just Fish!"

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    Peninsula Outfitters in Poulsbo still have some....


    la
     
  14. Jeff Dodd

    Jeff Dodd Active Member

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    I have a couple of the yellow signs left if anyone needs one.
     
  15. Bradley Miller

    Bradley Miller Dances with fish

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    Well: if you ever want to invite me to fish there I promise NOT to be an idiot or make my self any more of a nuisance than I am here at home. Which might not be saying much. Anyway; thanks for the input.