WA River: No Trespassing / STAYOUT!

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

  1. Scudley Do Right

    Scudley Do Right Active Member

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    More than a couple times when bass fishing I have had people confront me about fishing in front of their house. A couple of times they have told me I had no right and it was their property. This is all from a boat on lakes with a public launch.
     
  2. generic

    generic Justified

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    Yep, the Little Spokane is one of those rivers, that landowners own everything! They run fences across the water, and over the years has had its ... "issues".

    Kind of a bummer, as that river has some absolutely monster, MONSTER fish in it.
     
  3. troutpounder

    troutpounder Active Member

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    I think putting a line across a river like that could be dangerous is some one was floating it and not paying attention..... Some people are just douche bags. I would fish it. If property owner wants to say anything be polite and worse case call the fuzz if its getting out of hand
     
  4. troutpounder

    troutpounder Active Member

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    This would be an example of one of these douche bags......
     
  5. Jim Darden

    Jim Darden Active Member

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    Well, that's the way it is....we get no public defense from our government to protect our rights, so if you want to fight it, it is with your own money (ie lawyers).........do you feel lucky?
     
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  6. Irafly

    Irafly Indi "Ira" Jones

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    I remember this from my bass days. My favorite was the couple that claimed the bass under their dock as their "pets". They were very upset when I landed one and then let it go. I just smiled at them.
     
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  7. Irafly

    Irafly Indi "Ira" Jones

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    I imagine that both sides of this argument feel the same way. Landowners feeling like their rights are not defended and the general public feeling like their rights are not defended. I'll have to admit that with the large gap in income equality in our country, I tend to side more on the general public.
     
  8. Krusty

    Krusty Krusty Old Effer

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    OHWM is generally the elevation adjacent to the water body that has lasting traces of contact with the surface...it may or may not be the flood stage. OHWM for property boundaries is generally not ths same OHWM that an environmental regulatory body would use (such as in the administration of the Shoreline Act).

    Probably the best place to find the current property line OHWM would be the respective county, since they base property rights and taxable acreage on its location (which can change, of course, over time due to erosion and deposition).
     
  9. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    I'm all over that income inequality thing. Jim McNerney made $27,500,000 in 2012... I simply don't don't know how he and the family are getting buy.
     
  10. Loteck Joe

    Loteck Joe Over The Hill Gang Member

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    A lot of years ago, I spoke with the folks at the BLM and they told me that there are only two navigable rivers west of the Mississippi that are privately owned to the center of the river. One of them is the Little Spokane River. 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.

    I believe my statement about trespass laws has been addressed in a future reply to this thread. And, I've corrected my statement from "east of the Mississippi" to "west of the Mississippi.
     
  11. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    While the State owns the water on navigable waters and you can float them it may not mean you can walk along the stream below the high water mark or even along the wetted stream bed. The are a number of rivers where at portions of the stream bed is owned by the adjacent landowner. It depends in part when the land was originally acquired (before or after statehood) and how the deed was written; the only way to know for sure is to go to the County assessor's office (or their on line site). On one of my local rivers there is checkerboard ownership with some owning to the edge of the river, others to the middle of the river and others all the river bottom. BTW if the landowner has ownership of the stream bottom courts have ruled that those floating the water can not anchor on that private land (the Icicle river during spring Chinook season is an example). Ownership of tide lands can get even more complicated (with the State unto the early 1970s often selling the state's tide lands to private individuals and corporations.

    I too remember problems with owners of docks on various fresh water lakes. On one lake the best dock for hold very large largemouth during the spring had a owner that thought those were his private fish and by fishing for them we were trespassing. He was able to cow some of the anglers. I checked with the assessor's office and found that he did not own the lake bottom. The next I fished there I made a point of "camping out" at the down pitching small jigs under the dock. Sure enough after a couple fish the owner can down (a Saturday morning) to chase me away. I informed him that I had check the ownership of the lake bottom and the extent of his parce and I was fishing publicly own water and over public owned bottom. I then asked since it was public property whether he had got all the necessary permits and permission from DNR (who owned the lake bottom) to build and repair his dock (knowing that he had not). That stopped him mid-sentence and no longer had issues with that particular owner - sometimes knowledge can be an effective tool.

    Curt
     
  12. Old406Kid

    Old406Kid Active Member

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    Yeah, he probably get's a trespass permit as one of his perks too... Now that's inequality!:D
     
  13. David Dalan

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

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    Water access flows from Federal law, but states are allowed to make the determination of what is, or is not, navigable. Well, generally anyway.

    If a judge has not made a determination, then there is no legal obstacle to you using a streamed. Of course, if you are cited, and a judge ultimately rules it as navigable...the ticket would stick.

    There are lots of legal tests, here is a handy summary of SCOTUS rulings I found. The USACE has a nice summary of SCOTUS rulings, as Navigability is a big part of the scope of Clean Water Act enforcement.

    USACE -- http://www.usace.army.mil/Portals/2..._guide/app_d_traditional_navigable_waters.pdf

    Here is another doc where the USGS has been doing some work to try and develop criteria for what is and is not, based on river character. Its an interesting exercise, since SCOTUS does not seem to directly rely on river characteristics (depth, width, flow) much at all. Does give a good picture of the complexity of classifying marginally "navigable" waters.

    riverhttp://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2009/5122/pdf/sir20095122.pdf

    While there can be some gray areas with smaller waters, if you can ever run a boat down a river (Drift, Pontoon, raft) and a guide could charge you to fish it, its open to commerce and federally navigable. I think that is pretty clear in numerous SCOTUS rulings. To me anyway :)

    So if you're worried about small stream fishing, do your homework or get permission :)

    If it's bigger bodies of waters, then I think there is little to worry about. But you would still have to fight a ticket if you get one.

    I know a local sheriff who said he'd probably cite and let the courts figure it out. This was, however, on a VERY small river with almost no public access to the streamed. And, using the USACE criteria, probably not navigable.
     
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  14. Old406Kid

    Old406Kid Active Member

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  15. Bob Rankin

    Bob Rankin Chasing fur and fish every second I get :)

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    If know one see' s you where you really there, and
    Sometimes doing something wrong feels so right..
    I've been shot at before and I'm sure I'll be shot at again.:)
     
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