Deschutes river now deemed navigable

#1
I heard from a reliable source that the designation for the Deschutes river up to the Warm Springs Indian reservation has been changed to navigable. Seems pretty wild since it has been such a major holdout for so many years. A bummer for the trout clubbers but pretty awesome for folks drifting through.
 

PhilR

In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey
#2
What changes? Honestly curious. You could always float it, and there are plenty of launches. A formal determination of navigability doesn't mean that you can now trespass on private property.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
#4
What changes? Honestly curious. You could always float it, and there are plenty of launches. A formal determination of navigability doesn't mean that you can now trespass on private property.
It means that lands below the normal high water mark are not private property.
Therefore tresspassing there is impossible.
This if true is simply just one less river in Oregon where federal law is ignored.
 

JS

Active Member
#5
I doubt this means BNSF will stop harassing me now.....[emoji848]


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
#6
Given its steep banks I don't see this adding a lot of access. I guess its good to get on the books but does it really change anything?
 

PhilR

In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey
#7
I have always gone by the AG opinion, which already considered land below the ordinary high water mark as public lands. So, this doesn't change the rules, relative to the AG opinion, but it shifts from an AG opinion to an official designation. I guess?

That said, I'm not complaining. I am curious about the source of the information, though.
 

tallguy

Active Member
#8
Many private lands in OR also technically have river access easements, actually allowing public passage within 100' of the river bank. Or so I heard..
 
#9
I heard from a reliable source that the designation for the Deschutes river up to the Warm Springs Indian reservation has been changed to navigable. Seems pretty wild since it has been such a major holdout for so many years. A bummer for the trout clubbers but pretty awesome for folks drifting through.
Yeah, there's a good story behind why involving a favourite douche celebrity guide. I've never seen action si quick. Then again that's what happens when you flaunt your ass at the law and mouth off to the enforcement. Too bad they likely won't make the thirty grand in violations stick. He did the crime.
 
Likes: JS
#11
This is a big change for a lot of the private land above Maupin where the only access for most of us is by boat. If you have fished the D much you've surely been yelled at for trespassing (standing on the bank).

I have always gone by the AG opinion, which already considered land below the ordinary high water mark as public lands. So, this doesn't change the rules, relative to the AG opinion, but it shifts from an AG opinion to an official designation. I guess?
Not sure what AG opinion is but this works until you get a shotgun pulled on you for trespassing. Oregon laws are different that WA
 
Likes: JS
#12
Would this impact the cattle grazing areas that extend into the river?
I doubt this will change anything. I see plenty of cattle below the high water mark on rivers already deemed navigable.

It does however change a precedent that had private land owners chasing anglers off their ground in certain cabins and with a certain trout club. The line is at the reservation so access to the tribal side of the river is unchanged and off limits.
 

PhilR

In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey
#13
I fish above the locked gate all the time, but haven't gone all the way up to the club. Have never had a problem.

The Attorney General published an opinion on this. It used to be in the regs books, and can be found here:

http://www.oregon.gov/dsl/WW/Documents/nav_brochure.pdf
or here
http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/documents/rivers_lakes_flyer.pdf

The sheriff should have been able to set the shotgun puller straight, based on this.

Now I'm really curious about the guide that got this all started. Anybody have a link to the story?
 
#14
The state agency that would make this finding would be Department of State Lands and I could not find anything on their website directly pertinent to a new finding.

DSL does have a good bit of info on the issue in general here:
http://www.oregon.gov/dsl/WW/Pages/Waterways.aspx

It is important to make the distinction between navigability as legally determined) verses the rights of public to access rivers, streams and lakes.

I would agree with Phil R about the Oregon Attorney General Opinion from 2005 as the defining document for all Oregon waterways. Tall Guy is not correct about a 100' public easement on private lands. The observation about the steep banks on the Deschutes is very true - the existing public access described in the AG Opinion provides just a shade more "footing" for the public in most cases, and this applies to the Mighty D too.

Here is a Bend Bulletin article on the AG Opinion from 2005:
http://www.bendbulletin.com/news/1491708-151/myers-public-may-use-banks-of-many-rivers

The AG Opinion is gold and anglers should carry it with them. Most landowners and county sheriffs are unaware of our rights.

Here it is:
http://www.doj.state.or.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/op8281.pdf

Regardless of the law and the rules, common courtesy goes a long ways towards having a good day on a river with mixed public and private lands.
 

BaldBob

Active Member
#15
Would this impact the cattle grazing areas that extend into the river?
The adjacent landowners will still own the land between the ordinary high water line and the river, but if this report is true, the public's right to use that strip of land is enshrined in law rather than, as PhilR pointed out, just having the force of a State Attorney General's opinion.