Private beach laws...

#1
I'm curious about Washinton's laws regarding private beach front property. HOw far out does the privacy extend? I mean, is it allowed to wade in front of a private beach as long as you're not up on land? Below high tide mark? Not at all? I'm just curious cause at the beach I was fishing this weekend there was a sign stating that from this point forward its private land.. to the right of the boat launch, yet I saw numerous guys wander down and around the corner. I did not want to be breaking a law and intruding on someones property so I did not venture down there. I'm going to search around a bit online about this, but figured some of you experienced beach fishermen probably know this off the top of your head


Nick
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#2
Nick, there is a ton of recent and past discussion on this matter. Use the search function and you will find so much to read and confuse you. Here in WA there are some that own to the high water mark, others to the meandering tide and still more that own to the extreme low. I'm sure there are more options and area to area there may be distinct differences. I've limited some of my exploratory trips due to not wanting to be one of the bad guys wandering where I'm an unwelcome tresspasser. Kindness and courtesy won't keep you out of trouble all of the time, but it seems to work most of the time.
 
#3
I ask the same ? awhile back.
After reading the replies I would go knock on doors with your best sales pitch and ask for permission.
You just might get lucky and have a safe place to park also.
 

Kim Hampton

Not Politically Correct
#4
I wonder......If one were in a boat, the tide was high and you were off of some property owner who had rights to the extreme low water mark would you be trespassing? Or do you have to have your feet on the ground/bottom.
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#10
Koolminx, I'm not sure that the letter of the law would agree with you on that one. Seriously, I could see a case built by some property owner that would claim that the use of an anchor to hold in place in the water above their property was trespassing because they used that anchor to physically contact the property beneath them. Never underestimate the motivation of a property owner just like you can never underestimate the cunning of someone driven to get to a spot to fish. Both at times will do things that normally would not be too impressive.
 

Tony

Left handed Gemini.
#11
not to stir the pot too much but if you do a search online you will find that it is legal to cross private tide lands by foot at long as the area in question is covered by water at the time, see and read the public trust doctrine, we as citizens of this state are also allowed by law to cross private tide lands to access public tide lands, now to use either of these rights there are certain rules that you have to follow, you cannot access private tide lands by land if there are no public access points in other words you can't walk through someones yard to get there, but if there is a dead end road that ends up on the beach this is public land, parks are public land so lets say for instance I go to a park and for purposes of navigation or fishing or any other legal use I can cross or even stand on private tide lands to fish as long as they are covered by water I cannot harvest any thing other than fish but it is my right to fish, There are private owners of tide lands that I'm sure will dispute my right to do as mentioned but it is our right to do so and even though I'm not saying we should disregard the wants or rights of the owners I believe we should try to work together and try to come to a compromise of some sort. I can understand how intrusive it can be to have the public invade the privacy of others not to mention all the other messed up things the masses can will and have subjected the owners of such lands to (littering, or using someones beach as a restroom to name a couple) but on the other hand I can't understand one individual saying I can't cross even if I have no intention of staying or as is the case on a number of beaches one individual saying no you can't cross even though the people right next to them have no problem with you using the beach as along as you are good stewards of their property. I want to respect a persons rights but I also want my rights to be given the same consideration. So If I can't work out a reasonable compromise with the owners I believe I will personally have to stand up for my rights.
tony
 

Trent

Ugly member
#12
Tony:
Exactly where is that info located? Is it in the RCWs or the WAC, or somewhere else alltogether? Thanks for any info.
 
#13
Wow, had no idea this was such a grey area. Looks like I'm best just sticking to what i know is public and let the more knowledgable folks fight for their rights.
 

gt

Active Member
#14
the case in oregon which caused this to come to light involved 2 duck hunters who anchored in the klamath r. land owner claimed ownership to the river bottom and they went to court. turns out the duck hunters won the legal action.

so if you really have deep pockets, don't mind years of litigation, go ahead and anchor in front of someones 'no trespassing' sign, get arrested, go to court and clear this up for the rest of us in washington. works for me. in the short run, i won't drop the hook.
 

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
#15
the case in oregon which caused this to come to light involved 2 duck hunters who anchored in the klamath r. land owner claimed ownership to the river bottom and they went to court. turns out the duck hunters won the legal action.

so if you really have deep pockets, don't mind years of litigation, go ahead and anchor in front of someones 'no trespassing' sign, get arrested, go to court and clear this up for the rest of us in washington. works for me. in the short run, i won't drop the hook.
But this is Washington.
[
I]Anchoring on a private tideland bottom in Washington is trespassing[/I].