WA River: No Trespassing / STAYOUT!

I was coming back from Portland and decided to stop by a river in the Longview / St. Helens area. First access spot I came to, I pulled over and got geared up. I started walking upriver from the park I was at and ran across this sign.
Is this legit? Is there any way to know? I really wanted to hit a pool just upstream of the sign but I also didn't feel like getting shot. Nothing worse than bleeding out in the snow.

Anyway, no fish. I'm certain there were at least 20 or 30 steelhead in that pool I was going for. I blame the sign.

Teenage Entomologist

Gotta love the pteronarcys.
Jeez. Some people are full of hate and want stuff all to themselves( All a man wants to do is catch some steelhead.)I can't quite read the sign though, what did it exactly stay other that STAYOUT?

David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
From what it looks like, I would guess you are legal if you are below the ordinary high water mark. However, if the property abutting it is private, you could be trespassing to get to the river channel. You must enter the navigable zone legally. And it does not have to have a sign to be trespassing. In WA anyway, the definition is pretty broad. But if you floated that stretch, your concern (IMO) is not legal...but how big a pain in the ass the local wants to be.

Be safe!

Mark Moore

Just a Member
Depends which river. I thought the same thing a few years ago while fishing the Kalama, I was informed otherwise after a fairly unpleasant exchange with a property owner. On some rivers the property line extends to the middle of the river and it is not permissible to fish from the bank.

Either way it's not worth the headache. A heated exchange with a homeowner can at the very least ruin the day and maybe worse.

David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
If the river is navigable, owning the riverbed is technically irrelevant. There are some threads on this forum that go well into the dirty details of navagability and access.