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I am always searching for new spots on some of my favorite creeks in eastern WA. I usually take the side of caution when approaching what could be private land on these creeks. If there is a bridge from a public road crossing the stream, is it legal to enter from that point? Or does all the land surrounding the creek there need to be public? Also, does anyone have any experience from asking private land owners for permission to fish on their property? What is the best approach for doing this? Thanks!
 

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Should be fishing
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I am always searching for new spots on some of my favorite creeks in eastern WA. I usually take the side of caution when approaching what could be private land on these creeks. If there is a bridge from a public road crossing the stream, is it legal to enter from that point? Or does all the land surrounding the creek there need to be public? Also, does anyone have any experience from asking private land owners for permission to fish on their property? What is the best approach for doing this? Thanks!
Don't quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure I just read last week that the bridge access is only okay in WA if the water is navigable. I'm sure the interwebs has the answer somewhere.
 

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I was hoping to get info on saltwater beaches but the article doesn't even really clearly define any WA laws. It seems WA's laws are due for an overhaul being so outdated which makes things even more complicated. Hopefully someone can chime in and help me get the 411 on saltwater water access.

Is the saltwater adjacent to a home property also private? There are tons of little pockets that look like it should hold fish around my house but most are right in front of residential properties. Can I fish these waters as long as I access it from public places?
 

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Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
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I was hoping to get info on saltwater beaches but the article doesn't even really clearly define any WA laws. It seems WA's laws are due for an overhaul being so outdated which makes things even more complicated. Hopefully someone can chime in and help me get the 411 on saltwater water access.

Is the saltwater adjacent to a home property also private? There are tons of little pockets that look like it should hold fish around my house but most are right in front of residential properties. Can I fish these waters as long as I access it from public places?
If you use the search function, this has been covered a number of times in regards to saltwater beaches.
SF
 
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Aye. Found several threads on the subject tweaking the keywords. Went through quite a bit of material and the overwhelming conclusion is nobody knows for sure. LOL! The laws and politics are so obscure it can lean either way. The consensus is to simply be courteous and respectful if you do run into homeowners claiming private property. They may or may not allow access but being professional about the situation is ideal. After all, we are representing every other fly angler out there. Don't be the bad apple that ruins it for everyone else.

I try to pickup trash wherever I fish but I'm going to take it up a notch. Hopefully the homeowners nearby will take notice one day and allow me access just a bit further down the beach that looks so promising.
 

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Aye. Found several threads on the subject tweaking the keywords. Went through quite a bit of material and the overwhelming conclusion is nobody knows for sure. LOL! The laws and politics are so obscure it can lean either way. The consensus is to simply be courteous and respectful if you do run into homeowners claiming private property. They may or may not allow access but being professional about the situation is ideal. After all, we are representing every other fly angler out there. Don't be the bad apple that ruins it for everyone else.

I try to pickup trash wherever I fish but I'm going to take it up a notch. Hopefully the homeowners nearby will take notice one day and allow me access just a bit further down the beach that looks so promising.
Most of the Washington tidelands (over 60%) have been sold to private parties and are therefore not public. The property deed description will clarify it. The old boating guides that used to list public tidelands have been pressured to remove that info from current issues.
As for the stream laws, the states don't follow the federal laws, you may have a right to be on the property but you better bring your lawyer and lots of cash if you want to assert your right!
 

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Outta Here
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The biggest problem is that so many big 'chunks' of private land have been broken into tiny chunks. The current landowners are often absent, and you could spend a huge amount of time seeking approval to fish those tiny segments....and to further complicate matters the current owners (and local law enforcement) often have no accurate understanding of what their actual property rights actually entail.

Even if you know you're 'in the right', fishing with one eye over your shoulder is not a pleasant experience...unless you enjoy confrontations.
 

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Don't quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure I just read last week that the bridge access is only okay in WA if the water is navigable. I'm sure the interwebs has the answer somewhere.
Yah, this is a tough one.

There's a river I like to fish on the Eastside, and the property line is in the middle of the river.

I called fish and game, they had to call Olympia, and the result was - you can not enter a river from a bridge, if the land surrounding the bridge is private.

I always thought there was a public right of way to the water, but when the land under the water can be owned, you can not.

The fun part is, trying to figure that out before you go out. Make a few calls, let them do their job. It might take a couple days, but they'll do it. Mine only took 3 hours to find out. Make your calls now, this time of year (as I did) because I think it's a pretty slow time of the year for them. In fact, I bet they are bored...:p
 
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