Washington Fly Fishing Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went fishing in the salt for the first time this weekend. I wanted to go to point fosdick, but I couldn't find the boat ramp. Does anyone know where it is?

Well, for my real question: I'm curous about the property lines on tidal beaches in the sound. I was always under the impression that below the mean high tide mark, it was pretty much public access. So if you had access down to the water, you could walk up and down the beach, assuming it wasn't an extreme high tide. But based on the no tresspassing signs you find on beaches around here, the land owners defintely think otherwise. Does anyone know the answer?
 

·
Formerly Tight Loops
Joined
·
1,347 Posts
You are right, the beach below Mean Higher High water is public (maybe I am wrong on the tidal height). I would let the signs on the beaches be a warning about getting too close to the house or bulkhead or whatever.

Now if someone comes running out of the house to tell me that I am tresspassing, then I just apologize, leave and try to find another way in to where I want.

And now you are understanding why I want a power boat.

As to beach access at Point Fosdick, I know of only one way to get down there:

http://apps.ecy.wa.gov/shorephotos/scripts/bigphoto.asp?id=PIE0485

Using the photo at the site above, go to the cul de sac nearest the beach, and parking back up the road about 50 yards or so, walk to the end of the cul de sac, and find the trail down the slope to the beach.

Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Boat ramp closest to Point Fosdick is at the end of 10th St. just at the mouth of Wollochet Bay and just West of Point Fosdick. Its simply an "end of road" terminating at the beach; definitely unimproved and parking is at a premium. I use it periodically but launch and recover only at or close to high tide.

The Public Trust Doctrine says beachfront property ownership is generally to the high water mark, the remainder being navigable waters onto which the public has access rights. However, years ago the general public was able to purchase waterfront property primarily for the purpose of accessing shellfish beds exposed by low tides. Those folks were granted property ownership rights by the state to the low water mark (or maybe extreme low water mark, I don't recall.) How does one know which is which? You won't unless its clearly marked or posted e.g. no trespassing signs. No sense arguing with someone who claims you're trespassing even if its not marked as its indefensible without researching court records, just apologize for the indiscretion and move onto another location.

A modest but STABLE 15-17 foot boat with appropriate power is all one needs to expand their flyfishing opportunities in the salt exponentially - no beach is out of reach as there are free public (mostly County owned) launches peppered all around the Sound.

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
The boat ramp is on the island side of the Fox Island bridge.
On the subject of property rights in that area, it has been a very touchy subject between fishermen and property owners. I haven't fished in that area for years, but I can't think of it being any different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
You've hit on my pet peeve. The property owners do have shellfish rights and we should respect this. To expand this to complete ownership of the beach too much. The public pays taxs through the snoot to protect the marine areas of Washington. We have the right to use these areas for recreation. We don't have this right to break any other laws and we should be good citizens from a moral point of view too.

I suppose the only way to get our right to use these very public areas is through the legislature or by initiative. A high profile law firm with like mind could help get the ball rolling.

Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Ken,

Not many folks know this, but HJR 4204 was introduced to the Washington state legislature during the 2001-2002 bienium and has been sitting idle in committee since. It has not been resurrected for the current session. It proposes an amendment to Article I of the Washington state Constitution (which would have to go to the voters for approval) by adding a new section that reads:

"The right to fish and hunt and the right to take fish and game are a valued part of our heritage and this right shall be forever preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and rule for the public good."

Look it up at http://www.leg.wa.gov/wsladm/billinfo01_02/bills.cfm
by typing 4204 in the block at the top and click on Bill Number to search. Maybe a good first step though it wouldn't necessarily resolve beach access issues per se.

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Greg.

Thanks for the information. I feel this goes much farther than hunting and fishing. In fact if it only benifits this small special interest group it may fail. The right to access should benifit the entire population. People like to use the beach for many activities and it should be open to all of the people. After all we all pay for it.

I saw in the paper a few weeks ago that an agreement between land owners and enviornmental groups has been reached that addresses land use and access. The mediators were three people appointed by the governer. The article nor the state's web site did not give any specifics as to the access issue. It did say that the state legislature was to vote on it this year.

Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
For the curmudgeon's discussion of the legal issues surrounding public access to beaches, read Harvey Manning's Walks and Hikes on the Beaches around Puget Sound. It's a legal gray zone, but his bottom line is that the friendlies outnumber the hostiles among the beach owners, and if you're discreet, and try to go midweek and alone it's generally fine. I will say that in the 14 years I've been beach fishing on Puget Sound the "Keep Out" signs are multiplying. The farther you get from Seattle the better. I'm switching over to a boat but I actually catch more standing on the beach.
 

·
Dana Miller
Joined
·
667 Posts
Ken,

Property owners adjacent to the beach weren't just given shell fishing rights, they were granted ownership of the tidelands themselves and are taxed accordingly.

There is no set rule. Some beaches are privately owned and some aren't. Those waterfront property owners pay a much greater amount in taxes for the priviledge of living on the water than the rest of us do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I drove to the end of that cul de sac, but there are big signs there saying something like "County property, No Tresspassing." Sounds like another good access shut down.

My gazeteer showed a boat ramp nearby, but I couldn't find it. I guess I didn't look hard enough.

Maybe I'll have to break down and get a rowboat or an inflatable. It sounds like walking the beach is a near impossibility anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
You bring up an interesting point. I would like to read the RCW. Do the people living on the beach indead have full and total control of the beach? If a dead whale washes ashore, do they have to dispose of it themselves? I don't have any problem with the ownership of the shelfish or any other fixed object. I don't feel that the tidelands should be degraded by those who recreate on it. The people who live on the beach are going to pay higher taxes anyway access is structured.

I do feel that we all have a vested interest in the beaches of the state. We pay our taxes too. Individually not as much but collectively we pay quite a bit to ensure the protection of the environment. Other states allow the public some limited access to the beach and property values remain very high. That limited access is something that everybody has the right to.

Ken
 

·
Dana Miller
Joined
·
667 Posts
It's not a matter of RCW, the property owners have ownership through deeds. Property ownership is a Constitutional issue. Everyone does not have a right to limited access to a private beach just as everyone has no right to access a plot of private forest land.

It's not a matter of if it's right or if it's wrong. It's just the way it is!
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top