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Old 01-21-2002, 12:01 PM
Jeff Jeff is offline
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Land permission

Ok so I have been meaning to post this for awhile and yes I know it has been talked about other boards but wanted to see if anyone has any information or where I might go to get information on this.

Over Christmas My dad and I where fishing up on the East Fork of the Lewis above Day break park. We walked to the end of the park and then down clearly below the normal High water mark and kept walking up. We came apon a guy fishing whom got out and told us that we were tresspassing on his land. I said I was sorry but I thought it was normal high water mark which we were clearly below. He said no he paid taxes to the middle of the river. I apologized again. He was very nice and end up letting us go on up to fish since no one else was around so I had no problem with that and thanked him.

But here is my question I thought in Washington it is public land up to the normal high water mark on all navigatable rivers (which means you can float it in some sort of boat). Is that everyone elses definiton. Does anyone have a link to the actual law/

Thanks

JJ

PS: the run fished way better from the other side so it probably won't be an issu for that run but man up stream on that side sure looked to be a nice run.
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Old 01-21-2002, 12:46 PM
GBSkunk GBSkunk is offline
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Jeff, I don't know about Washington but here in Oregon the state has to determine that a river is "navigable". Just because you can float it does not mean that you have access to the high water mark. Here is a great link to more info. http://statelands.dsl.state.or.us/nav_kilchis_trask.htm

TL's,
Dave
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2002, 05:43 PM
fredaevans fredaevans is offline
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Nav. vs. non-navigable waters

Dave's going down the right path. The basics of the law say if a river, stream, whatever, has been classified as navigable (think this is a US Gov. rather than a State determination) after you gain access to beach below "normal high water" the 'ground' under the river/stream is public land.

If the river/stream has not been classified as 'navigable' then the ajoining land owners "own" the ground under the water to the 'thread of the stream.' Back to the Lewis, don't know which catigory this river falls into but if it's classified as 'navigable,' be nice, then tell the fellow to 'p.... off.' Not a nice way of telling him to look up and understand the laws of the United States. If the water is not classified as 'navigable' he's got you ... of course you could always ask him to 'prove' he was/is the land owner.
fe
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Old 01-21-2002, 06:06 PM
roballen roballen is offline
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I agree with the above posts but would add that the states have completely failed to protect the public trust and have allowed the deeding of public property to private individuals.
The federal test of navagability is the only Legal test for navagability. The states have not followed that standard.

The federal test is basically. CAN the river be floated in a traditional water transportation devise (BOAT) for the purpose of commerce. It doesn't have to be used that way only that it can be used that way. There is a lot more to it than that but thats what it biols down to.
Since there are fishing guides that operate on that section of the East Lewis it is clearly navagable according to the federal test. And the federal test is the ONLY!!!!! I releat ONLY!!! legal way to determine navagability.
Because almost all rivers in the northwest have the potential of being used by professional fishing guides in boats they are (or should be) considered legally navagable for title purpose and therefore public land up to the ordinary high water mark.

On the other hand you stay out of that run !!! it's mine I tell you MINE! :O)
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Old 01-22-2002, 12:17 PM
fredaevans fredaevans is offline
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Guide boats and nav. water(s).

Old memory bin here but at one time the theory of guide boats and nav. waters was 'tested' in the State of Washington. Does anyone know what, if anything, became of that?

We have a similar situation here in the Medford, Oregon area. The two major streams (Rogue and the Applegate). The first is a you have access below high water the second is to the 'thread of the stream.' With the second I can assure you the adjoining land owners 'protect their rights' to the point of sillyness. Test it and you will meet the local Sheriff. Period.
fe
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Old 01-24-2002, 09:54 PM
fish-head fish-head is offline
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Actually the law goes both way's on some river's in Oregon .Some river's you can fish out of a boat only , you cannot drop anchor , and there is no high water mark . Or if the land - owner who own's on both side's of the river bank they own the river bottom also ,and there is no high water mark at all .Not sure if this helped or not ? Fish-Head
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Old 01-24-2002, 10:44 PM
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pmflyfisher pmflyfisher is offline
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Wow I am glad I don't have to deal with those rules here in the
Midwest.

Would be in jail for sure out there with out a personal Oregonian guide, just to show me where you can and cannot fish, let alone how to fish for them.

Cannot even anchor, never heard of that on a river
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Old 01-25-2002, 01:22 AM
roballen roballen is offline
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fish-head

My only problem is that Oregons laws are wrong. the only law that it truly applicable is the federal laws based on the doctrine of equal footing. The problem is thatOregon and other states have misdefined what constitutes a river that is navagable for title purpose. All rivers that are navagable for title purpose are lands that were given to the states for the express reason to be held in trust for public use. State laws are irrelevant and in the case of Oregon Violate the public trust .

The only legal way to know if a river is navagable for title purpose is the federal test of navagability which states. That any river that CAN act as a highway for commerce by traditional modes of transportation on the water is a navagable river.
The river does not have to be used that way it's only important that the river can be used that way. There are very few rivers that cannot be used in such ways. Many rivers are used that way on a daily basis yes public access below the normal high water mark is not allowed. This is a serious violation of federal law and needs to be addressed seriously.
The public is being kept from their public lands and landowners are paying undue property taxes for lands they do not own.
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Old 01-25-2002, 04:14 AM
fredaevans fredaevans is offline
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"Applgate ownership."

"Fish-head" what you've described is/was my case #2 of ownership/title to the tread of the stream. In the case of the Applegate this would indicate that it is not classified as a 'navigable' stream by the US Gov. And you're right Andy, legally you can float the water but not anchor as this would be considered 'tresspassing.'
fe
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Old 01-25-2002, 07:38 PM
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pmflyfisher pmflyfisher is offline
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I agree 100% with Roballen

Fred before I enter Oregon waters I will need a complete debriefing of this subject matter.

Whats going on in Oregon anyway ?
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Old 01-26-2002, 06:21 AM
fredaevans fredaevans is offline
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Golly, that'll teach me to raise my hand in class ..

Rob, do you know which Gov. Agency would have info on which rivers are classified as 'nav?' You bring up an interesting point and I'd like to pursue it.
Fred

PS: it could be (perverse maybe) fun to throw a handgranade into the local chicken coop.

Last edited by fredaevans; 01-26-2002 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 01-26-2002, 06:36 AM
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pmflyfisher pmflyfisher is offline
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Fred, yes please get that resolved legally before I set foot in Oregon waters.

I don't think I can retrain my self from 40 years of experience walking the rivers of the eastern and midwest states with their rules which follow the federal rule, described above.

I should have known with Oregon bordering California you may have radically different state laws then the rest of us.

Is that why there is no NFL, MLB, or NHL teams there ?

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Old 01-26-2002, 07:15 AM
fredaevans fredaevans is offline
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Oh "Hush!" Hal .. reason we don't have professional

sports teams (NFL,MLB, etc) is we'd prefer our bond money's be directed towards improving our school systems, etc., than providing a new stadium for a team that may not be there in a couple of years. Never could figure out why a community would put millions and millions of its credit on the line to build something for team owner ... who could pull the plug on them at any time.


Oar-E-Gons a pretty conservative group of folks, gets worse as you move south and east away from Portland. Medford here is the largest city in the southern half of the state. With that in mind had a fun conversation with someone in Seattle and pointed out that the total population of Medford could sit in Seattle's football stadium. But that's why 'combat fishing' is an extreamly rare situation down here. You want a mile of river pretty much to yourself, don't want to drive more than 30 minutes. Piece of cake, and that's a fact.

Schools are rated some of the best in the State (report out on that yesterday), crime level is minimal, People slow down and let you into traffic, we waive at a Cop driving by, many of us actually know the name of the mailman. But you pay the price in the wage levels for most positions.

But this also explains why so many Californians sell out when they retire and move north to our area. It's interesting to see where ("statisticly") we're (based on income levels) considered to be one of the 'poorer' counties. Based upon actual wealth, we're rated as one of the highest. Lots of retired folk on Soc. Sec.

So endeth the lesson on Southern Oregon.
fe
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Old 01-26-2002, 08:30 AM
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pmflyfisher pmflyfisher is offline
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Fred, okay I promise never to bring that up a again. But if you had more professional sports teams it would divert people from the outdoor resources available, and you could possibly have even more rivers to fish in peace. We are really all envious. Don't worry I won't tell anyone, but it appears the californians already know about it. Oh california, will be there in three weeks for four days of my normal LA business meeting death march. Interesting I have travelled all over europe and north america on business, when I go to california it is always LA.
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Old 01-26-2002, 09:33 AM
Moonlight Moonlight is offline
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Court fights over Navigable Rivers have been going on for at least 100 years in Washington and are still being argued on numerous cases. I don't have alot of specifics as others posting on the issue but I do know from earlier study that Shake Bolts were cited as having been floated down a particular river and that was adressed by the court as being enough to call it navigable for commerece.
An Old Timer used to talk about "the famous battle of the Quillayute" and that was a case about navigabity on the Q. at the confluence back in the 1950's a land owner posted no tresspassing and many took offense. I am not certain but this may have been the shake bolt case. At the time no boats were being used for fishing other than Native Dugout canoes.
There is no single rule as far as I know that sets a criteria and lawyers can stay busy for years working out agreements on a single river. Personally I just pick a repectful time of day and go visit the land owner and ask for permission to tresspass and help him keep vandals and litter bugs at bay as often as I am around his digs. Most after meeting you will relent and grant you permission. If its really a good spot you might consider a small gift (BRIBE) of wine or always a hatchery fish.
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