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Posted: 6/9/2019 1:03:30 PM EDT
I just got a kayak, and want to do a lot of fishing.
Several of the creeks I want to go up, lots of people fish by the roads, but the creeks continue up to their source through private property.
Is it legal to take my kayak up these creeks? I remember someone telling me before the .gov owns the creeks and you are good as long as you stay off of the actual land.
I'm in AR, if that matters.
Thanks.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:05:51 PM EDT
[#1]
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:07:51 PM EDT
[#2]
Legal. People can’t own waterways.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:08:10 PM EDT
[#3]
Your state name would be helpful, It's going to vary.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:08:38 PM EDT
[#4]
That is a touchy subject here. Contact a game warden before you do it.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:09:01 PM EDT
[#5]
Not in Texas. I know because half my ranch is on a major creek listed as private and non nagavitable. We have signs and gap stops. I've dealt with this many times over 30 years.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:09:02 PM EDT
[#6]
In NY, as long as you stay in the creek and the land owner does not own both sides you are good to go.

If the land owner owns both side of said creek, you can not anchor or step foot on the creek bed without permission or it is considered trespassing.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:10:05 PM EDT
[#7]
I believe in Arkansas you can but not 100% sure. Missouri you can not unless it’s navigable waters which is a grey area.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:10:11 PM EDT
[#8]
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Quoted:
Legal. People can’t own waterways.
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Came here to post this.

And also, ... just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
Tread lightly, because people do odd things if they perceive themselves to be trespassed against.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:10:12 PM EDT
[#9]
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Quoted:
Your state name would be helpful, It's going to vary.
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It's in the post. And my username
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:12:17 PM EDT
[#10]
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Quoted:
Not in Texas. I know because half my ranch is on a major creek listed as private and non nagavitable. We have signs and gap stops. I've dealt with this many times over 30 years.
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wut. details?
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:12:21 PM EDT
[#11]
Yes, but there have been unfortunate incidents where land owners have taken action against boaters.  Sometimes legal actions, sometimes more direct.

http://www.nationalrivers.org/river-fact-or-fiction.html
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:13:17 PM EDT
[#12]
Most places if you can float the yak there it's public water.

We've had an interesting case here in Virginia...

This is a dispute between the Commonwealth and several individual landowners about the title to certain submerged land, containing oyster grounds, under a tributary of the Rappahannock River. The question is whether royal patents conveyed the creek bottom of Carter's Cove.
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The State argues that the crown had no power to grant the bottoms of navigable waters to private individuals thus interfering with the public right of fishing or oystering. The Commonwealth contends that after royal power was limited by Magna Carta, such grants could be made only with the consent of Parliament, and there is no record of such parliamentary consent in this case.

We disagree with the Commonwealth's contentions. We hold that the King had the power, acting through the royal governors, to grant the bed of Carter's Cove to private persons.
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Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:13:17 PM EDT
[#13]
In Wisconsin as long as you are in/on the water and you legally accessed the water you are good to go-you must stay in the water tho
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:13:32 PM EDT
[#14]
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Quoted:
That is a touchy subject here. Contact a game warden before you do it.
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Probably the best advice. I haven't fished rivers from a boat, but I have floated down rivers on inner tubes in organized tubing events. We were advised to stay in the river and only go on the banks in designated places. Anywhere other than designated stops could result in arrest for trespassing, but as long as we did not step on dry ground we were ok.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:14:01 PM EDT
[#15]
Varies from state to state, not under the athority of the feds.

In La it matters if the waterway is "navigable".
I put that in quotes because it's used as a convoluted legal term, not the common definition.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:14:08 PM EDT
[#16]
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:16:41 PM EDT
[#17]
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Legal. People can’t own waterways.
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That's true in Wisconsin at least.

Go down south to Illinois and you'll be getting the Sheriffs called on you when a rancher who owns five feet of one side of the river and decides the whole town no longer can have fun because it disturbs his wife's view.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:16:45 PM EDT
[#18]
This is one of those questions where you can ask 20 people and get 20 different answers in my experience.  I haven't got a kayak yet, but I was told as long as its flowing its navigable and I'd be fine as long I stay in the kayak.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:17:23 PM EDT
[#19]
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Quoted:
Came here to post this.

And also, ... just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
Tread lightly, because people do odd things if they perceive themselves to be trespassed against.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Legal. People can’t own waterways.
Came here to post this.

And also, ... just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
Tread lightly, because people do odd things if they perceive themselves to be trespassed against.
Be careful giving legal advice, I'm pretty sure that's not true in La and Texas.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:18:21 PM EDT
[#20]
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Quoted:
Legal. People can’t own waterways.
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It used to be as long as they were navigable you could go up them...otherwise private property...
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:18:37 PM EDT
[#21]
Nobody owns navigable waterways. They are public domain.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:19:39 PM EDT
[#22]
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Quoted:

wut. details?
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"wut details" would you like? It's pretty clear. MOST people were poachers who would paddle up. Game wardens took care of them. Other I've called the law and let the sheriff handles. The land is owned, fenced, listed non negavatable and we have it posted and have water gaps to block boats.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:21:58 PM EDT
[#23]
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Quoted:
wut. details?
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Quoted:
Not in Texas. I know because half my ranch is on a major creek listed as private and non nagavitable. We have signs and gap stops. I've dealt with this many times over 30 years.
wut. details?
I don't now about Texas, but he'd lose in court in many places- navigable is a broad and ambiguous term from the 19th century and the courts have often upheld that even if it is only passable with a small boat such as a canoe or kayak it is still technically navigable.  Access to the property on either side varies by state though with some allowing to high water, some not at all (property line is center of riverbed), etc.  Basically it ends up being whatever the court, whichever one you can afford to take it to, rules.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:22:28 PM EDT
[#24]
It depends on your state laws. In Delaware you can’t own water but if you own all the land around the water then you have to trespass to access the land so you own the water.

Tidal creeks are tricky because of the high low tide markers. You need to consult a game warden before you start cruising peoples property or possible properties
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:22:31 PM EDT
[#25]
The water must be deemed navigable and that'll make it public waters. Non-navigable waters are private.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:23:36 PM EDT
[#26]
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:24:18 PM EDT
[#27]
As long as you stay in your craft on a navigable waterway, yes.

There are tons of stretches of rivers and creeks where both banks are private owned between two public access points.

It is frustrating/dangerous when some criminal landowners will do fucked up shit like string barbed wire at neck level across a river, injuring boaters or causing them to bail, then they call the cops saying they touched their land.

It is also frustrating for landowners when asshole boaters trespasser or worse, take a dump on a private bank.

Freedom of navigation, respect for private land, these can both happen in harmony!
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:24:18 PM EDT
[#28]
A kayak is like the bicycle of the sea, it allows you to ignore laws and others at your own discretion.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:24:48 PM EDT
[#29]
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Quoted:
The water must be deemed navigable and that'll make it public waters. Non-navigable waters are private.
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Quoted:
The water must be deemed navigable and that'll make it public waters. Non-navigable waters are private.
According to the link posted above.

Fact: The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that "rivers that are navigable in fact are navigable in law." If a river is physically navigable, it is legally navigable. No court or agency has to designate it as such.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:24:57 PM EDT
[#30]
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:25:50 PM EDT
[#31]
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Quoted:
Nobody owns navigable waterways. They are public domain.
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When I think of a creek the legal definition on navigable doesn't come to mind.
OP needs to be careful of thinking just cause his yak can be paddled up the creek does not mean
the creek fits the legal def of navigable.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:27:35 PM EDT
[#32]
In Michigan the water must be navigable, which usually means it was used for logging and has logs in it from the lumberjack days.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:27:47 PM EDT
[#33]
It's legal here, but some landowners still refuse to concede to it.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:28:28 PM EDT
[#34]
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Quoted:
The water must be deemed navigable and that'll make it public waters. Non-navigable waters are private.
View Quote
This. And I don't even own the creek my neighbor does, we just watch out for each others ranches. Mainly because of poachers. My fence stops at the creek. Where I don't have fence the creek side is large enough I don't need it. It's more for cattle to keep from crossing over. And granted this creek is huge, you could take a speed boat up it at times of the year but it's still non negavatable and the game wardens and sheriffs know and handle it when called.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:29:00 PM EDT
[#35]
I kayak in AR as well. I have heard of a number of people having altercations and being threatened. It is legal to in larger creeks and rivers, but it doesn’t keep people from being assholes. On both sides of the issue. Some kayakers have caused problems by trashing people’s property. In NWA I usually stick with the well known paddling spots though I would like to get on the Frog Bayou and upper Illinois river area sometime as well.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:32:18 PM EDT
[#36]
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Great post. I actually use them for many of my ag needs. They have some great recorded seminars.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:34:24 PM EDT
[#37]
In Utah you're free to travel up to the high water mark.

Not sure in your state but it's a relatively common law
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:34:59 PM EDT
[#38]
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Quoted:
Legal. People can’t own waterways.
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Sorta of correct.  VA has land deeded from English occupation times that makes it trespass if you touch the river bed.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:35:04 PM EDT
[#39]
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Quoted:
It used to be as long as they were navigable you could go up them...otherwise private property...
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Legal. People can’t own waterways.
It used to be as long as they were navigable you could go up them...otherwise private property...
Think that’s how it’s listed in PA
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:35:06 PM EDT
[#40]
Varies by state.
Interesting case in Va, as mentioned above.

Can't go above mean low tide line in MD.
And MD owns the Va side of the Potomac, bitches!
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:36:36 PM EDT
[#41]
IIRC, you can in my state as long as you don't touch ground.  Then you are a fucking trespasser.  We get idiots canoeing through, they think they can walk the sandbars, look for arrowheads, they legally can't.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:43:02 PM EDT
[#42]
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Quoted:
Think that’s how it’s listed in PA
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Legal. People can’t own waterways.
It used to be as long as they were navigable you could go up them...otherwise private property...
Think that’s how it’s listed in PA
This is my understanding as well.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:43:28 PM EDT
[#43]
In MA as long as you did not trespass to get your boat into the water you are fine.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:45:02 PM EDT
[#44]
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Quoted:
Your state name would be helpful, It's going to vary.
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Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:45:51 PM EDT
[#45]
There was an epic thread here a few years back.

It involved some drunk boaters and asshole property owner that shot a guy for talking shit on a sandbar on the Mississippi River in Missouri.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:49:15 PM EDT
[#46]
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Quoted:
IIRC, you can in my state as long as you don't touch ground.  Then you are a fucking trespasser.  We get idiots canoeing through, they think they can walk the sandbars, look for arrowheads, they legally can't.
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I live on a large river and understand this...the headwaters here though, if you are touching bottom while standing in the river you are trespassing (certain deeded properties from long ago).....and there are people here that will chase you down with a bent screw driver
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:49:34 PM EDT
[#47]
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Quoted:
Legal. People can't own waterways.
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Depends on the state. In Wisconsin navigable waters can be accessed by anyone. Navigable means it will float a craft,ie: canoe,kayak,skiff

Each state has their own laws
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:52:20 PM EDT
[#48]
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Quoted:
I don't now about Texas, but he'd lose in court in many places- navigable is a broad and ambiguous term from the 19th century and the courts have often upheld that even if it is only passable with a small boat such as a canoe or kayak it is still technically navigable.  Access to the property on either side varies by state though with some allowing to high water, some not at all (property line is center of riverbed), etc.  Basically it ends up being whatever the court, whichever one you can afford to take it to, rules.
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texas is different.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:54:34 PM EDT
[#49]
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Quoted:
This. And I don't even own the creek my neighbor does, we just watch out for each others ranches. Mainly because of poachers. My fence stops at the creek. Where I don't have fence the creek side is large enough I don't need it. It's more for cattle to keep from crossing over. And granted this creek is huge, you could take a speed boat up it at times of the year but it's still non negavatable and the game wardens and sheriffs know and handle it when called.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
The water must be deemed navigable and that'll make it public waters. Non-navigable waters are private.
This. And I don't even own the creek my neighbor does, we just watch out for each others ranches. Mainly because of poachers. My fence stops at the creek. Where I don't have fence the creek side is large enough I don't need it. It's more for cattle to keep from crossing over. And granted this creek is huge, you could take a speed boat up it at times of the year but it's still non negavatable and the game wardens and sheriffs know and handle it when called.
In Texas a stream is navigable if it is either “navigable in fact” or “navigable by statute.”

Sounds like the game warden and sheriff are fucking retards, or playing some good old boy bullshit.
Link Posted: 6/9/2019 1:57:24 PM EDT
[#50]
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Quoted:
In Texas a stream is navigable if it is either “navigable in fact” or “navigable by statute.”

Sounds like the game warden and sheriff are fucking retards, or playing some good old boy bullshit.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
The water must be deemed navigable and that'll make it public waters. Non-navigable waters are private.
This. And I don't even own the creek my neighbor does, we just watch out for each others ranches. Mainly because of poachers. My fence stops at the creek. Where I don't have fence the creek side is large enough I don't need it. It's more for cattle to keep from crossing over. And granted this creek is huge, you could take a speed boat up it at times of the year but it's still non negavatable and the game wardens and sheriffs know and handle it when called.
In Texas a stream is navigable if it is either “navigable in fact” or “navigable by statute.”

Sounds like the game warden and sheriff are fucking retards, or playing some good old boy bullshit.
Well it is TX so…
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