Lake access question?

Discussion in 'Questions about MI Hunting/Fishing Law' started by sgc, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. sgc

    sgc

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    While on vacation, I was exploring little lakes to take my canoe on. I came across a lake that had a little creek that went from the dirt road to this secluded lake about 100 yards away. The creek was really only about as wide as my canoe. It was almost more like a flooding except this is a watershed area with creeks all connecting lakes. The problem is, there's a sign right at the road where I would put the canoe in that says private property, tresspassers will be prosecuted. The guy planted it in the creek where a person would put their boat in. It might take some poling to get through the thicker vegetation to get out to the lake. I checked property ownership for this area on -line and it looks like one person owns this section, but not the whole lake (there are other owners with property on the lake). So, is it legal for me to cross his property if I stay in this wet area?
     
  2. Rumischno

    Rumischno

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    I would think that this would go back to the old “is it a navigable stream” question as to if you can put your canoe in there at that stream. That question is a never ending debate though!!!
     

  3. sgc

    sgc

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    I would say you can't float a large log on this creek to the lake; its not large enough. There are probably spots where you'd have to get out and pull the canoe.
     
  4. Trout King

    Trout King

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    This include seasonal water fluctuations. If it would float a log in the spring thaw, it would be considered navigable.
     
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  5. BumpRacerX

    BumpRacerX

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    or lakes, case law has determined that a lake is only navigable if it has both a navigable inlet watercourse and a navigable outlet watercourse (a "dead end" lake, with only an outlet, is not navigable).

    From your link, if I'm reading this right the lake would need both a way in a separate way out. If there's only one way in/out it doesn't count?
     
  6. toto

    toto

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    That chart concerns navigable waters as pertain to crops of engineers. They concern themselves with commercial waters only. Just because they say a particular stretch of water doesn't preclude water above that as navigable. Case in point Kalamazoo River. Without looking it up I believe the corps says its navigable from Allegan Dam to Lk Michigan, but it is definitely navigable above that.

    While I realize that Michigan has an compiled law (MCL) that's states that if it isn't on a navigable list, it's considered non-navigable until proven otherwise, but from an opinion from someone I know who practices this stuff, it ( MCL) probably wouldn't hold up in court due to federal law. I'm not one to press it, but I would if needed. Now let's hear it from two members who don't post here otherwise.
     
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