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Discussion in 'Gear Restrictions and Trout Fishing Regs' started by jjlrrw, Nov 13, 2017.
Is it legal to wad/walk in/down a river where both sides are private property?
Yes with 2 caneats: 1) did you enter the water from a legal point? In other words not from private property, and 2) the water MUST not have been deemed navigable which has been discussed as infinitum on here. I suggest you read the sticky up top of this page, it's a good source of info.
Stream must be deemed "navigable" as stated in fishing guide. Contact DNR office for specifics on a particular stream. There is no statute or ruling that states a stream without a ruling (Court, Army Corp Eng., etc.) is navigable by default. In fact, U.S. Compiled law states otherwise for all non-tidal streams (those not connected directly to an ocean).
Love it. Two answers that conflict each other. Navigable or Not navigable??? This is why you reference the fishing guide and legal documents for license and regulations questions.
If the stream is stocked I would wade it. The DNR has a strong monetary interest in stocked streams being public and is likely to take the case to court or stop stocking the stream.
And here we go again with your BS the reality is, if it's neither it's deemed as open. The only way it gets changed is in Michigan Supreme court. Just because you want it to be so doesn't make it so. Let me ask you YZ the little stream that you are obviously TRYING to protect, has it ever been planted with fish? Did it ever float logs in the old days? Has it EVER been stocked by the DNT? If the answer to any of those is Yes, you will never get your little stream adjudicated as non nav. Btw show this compiled law you speak of and I'll raise you another document that says differently.
I didn't see the sticky but thanks for the info!
At the top of the
North West Michigan Streams and Rivers section
there is a sticky entitled
Navigability and Tresspass on Streams in Michigan
I waded up a creek that dumped into the river I was fishing. Clearly private on both sides. I was dry fly fishing and discovered the creek was full of brook trout. So I fished all day slowly working up the stream that was only 5’ across max. Staying in the water, figuring probably wasn’t a big deal. Ended in the back of a cop car waiting for my wife to pick me up lol. Didn’t end up with a ticket and got a good laugh but you should always be careful to know the laws. In my case the land owner was sure I was illegal as I’m sure I probably was. But, the officer and the people he called never were 100% sure. I now still go back I just make sure I don’t go far enough to cross the guys property line (officers recommendations lol) and I haven’t had a problem sense.
Thats my story on the topic and that’s about how far my knowledges goes. I don’t care, I’m fishing until I can’t. Like I told the officer that evening. Officer said “are you aware your trespassing on private property” I said smiling ear to ear “not entirely sure but man I’m having a blast” he laughed, I smiled. We made friends.
I say fish away, if your confronted just smile and be polite. You’ll be fine lol.
This topic never gets old.... Well, actually it does get pretty old, but anyway....
There is a ton of "information" out there on this. The thing is, there does not seem to be anything that you can 100% hang your hat on. Heck, I've asked several CO's over the years, and I swear every answer was different. I've called their offices, got different answers.... I guess my point here is that if the ones enforcing the laws don't all have the same answer, that means there really is no 100% reliable answer.
So, this is my rule, after hours, if not several days, of reading about this. If I have an access point that is not trespassing, and it is NOT deemed non-navigable, then I am fishing it. For what it's worth, I believe there are 3, yes only 3, streams in Michigan that are specifically labeled "non-navigable," and I think those determinations were made in the late 1800's. Bottom line, this issue is about as grey as you can get......
Was the property line posted?
So you followed the feeder creek from its mouth at the larger river, correct?
I do this all the time on a local stream. I asked my CO and he informed me that if I enter the creek via the bigger river I am fine.