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Funny thing happened on the Trask recently. Seems a property owner had three people arrested for trespassing on "his river bottom." A close examination of his deed demonstrated the ignorance of most riverside land owner when it comes to the public's right to use Oregon's rivers up to the hight water mark

The deed clearly stated that the man only owned up to the river, not the riverbed itself. Furthermore, the deed spelled out in detail that the public had the right to use the bed and banks of the Trask River for commerce, transportation and angling.

Here is another shinning example.

An enlightened group of property owners on the North Santiam built a cement fishing platform over the river. They now regularly harass boaters drifting the river. I was told they even go so far as to spit wads of tobacco down on those in boats below if they dare stop to fish the pool below the platform. A pool that according to Oregon Law is a public waterway. A pool that according to Federal Law belongs to all Oregonians.

In an earlier post, Jerry Dove suggested that teaching sportsmanship and courtesy would go along way to alleviate our problems on our rivers. I agree, teaching sportsmanship and courtesy to landowners certainly will go a long way toward improving the situation. So will educating landowners, attorneys, and law enforcement officers regarding the law and our right to use our watereways. But until that happens, I believe we darn well better fight for our rights.

I have to ask, is anyone really so naive as to believe that a little sportsman etiquette will solve this? Most of the problems we see now are coming from people moving into the area, not with the old time residents that knew the law regarding these rivers.

The property owner's ignorance, I believe stems from an overzealous and somewhat greedy real estate industry that advertises stream front property using words like "seclude," "private," and "exclusive" which by law just ain't true on Oregon's waterways.

In fact, like the deed on the Trask, many deeds for property along Oegon's waterways have exclusitory language in them regarding the secure ownership of stream beds up to the high water mark. Moreover, most if not all Title insurance policies that cover property facing any stream of consequence within Oregon have an exception spelled out, an exception that title to the Stream Bed up to the High Water Mark is not covered by the policy. The Title Insurance Companies know the law. So why is it the property owners don't? Could it be that someone failed to make a full disclosure when they bought the land? Or were they just plain lied to by the realtor handling the transaction?

The Navigability Study on the John Day is a critical component in the overall plan to educate the public. Please see the thread "Urgent Action Required Regarding Your River Rights."

Scruffy

[ 10-09-2003, 07:13 AM: Message edited by: Scruffy Bearded Varmint ]
 

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:bowdown:

Thank you so much for what you have done and continue to do.

You deserve a medal.
 

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Contacts made again this morning.

Will make phone calls at 9am.

Thank you!!!!

TR
 

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So the question still remains. :shrug: Were the fishermen fined for trespassing in the riverbed? Is the whole Trask River fair game for anglers up to the high water mark? Or will we be fined for fishing in front of someone's property? :whazzup:
 

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Every time I pass that sign on the Trask,I want to pull over and tear that thing down. Thanks for all your selfless work SBV.

[ 10-09-2003, 01:20 PM: Message edited by: freespool ]
 

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This gets discussed in depth and detail several times a year here.
My understanding is that although State law says that the public has rights to all navigable rivers up to the high water mark, the numbers of rivers that have been tested in court and actually designated as navigable is very small (like a dozen or less?).
If you do a search you will find reams of info on this. Some of the info was very good, right out of the books.

:cheers:

Meant to post this here, somehow got it on the other river-action thread. :shrug:
 

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Pesonally I have never had a problem or an encounter and would avoid any kind
of situation that might find me in the middle of this issue. I am just worried some day I will end up in the middle of a creek some day and find myself on the receiving
end of some land owners hostilities. There are places in Eastern Oregon where the
land owner asserts ownership of a stream that I fish but the BLM land managers
in that area tell me the river bed is BLM property. And I know for a fact that there
is BLM land posted in Eastern Oregon. What a bunch of B.S. I am always on the search for hidden creeks and fishing pockets that don't get fished or people don't
know about. It is hard to determine Private from Public at times.
 
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Originally posted by freespool:
Every time I pass that sign on the Trask,I want to pull over and tear that thing down. Thanks for all your selfless work SBV.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Me too. What a clown. Mr. Reno Casino ***.

Put up with it for years. :shrug:

One night he drives up to the bank in his Mercedes with the brights on. He yells down at my buddy tied up across the river. "You can't tie to that tree and I am coming in to fish my private hole anyway, so you better move out now."

Rather than deal with it for the moment, he moved across the river next to me. Sure enough, here he comes in his 24 foot Jet, with six clueless people in the boat. At fishing time, they all 7 proceed to snag up about 15 times, with bobbers no less, lose all their stuff and end up fishing (read attempting to fish) for about an hour.

He get's P.O.ed, starts up his 700HP jet, unties, proceeds downriver and about halfway to the end of the hole, he goes full throttle at low slack. :rolleyes:

As he hits the bottom of the hole (for you that know there is a HUGE snag, tree, wood, etc.) he high centers the boat and comes to a deafening, metal wrenching, complete stop, with passengers flying all around and almost out of the boat! No one even attempts to help him.

Result? Standing ovation from about 20 boats in the hole! :laugh:

His "dock" covering the entire side of the river and his "pay bank fishing" in a hole that would not support it, never came to fruition either. His tackle store was quite the venture as well. :grin:

NOT!

My thanks as well for all hard work to keep our rivers open to the public!
Please do respect personal property and the environment.

This particular hole has virtually no cover anymore because of lot's of abuse, the floods, etc. It's not what it used to be, but at least we can still fish it.

Notice he can't even spell "trespassing" if you look close. :wink:

Rick

[ 10-09-2003, 02:19 PM: Message edited by: ****** ]
 

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Abalone said - "And I know for a fact that there
is BLM land posted in Eastern Oregon."

Heck, in the past there's been COUNTY ROADS posted (just north of Big Muddy Ranch). When I confronted the OSP officer who was checking my hunting license about the public road being gated and posted, he shrugged and said it was a 'political thing'.

Gotta stand up for your rights!
 

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The Oregon State Marine Board issues a booklet of information about guide licenses and rivers needed to have a coast guard license to operate a guided vessel.The pamphlet lists the waters that are navigable by the oregon state marine board. They include......
Alsea bay & river to rm 13
Bear creek(coos county
Beaver slough
Big creek (lane Co)
Blind slough (including Gnat cr.)
Bonneville chanenel
Bradbury slough
Burnside channel
Calandar slough
Canal creek (mouth to bridge to rm .06)
Catching slough (mouth to rm 6)
Cathalamet bay
Chetco cove
Chetco river
Clatskanie river
Clifton channel
Coalbank slough
Coos river & south fork
Cooston channel
Coquille river & north fork
Dean creek
Depoe bay
Duncan slough
Eslick creek
Gardiner channel
Goble channel
Government island channel
Haynes slough
Hood river
Hudson slough
Isthumus slough
Joe ney slough
John day river (Astoria)
John day river (The Dalles)Kentucky slough
Kilches river
Lewis & Clark

okay i'm getting tired.... so ill list the important ones out of about 100 river / sloughs

McKinzie
Mollala
Necanicum
Nehalem north & south
Nestucca
Rogue
Santiam
Siletz
Siuslaw
Smith
Snake
TRASK RIVER
Tualatin
Umpqua
Willamette
Wilson
Yachats
Yamhill
Yaquina
Youngs

As you can see most any river that you can fish from a boat or not are navigable waters according to the State Marine Board.

Navigability is defined as ....any body of water in which commerce or trade has taken place. So if you guided a drift boat trip of clients on the Necanicum river, this meets the qualifications for navigability. And rightfully so it is on the list.

hope this helps...
 

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Somewhere in my fishing files I have a letter from I think either DSL or OSP that I got from Art Israilson (sp) of the NW Steelheaders that specifically talks about this hole on the trask and that the property owner is overstepping his rights. I'll look for it, scan it and post it for all to have. In the mean time you can probably get a copy by calling the state association office and talking to Sharon or Art. I'll get two copies for ****** and he can post a laminated copy on a tree branch up there :dance: :bowdown:
 

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Originally posted by fishbait:
I'll get two copies for ****** and he can post a laminated copy on a tree branch up there :dance: :bowdown:
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">:grin: :grin:


Can I watch? :cheers:
 

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My understanding is that for each river they deem navigable it is only up to a certain point. Like for the Sandy it is something like the last 33 miles which ends somewhere up around where the Salmon dumps in.

I specifically remember that for the Trask it is only up so far so you might want to check.
 

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Fishing out of a boat is one thing. I believe the problem arrises when you step out of the boat.
How do ranchers get away with stringing Barbwire acrossed streams ? That could be hard on your
scalp .
 

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Unfortunately for us the legislature has given the power of determining the "navigability" of stream to the Department of State Lands and not the Marine Board. The Marine Board list is far more accurate.

From fisheromen
My understanding is that for each river they deem navigable it is only up to a certain point. Like for the Sandy it is something like the last 33 miles which ends somewhere up around where the Salmon dumps in.

I specifically remember that for the Trask it is only up so far so you might want to check.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Regarding the Sandy study and the "determination of navigability". While the study on the Sandy only determined the last 33 miles as navigable. This does not mean that the public does not have the right to use the beds and banks up to the mean high water mark. It simply means that the Department of State Lands only determined that this section is "navigable".
The beds and banks were deeded to the public of all navigable streams at the time of statehood. It cannot be sold or given away by the state. Moreover, the lack of a study for navigability or lack of a ruling by a court does not mean that a stream is not navigable or that the public does not have the right to use the beds and banks. The test comes down to the use of the stream in the past by boats and other uses and the ability to pass a craft down a stream at any time of the year.

From Miss B Haven
My understanding is that although State law says that the public has rights to all navigable rivers up to the high water mark, the numbers of rivers that have been tested in court and actually designated as navigable is very small (like a dozen or less?).
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">The problem in taking a view like this is that we have to wait for a court or the DSL to designate navigability and that land owners on rivers that haven't been determined as navigable are right in throwing people off of them. We don't and they don't . Many more streams are navigable by fact and thus navigable by law. The problem exists in that the legislature set up these crazy rules for the DSL to have to determine navigability on streams where conflicts exist.
We need to challenge this law that uses the studies and force the legislature to accept federal law by bringing all navigable streams into state ownership. The law is the law and Oregon is chosing to live outside of it. Until we have a Montana type law for public access to streams and river banks we will continue to have conflicts.

Thank you for all you do Scruffy Bearded Varmint


Eric
 

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This has been beat to death. I don't want to get into it yet again. However, the legal standard for determining navigability for title purposes and the current status of navigability on Oregon's rivers continues to be misstated.

The State of Oregon does not currently assert title to either the Kilches or Wilson rivers--both listed in the post above. They may both in fact be navigable for title purposes, but they have never been formally recognized as such. And it's that formal recognition that counts. The following is from a post on this issue as applied to the Necanicum back in 2001.

“The federal test of navigability for purposes of title is just what its name implies: it's a federally created standard which determines who holds title to the bottom and banks of a particular waterway. Although necessarily more complicated in application, it essentially asks whether a waterway was in fact capable, or "susceptible," of use in commerce, as that term was defined at the time of statehood. While it's not as simple as a showing of floatage, it's also not so strict as to require a heavy commercial use. Currently, there are ten rivers and streams, or more accurately sections of ten rivers and streams, that have been formally determined navigable for purposes of title here in Oregon. The Necanicum is not one of them.
On the sections of the ten waterways determined navigable for purposes of title, the public enjoys a right of access to the normal high water mark. That right includes virtually any conceivable recreational use, but necessarily includes the right to float, wade, and fish. But remember, there are only ten waterways that currently fall into this category.
Fortunately for those of us who fish or otherwise enjoy the recreational opportunities of Oregon's free-flowing waterways, the fact that a river or stream may not be navigable for purposes of title, or perhaps more appropriately simply hasn't been formally declared navigable, does not mean that the public enjoys no right of access. Oregon law also recognizes floatage easements which permit the public to float on rivers and streams where the state does not necessarily hold title to the bottom and banks. The Necanicum would currently fall into this latter group. On these waterways, the public is free to float--and fish from floating devices--even if their right to otherwise recreate remains in question.”

The link below is to an article of the same vintage that sums up the law pretty nicely.
AmericanWhitewater
 

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Excellent post, and excellent work!!

Was hoping to e-mail you directly with some questions and information, you don't have your e-mail link active? If you'd like, e-mail or PM me, and I'll answer back.

thanks

TR
 

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"You do not have the right to cross private property to get to the water. You do not have the right to trash the riverbanks. And you do not have the right to harass livestock, litter, vandalize, poop, pee, build fires, camp, or break down fences on private property, do you? The, "I've got mine, screw you," attitude is not just limited to landowners. I've met a heck of a lot of fishermen that by their actions, appear to have the same attitude.

Want to loose your right to use you waterways for recreation? Just keep trashing the stream banks. Go ahead and toss your beer cans in the bushes or in the water. Drop your drawers and dump any darn place you feel like it. Cut out your bird's nest and leave the tangled mess at your feet. Just remember every time you do, you destroy your credibility and strengthen the landowner's case against you, and against the rest of us, too.

Or do like some, carry a trash bag. Before you leave, pick up someone else's bait box, beer can, or bobber packet. Take the time to roll up that monofilament, retrieve that piece of lead, and put that cigarette butt in your pocket. Every time you do, your case becomes stronger and the landowner has one less thing to complain about."


Scruffy - well said.

 
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