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#10900457 - 06/06/15 10:33 PM Private property vs. public lake question
iasc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/03/09
Posts: 29
I was fishing at Grapevine this past week. I was fishing flooded areas and happened to be fishing around the Gaylord. The security gaurd came over and told me I had to leave, because I was on private property. I was nice about it and just fished around and on out. My understanding is a flooded lake is public, and your not on private property as long as your in a boat even if the property under your boat is private property. Can anyone clear this up for me please?

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#10900467 - 06/06/15 10:44 PM Re: Private property vs. public lake question [Re: iasc]
grout-scout Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 5414
Loc: Boerne, Texas
Not sure, we have a public lake near us and some how a landowner managed to put a deer proof fence across a fishable creek cove. TPWD game warden said it was legal but nobody can figure out how it is legal.


Edited by grout-scout (06/06/15 10:44 PM)
Edit Reason: I hate autocorrect

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#10900487 - 06/06/15 11:02 PM Re: Private property vs. public lake question [Re: iasc]
Bobby Milam Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/13/14
Posts: 1989
Loc: Arlington
That is my understanding also. But, you could contact the Corps of engineers as it is a COE lake and they have federal laws about it. I know that they have an elevation contour they go by and that there is an easement for public access around it. The city that I worked for before had an ordinance that made a certain distance around the water a city park and while the homeowners didn't like it, you could beach your boat and have a picnic in their back yard.

I think that unless it is posted by the Gov't., you can fish it all that you want. Just tell him you aren't on his property, it is 10 feet below you

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#10900616 - 06/07/15 06:27 AM Re: Private property vs. public lake question [Re: iasc]
Brad R Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 791
Loc: Texas
You handled it correctly, I think, just moving along and avoiding a conflict.

If you were going to challenge the right to be there, I'd carry the code from TPWD with you on your boat, the phone number in your cell phone of the local game warden and offer to make a call to resolve the dispute. Most guards would likely back off at that point and they rarely have immediate access to the owners of commercial properties, and if they did the owners wouldn't likely know what to do anyway.

Public waters, with several interesting and often conflicting laws applying themselves, deeded land in some cases to the river bed, all sorts of poorly worded case law . . . it keeps the whole thing relatively up in the air.

Here, though, is the essence of it, I think:



On the other hand, say someone's lakefront home is now half under water. Would someone in a boat feel it is right to fish the perimeter of the home? Likely not though I guess it would technically be legal.

No to fences that in anyway obstruct access to or the navigation of public waters. They are not allowed as best I understand under any circumstances.


Brad

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#10900713 - 06/07/15 08:24 AM Re: Private property vs. public lake question [Re: iasc]
BrianTx01 Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 04/13/09
Posts: 5735
Loc: Fort Worth
On COE lakes the all land to the top of the spillway elevation is on public....it may even be a little higher than that.
_________________________


Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 2001
Proud UNT Alumni

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#10900730 - 06/07/15 08:38 AM Re: Private property vs. public lake question [Re: iasc]
Jimbo Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 15248
Loc: South Texas
_________________________
Just one more cast!


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#10900734 - 06/07/15 08:40 AM Re: Private property vs. public lake question [Re: grout-scout]
361V Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/21/08
Posts: 4029
Loc: somervell county
Originally Posted By: grout-scout
Not sure, we have a public lake near us and some how a landowner managed to put a deer proof fence across a fishable creek cove. TPWD game warden said it was legal but nobody can figure out how it is legal.
The state law address NAVAGABLE waters not FISHABLE waters. This topic arises continuously as people fence in and/or think people are trespassing on rivers that go through their private property. The Pecos and Devils Rivers are two that this debate never ends. State law allows public access to the "stream bed" on all navigable rivers in the state. Unfortunately people choose to define the specifics of this law differently and to fit whichever side they are taking.
_________________________

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#10900902 - 06/07/15 10:35 AM Re: Private property vs. public lake question [Re: iasc]
Topwater2 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 655
There is a fence in Medina lake that goes across a cove. The owner was told the fence is illegal, many letters were written to TPW and to this day, the fence still stands. This fight to get it removed started some 15 to 20 years ago.
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FishKen

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#10900982 - 06/07/15 11:43 AM Re: Private property vs. public lake question [Re: iasc]
Bobby Milam Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/13/14
Posts: 1989
Loc: Arlington
Don't mess with TPW, contact the corps of engineers regulatory office. They would have to have a permit from them and there are fines for violating it. It is a Federal issue

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#10901043 - 06/07/15 12:26 PM Re: Private property vs. public lake question [Re: iasc]
ChuChu1 Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 2758
Loc: Gonzales, Tx
COE has an easement that is equal to the flood elevation at the upper end of the lake.
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#10901050 - 06/07/15 12:29 PM Re: Private property vs. public lake question [Re: Topwater2]
ChuChu1 Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 2758
Loc: Gonzales, Tx
Originally Posted By: FishKen
There is a fence in Medina lake that goes across a cove. The owner was told the fence is illegal, many letters were written to TPW and to this day, the fence still stands. This fight to get it removed started some 15 to 20 years ago.


Who owns the lake? TP&W is not the owner and doesn't have authority to remove any structure other than hazard to navigation. Go to the owner. SAWS maybe?
_________________________
California. Well it's like breakfast cereal. You get rid of the fruits and nuts and all that's left are the flakes. Thank goodness there's a place called Texas.

Member:
Stephen F Austin's Old 300
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Sons of The Republic of Texas

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#10901143 - 06/07/15 01:35 PM Re: Private property vs. public lake question [Re: iasc]
RedRanger Offline
burro desagradable

Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 20237
Loc: Frisco, Texas
Originally Posted By: iasc
I was fishing at Grapevine this past week. I was fishing flooded areas and happened to be fishing around the Gaylord. The security gaurd came over and told me I had to leave, because I was on private property. I was nice about it and just fished around and on out. My understanding is a flooded lake is public, and your not on private property as long as your in a boat even if the property under your boat is private property. Can anyone clear this up for me please?


about 10 years ago a Security Guard at Scott Marina that was telling all people they couldn't fish the marina slips

If it was me I would of just kept on fishing.......
_________________________



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#10901209 - 06/07/15 02:22 PM Re: Private property vs. public lake question [Re: iasc]
Lou r Pitcher Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 10/06/05
Posts: 1675
Private land owners can own the rights up to their legally defined borders, whether permanently or temporarily covered by waters from a reservoir. In the case of COE defined reservoirs, this limit may be typically made fully coincident with the spillway contours, so there should never be a question or conflict. Many lakes though are public waters only to the land at a water level well less than the spillway level......

For example, Gibbons Creek Reservoir (not a COE) is normally a constant level reservoir and has extended creek arms each of which are limited by cables/wire defining where the public waters end and the (Rancher's) private lands/creeks begin. Even in times of unusual high waters where you can float over the cables, the private owned land/waters should not be entered or cast to and fished. The areas are not owned by the reservoir which is solely owned by several cities for use in power generation plant cooling. The entrance permits only allows entering boating/fishing the areas defined by the park's boundaries.
_________________________

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#10901386 - 06/07/15 03:57 PM Re: Private property vs. public lake question [Re: Topwater2]
grout-scout Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 5414
Loc: Boerne, Texas
Originally Posted By: FishKen
There is a fence in Medina lake that goes across a cove. The owner was told the fence is illegal, many letters were written to TPW and to this day, the fence still stands. This fight to get it removed started some 15 to 20 years ago.




That's the one I was referring to; but I was told it was legal.

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#10901523 - 06/07/15 05:06 PM Re: Private property vs. public lake question [Re: iasc]
PondFishin Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 239
Loc: North Dallas
I would have told the security guard he was mistaken and to call a manager down or the police if he wanted to push it, I'm 99% sure you were doing nothing wrong with grapevine being a COE lake..

Did you go in by glass cactus and then continue back through the flooded trees? I was over there yesterday and didn't get bothered.

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