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#10970601 - 07/11/15 04:04 PM Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks
texasfisherman1 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 223
Loc: Midlothian,TX
There is a creek I fish in Ovilla,Tx. We always enter the creek at a public access point and then stay in the water. But, there is always these homeowners who claim we are trespassing when we are behind there house, although we are in the water. I think they have a deed in which they own part of the creek bed, but it was my understanding that the public still has the right to use the creek. Could anyone tell me if this is true? I am just getting tired of being bothered by these people and want to know if I actually am legally there. Thanks.

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#10970679 - 07/11/15 05:11 PM Re: Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks [Re: texasfisherman1]
blooper961 Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 6014
I thought the water was public domain as long as you stayed on the water

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#10970743 - 07/11/15 05:52 PM Re: Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks [Re: texasfisherman1]
timbertoes Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/07/09
Posts: 1332
Loc: Van Alstyne
that is what the game wardens do... answer these questions to the letter. Beats telling the landowner "my friends on the internet said it was ok"

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#10970760 - 07/11/15 06:04 PM Re: Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks [Re: texasfisherman1]
JRR Offline
Angler

Registered: 02/24/04
Posts: 454
Loc: Collinsville, Tx,
That's one of those "navigable" situations. Creek runs through my property, runs good when raining but not navigable, actually have fenced water "gates" at each end for livestock. Public road/bridge cross the creek for "access" but I would go with trespassing if in creek on my place and would let game warden/sheriff sort it out if anyone in it, no reason as it doesn't hold fish and dry in lots of places at times. Easy call to game warden would solve it for you, can't believe none of the owners have called if they truly believed it belongs to them.

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#10970837 - 07/11/15 06:57 PM Re: Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks [Re: texasfisherman1]
Primo Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 10
Loc: Waxahachie
Don't think red oak creek is navigable in this area. Game warden will probably side with land owners. I lived on shawnee rd just east of you. I fished the creek there for many years with no problems, but was always quiet about it.

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#10982426 - 07/17/15 12:04 AM Re: Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks [Re: texasfisherman1]
Duckcreek Davy Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 05/12/03
Posts: 8640
Loc: Wylie, TX. USA
Here's all you need to know about it. http://www.nationalrivers.org/
_________________________
Dave Morris



"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." --Thomas Jefferson,

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#10985648 - 07/18/15 05:33 PM Re: Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks [Re: Duckcreek Davy]
texasfisherman1 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 223
Loc: Midlothian,TX
Thanks

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#10987701 - 07/19/15 09:03 PM Re: Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks [Re: texasfisherman1]
hook-line&sinker Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 8985
Loc: Bryan, Texas
Basically if you can't float a boat in it nearly all of the time year after year than it is not navigable and subject to private property rules. Texas has some screwy rules governing land & water that are different depending on what part of the state you are in.. Flood plains are a whole different matter (think duck season).
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#10989071 - 07/20/15 02:31 PM Re: Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks [Re: hook-line&sinker]
texasfisherman1 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 223
Loc: Midlothian,TX
The game warden told me this specific creek (red oak creek) was state owned and so I could be in it. He also said that a few property owners have really old deeds in which they own the property up to the middle of the creek, but I read that it doesn't matter if there deed includes the creek, the public could still use it. I also read that to be considered navigable in fact, the creek has to remain an average width of 30 ft. As far as my research goes, I don't think a creek has to be able to float a boat in order to be considered navigable. Also, the link the user gave me above, states the navigable laws are federal laws, therefore, consideration of being navigable is the same all over the United States.

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#10989074 - 07/20/15 02:35 PM Re: Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks [Re: hook-line&sinker]
texasfisherman1 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 223
Loc: Midlothian,TX
Also, the law does not differentiate there being water in the creek. If the creek is considered navigable, the public can still use the creek bed even if it is dry.

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#10989948 - 07/20/15 09:42 PM Re: Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks [Re: texasfisherman1]
Duckcreek Davy Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 05/12/03
Posts: 8640
Loc: Wylie, TX. USA
If you can float a kayak down it during the wet part of the year in it's ordinary natural state, it is navigable. Even if it is dry during the summer. The land along it is public land up to the ordinary high water mark. The width of the stream has no bearing on it's navigability and any state or local laws regarding such have been found illegal many times by the Supreme and lower federal courts. The public has the right to portage their craft on the dry bank up to the ordinary high water mark. They also have the right to use this part of the riverbed for other non-destructive recreational uses such as fishing. Laws on the books that conflict with these statutes exist only because they have never been challenged in court.
_________________________
Dave Morris



"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." --Thomas Jefferson,

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#10994583 - 07/22/15 08:03 PM Re: Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks [Re: texasfisherman1]
gotta fish Offline
Angler

Registered: 12/01/11
Posts: 267
Unless it is a private pond or other impoundment it is public water. You can't get out of boat or Kayak on to land. If you really want to get the law on it call TCEQ in Dallas or Austin.

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#10998007 - 07/24/15 09:29 AM Re: Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks [Re: texasfisherman1]
Fishbreeder Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 1269
Loc: Brazoria County, Texas
When prospecting for gold in Texas creeks and rivers, we go by, "Nothing in that creek worth getting shot over," even if we are in the right by staying within the mean high water marks of a navigable stream.

The warden doesn't always know either, and may side with the local land owner just because. Which is good when its my place, not so good when I'm elsewhere....

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#10998623 - 07/24/15 02:31 PM Re: Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks [Re: Fishbreeder]
texasfisherman1 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 223
Loc: Midlothian,TX
When I talked to the game warden, he told me red oak creek is state owned, so I know he would side with me on that. Though, he said there was like 1% of the creek in which the property owner's deeds included half of the creek. Some of that 1% just so happens to be where I am fishing. I assume when he said that, he meant I was not allowed to fish there. But, from numerous resources including TPWD, it says that what the deed says about the creek is irrelevant. So I have a fear that the GW would side with land owner about that particular subject, even though the law says I could be there.

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#10998667 - 07/24/15 02:42 PM Re: Question about the Public's right to fish in creeks [Re: texasfisherman1]
Duckcreek Davy Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 05/12/03
Posts: 8640
Loc: Wylie, TX. USA
He probably would. So next time you see him you might choose to discuss the Federal Mandates that negate that part of the supposed deed. The federal law is the law of the land. Of course be friendly and civil when discussing this with any landowner or LEO. Most people are not aware of the laws, including many LEOs I'm sure.
_________________________
Dave Morris



"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." --Thomas Jefferson,

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