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#11753387 - 08/01/16 02:36 PM Fence across the creek?
foxracerblade Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/09/13
Posts: 210
Loc: Bell County
Waded up Salado Creek Friday farther than I've ever gone before and came to a 12 foot game fence stretched across the creek and there was no way under it or around it, now it's easily 30 ft wide and "navigable". Is this legal? Not trying to break any laws by trespassing. Thanks
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#11753614 - 08/01/16 04:21 PM Re: Fence across the creek? [Re: foxracerblade]
Lloyd5 Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 305
Loc: Bosque County, Texas
_________________________
Texas State Editor: FishExplorer http://www.fishexplorer.com/tx

http://www.amazon.com/River-Proceeds-Wou...ds=on+the+river

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#11753727 - 08/01/16 05:10 PM Re: Fence across the creek? [Re: foxracerblade]
hook-line&sinker Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 8861
Loc: Bryan, Texas
proceed with great caution.. it is better to assume the small creek is not navigable and you would be entering private property. The high game fence is a good indicator of the kind of investment the land owner will be protecting. My suggestion is to find the land owner and ask for permission to fish or if year-round access is affordable (lease). Often times a land owner appreciates being asked especially if you have something to offer them in exchange..
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#11753858 - 08/01/16 06:39 PM Re: Fence across the creek? [Re: foxracerblade]
winchester44 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 859
Loc: Fort Worth
30 foot width is the general accepted rule. I have been quoted it by several game wardens. If this creek is that wide I don't care what that fence is made of, just wait till the next good 6 inch rain and bye bye fence. It is always recommended to ask though. Broadly speaking a high fence indicates a hunting operation and a desire to keep the game in. They likely won't be open to you coming across the land, opening gates, etc. Cattle ranchers are often much more happy to oblige if you are just asking permission to hop a cattle fence.

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#11753954 - 08/01/16 07:32 PM Re: Fence across the creek? [Re: foxracerblade]
9094 Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 5787
Loc: Albany
Yes it is legal

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#11754125 - 08/01/16 08:30 PM Re: Fence across the creek? [Re: foxracerblade]
karstopo Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 60
Loc: Brazoria County
Sounds like navigable water as defined by Texas Laws based on your description, but it also sounds like the land owner or owners may be ignorant of the law or in defiance of the law. In Texas, you may not fence across a navigable stream as to block navigation, but landowners still do and these cases have been litigated in the past, almost always ruling against the landowner. Some landowners have been downright hostile and aggressive about their "rights" to the stream bed, so proceed with caution. Stay calm and be reasonable and have the game warden on speed dial.

I wish Texas would do a comprehensive list of navigable water. Publish this list and settle this once and for all.

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#11754327 - 08/01/16 10:22 PM Re: Fence across the creek? [Re: foxracerblade]
foxracerblade Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/09/13
Posts: 210
Loc: Bell County
That's what I thought, I would never just go under or over the fence without permission but it just struck me as odd, Salado Creek is very wide in that area and I've seen kayakers in the water from downtown Salado up to a mile upstream, on the other side of the fence there is a dam and a spillway, the water that is backed up is deep and full of lily pads and full of big bass I'm sure.

http://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/nonpw...nnedy_faq.phtml

This was the original publication I read when I first started wading and fly fishing, really I'd probably just rather not mess with it since it's about a 3.5 mile upstream wade anyway. But you know how fisherman are, always wondering if the fish are bigger on the other side haha
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PB Blue 47# Lake Belton
PB Flathead 16# Guadalupe River
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#11755263 - 08/02/16 03:01 PM Re: Fence across the creek? [Re: foxracerblade]
Jimbo Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 15106
Loc: South Texas
Just wait for the next big heavy rains in that area and the fence will be long gone.
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#11755955 - 08/02/16 09:46 PM Re: Fence across the creek? [Re: foxracerblade]
j_hirn2 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 94
Loc: Mansfield, TX
It's legal until someone complains, spends money for an attorney, and gets a judgement against the landowner.

Chances are if it has a 12 ft game fence the owner is going to be able to afford a better lawyer than you and will be willing to spend the bucks to keep it private.

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#11756142 - 08/03/16 06:16 AM Re: Fence across the creek? [Re: j_hirn2]
Lloyd5 Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 305
Loc: Bosque County, Texas
Originally Posted By: j_hirn2
It's legal until someone complains, spends money for an attorney, and gets a judgement against the landowner.

Chances are if it has a 12 ft game fence the owner is going to be able to afford a better lawyer than you and will be willing to spend the bucks to keep it private.



That's the reality answer. You can probably win, if you have enough money and time.
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Texas State Editor: FishExplorer http://www.fishexplorer.com/tx

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#11756900 - 08/03/16 01:58 PM Re: Fence across the creek? [Re: Lloyd5]
Catfish676 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 04/20/14
Posts: 112
Loc: Fort Worth
Originally Posted By: Lloyd5
Originally Posted By: j_hirn2
It's legal until someone complains, spends money for an attorney, and gets a judgement against the landowner.

Chances are if it has a 12 ft game fence the owner is going to be able to afford a better lawyer than you and will be willing to spend the bucks to keep it private.



That's the reality answer. You can probably win, if you have enough money and time.


Agreed.

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#11757665 - 08/03/16 08:52 PM Re: Fence across the creek? [Re: foxracerblade]
lambcotx Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 12/04/10
Posts: 212
The place we are fishing tomorrow on the San Saba River has a fence downriver. It's not private but I guess they have some high dollar deer in there and the river is shallow on their property line. i think it's a scare tactic just like the land owners at the narrows, the signs prolly keep a third of the people out and that's fine by me. That's just more fish that haven't ate a foam grasshopper!

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#11760153 - 08/05/16 10:52 AM Re: Fence across the creek? [Re: foxracerblade]
mickfly Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/23/08
Posts: 1688
Loc: Fairview, TX
In my experience, in Texas and elsewhere, the height of the fence and the stubbornness of the landowner is usually directly proportional to the size of his/her investment and recency of purchase of said property. If you look at most high dollar real estate ads for central Texas and the Hill Country, they almost always feature any water on the property, so the new owners feel they are buying the water along with the land. Few of them are conversant in Texas water law and many have unrealistic assumptions about their "rights" as landowners. Proceed with care!
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Fish Friendly -- Life's too short to do it any other way

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#11763133 - 08/07/16 11:29 AM Re: Fence across the creek? [Re: foxracerblade]
Slow Drifter Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/23/10
Posts: 732
Loc: CenTX
Look up Waco Fly Fishing Club. Iused to be a member. I remember they had a guest speaker one time who was with a legal team that researched blocked water access for legality. I couldn't find the actual legal team, but I'm sure the club has records of it. Good luck.
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#11764443 - 08/08/16 04:35 AM Re: Fence across the creek? [Re: foxracerblade]
Lloyd5 Offline
Angler

Registered: 06/02/14
Posts: 305
Loc: Bosque County, Texas
I'ts expensive as all get out to put up deer fencing around a property, so the only reason to do it is to keep in even more expensive deer or exotics. Most likely a hunting ranch that charges large fees. If they don't fence the creek they lose money, maybe lose big-time money. All this to say that the land owner is motivated to keep that fence intact. You can bet it is checked on routinely to make sure it's in good shape. Possibly daily. That also means motivation to fight it out in court. As far as their funding allows they'll fight it out in court, or lose money. And that means appealing any adverse decision.

What might work better is to contact the landowner, tell them that you don't want a court fight but do want to fish the creek and that you believe you should have access, and ask for permission to come on the property, inside the fence, to fish. Of course you should mention that you'll respect the property, close gates that are closed, leave open gates that are open, not shoot or hunt, not litter, etc.

It might not work but it will cost nothing to try and has a better chance than a legal action.
_________________________
Texas State Editor: FishExplorer http://www.fishexplorer.com/tx

http://www.amazon.com/River-Proceeds-Wou...ds=on+the+river

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