Ruling makes state property all wet. According to a recent 77-page ruling from Lake County Common Pleas Court Judge Eugene Lucci, you can forget about ever walking along the shore of Lake Erie without having your feet in the water at all times. Otherwise you will be trespassing, unless you are at a state park or other publicly owned property. Lucci ruled that state property ends and private property begins where the water meets the land. His decision comes from a 2004 lawsuit by property owners to define the boundaries. Up to this ruling, the state had always owned any property up to the high water mark. With lake levels dropping in recent years, that could mean large amounts of land. As Larry Mitchell of the League of Ohio Sportsmen pointed out, "His decision is disappointing and without precedent in Ohio. It manages to hold against both the plaintiffs and the defendants. It says that the boundary for upland property adjoining the lake is neither the high water mark the state's position nor the low water mark the upland owners' position. Instead, according to the ruling, the boundary is wherever the water meets the land, changing day by day and minute by minute. "And," he added, "There is something wrong when the people of Ohio can't walk along the edge of the lake." In other words, as long as your feet are wet, you can walk on the property. But a property owner cannot build a structure or fence on his property if the water occasionally goes past that area. A strong north wind certainly will change the boundary and quickly put the structure illegally on state property. One of the strange aspects of this case is Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland has come out in favor of the upland property owners. That means he is going against this state's rights. It would also seem to be opposed to past policies by ODNR.