Legalities of River Access??

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by jmenchhofer, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. jmenchhofer

    jmenchhofer 'eye addict

    I haven't done a lot of river fishing the past few years, but am getting back into fishing one of the local rivers for smallmouth. There are few parks along the river for public access, but several bridges with decent places to pull off the side of the road.

    In these areas, is it necessary to obtain permission to park and enter the river, or if you park immediately off the road and walk parallel to the road/bridge to enter the river, are you legal since you should essentially be staying within the road right-of-way?
  2. The "park" area is probably public land and therefore you may use to access. Just remember that the stream bottom belongs to whoever owns the land - if it's public on one side you are good to go. Most landowners won't bother you, but some will. If you are in a watercraft, you are always legal because all the water is public. If you put out an anchor or get out to wade - you are trespassing.

  3. This topic is always a good one. ;-) I would guess the "public looking" pull-off/park area is likely private property. Most pull-offs get "public looking" by lots of people using them while tresspassing. If you went to 100 farmers and asked permission to park (remember to ask where parking is/isn't allowed) and to "use" his streambed to walk and fish from...most of them would be happy to oblige. The fact that you did any of the folowing would enhance your chance of getting/keeping permission:
    1) Don't litter and pick up litter when you see it.
    2) Bring the farmer a $10 turkey the week before Thanksgiving.
    3) Offer (especially if he's older) to help with a chore/yardwork, etc. Most probably wouldn't want you in the way...but the offer alone could go a long way ;-)

    If you launch a craft from public land and land/load on public land (assuming you fish without portage or anchoring) you can go whereever you want.

  4. Not to be a stickler but under present Ohio trespassing laws, and believe me this is getting very picky, when you float or walk a stream and are using it as a "Highway" , you can indeed use any waterway in Ohio as the states defines all waterways of the state as "highways by law" so floating is fine, now the sticky part comes in when you ( as already posted) anchor or wade fish, you are then touching bottom, ok, that is established, but if you are floating and make a cast, technicallyyou are "hunting without permission". (hunting fish and or game)

    Now the best analogy for this is as follows, the state owns the wildlife that are transient from one property to another such as deer fox, birds, fish, etc. so it works just like with deer hunting, the state allows the individual landowners to allow who gets permission on there property to "hunt" weather it be for fish or game.
    I know this is not enforced very heavily but could be if the wrong landowner pushed it and you were not smart enough to leave when asked.

    I do know or have heard of a few cases where this has been enforced within Ohio. FYI...
    Would it stop me from floating and casting,? nope! but its good information to know ;)