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Ohio Creek Laws?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by rustyfish, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. I have been looking but i can not find any exact info on property rights and creeks. I have always been told you could walk a creek throught anyones property. I know you can take a boat through if it is deep enough. But i have not seen anything about walking through a shallow creek.

    I have this great bait whole up the creek from me that i have fished my whole life. Well the old guy that lived there would always let me drive through his yard to the creek. But he moved away and I went to talk to the knew guy and he instantly started yelling at me to get off his property. I mean this guy went nuts as soon as i pulled into his driveway i think he has serious mental issues.

    Now im just going to walk through the creek and go fish right behind his house. I just wanted to know the exact rules on this because i pretty sure if he sees my down there he is going to call someone or try to run me out himself.
  2. According to Ohio Law as far as I know is. The property owner owns the stream bottom and as such you are technically trespassing. However, if the stream is navigable, you can float it and not be breaking the law.


  3. I think the exact law depends on ownership of the land. As I understand it, if the landowner owns the land on both sides of the river/creek, then they also own the land under the water (hence no wading). If, however, own landowner owns one side and another owner has rights to the other side, the bottom of the river/creek is not owned by either (up to the water line). Guess you'd have to know the ownership and hope the landowner also interprets the law correctly. Can anyone address the accuracy of this interpretation? Of course if you are in a boat/canoe, it is all free game.
  4. I read somewhere that the law governing legal waterways use includes not just the the stream but up to where the flood water raises to. Good post. Hope to get to the bottom of this.
  5. Corey

    Corey OGF Team-Charter Member

    Some states do set the property limits at high water levels, but others, especially those whose waters are subject to tidal fluctualtions set their property limits at "mean low water levels". Most states are fuzzy in their legal definitions of trespassing by water and Ohio is one of those. If you are financially prepared to go to court and fight a trespassing arrest with the argument that wading is a form of "navigation" then, by all means, go get your sneakers wet, lol. Here is a link to some comments and observations dealing with the Brown case, which is about the only accepted prescedent dealing with this subject. Access.htm
  6. well rusty you have to figure out if its worth geting shot over..if he is that far off base(in the mental department) he might just shoot you, he may have no legal right to do so but that wont help you a bit...i'd find a new place to fish
    and for the record the land owner does own to the middle of the creek, your correct in thinking you can float over it in a boat but if you drop an ancore your breaking the law...let alone walking in there
    one other problem is that sence he has already told you to stay out he might have some legal re-course to pop a hole in you as you could be considered a threat to him and his family
  7. Well thanks for help, It just stinks. They are others bait holes, but not like this. Heck iv been fishing there for a good 12 years and i still go down there just for fun when i dont need bait. I just dont understand the problem with some people.

    I would understand if i just went down there without talkin to him and drove through his yard and left trash, but i just went to talk to the man.

    Thanks again
  8. give him a few days and try it again...he might of just been having a bad day
  9. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    Rusty, I know how you feel. I have lost access to most of my good flathead spots on the scioto, thanks to the actions of other people...I am really thinking of giving it up for awhile.
  10. Since this place has been apart of you for so long, maybe you could approach the man in a different and more creative way. Some people don't like to be bothered. Some might just be afraid and who knows whys or what makes some people do what they do. Anyway, get his address. Drop him a line and tell him how long you've been going to this place. What it has mean't to you. About the relationship you had with the previous owner. And how you would respect his privacy and property. And finally that you would like to come by to meet him and maybe get his permission. Also apologize about cutting accross his yard. You'll catch more flys with honey then you will with vinegar. Give it a try, what do you have to lose at this 2cents worth
  11. I didnt even go through his yard. I just drove down the driveway up to his house to talk to him.

    I pretty sure the guy is just nuts, some of my other nieghbors have complained about him to.
  12. Reel Lady

    Reel Lady Dreams DO come true!

    FishNJoe.. I totally agree with your approach. Somewhere in this "crazy" guy, there has to be just a hint of compassion. The trick is learning how to access it. I think that writing a personal letter to this man should do the trick. If it doesnt, then maybe he is just one of those eggs that just can't be cracked...
    Hopefully thats not the case..
    Good Luck to you!
    Reel Lady (Marcia)