Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: The Whaler GAM or General Area
  Waterfront Property Rights and Privacy

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   Waterfront Property Rights and Privacy
grandpas68 posted 11-07-2005 06:35 PM ET (US)   Profile for grandpas68   Send Email to grandpas68  
I figured you all would be able to assist me with this one. We have a small house on the back or sound side of Topsail Island. We are separated from the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) by a strip of narrow islands and wetlands. I guess my family built the house around 1985; it is our second house on the island, and we have really watched the island gain popularity and grow. It seems like, at least this season, we have managed to secure one of the best Drum fishing spots around, primarily in the hole between our dock and probably around 50 feet over to my neighbor's dock. We have always been really liberal about letting people fish off our property provided we at least knew them. Our neighbors across the street have always been welcome, even the man who cuts our grass comes over with his friends on occasion and fishes off our dock. None of this has ever really bothered me in the least bit, but for the entire weekend there were three or four boats anchored no more than ten feet off the end of our relatively short dock. It was thick enough at times that some boats would leave so that their friends could come in and catch fish for a while. Not only does it obstruct our view, but they were blocking our water access and I didn't really feel comfortable letting the dogs swim. They were also talking rather loudly from boat to boat. This got me heated to say the least. I could have, and was very tempted to, literally walked to the end of my dock, dropped my zipper, and peed into one of their beers. I was also tempted to call every marine service I could think of and have their boats and their catches checked so often to the point they might leave. I know that I personally would not feel comfortable that close to someone's private property without their consent if they were clearly occupying the house at the time. If we are gone, they can fish all they want. I just do not ever want to have to see them when I have come down to relax. It was also not a matter of simply drifting by which would not bother me, I am talking the bow and stern anchors were out, and they were battened down for hours at a time. Now technically we do not own the waterway,so do I have the right to get angry with these people? My brother feels not like I do, and I see his view, but do not wholeheartedly agree with him. What are your views?
Buckda posted 11-07-2005 06:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Rude? Sure. But they have the right.

This is actually a pretty big debate here in NE Illinois. Though Chicago has miles and miles of public waterfront, our neighbors to the north in the lake-shore suburbs have very few public beaches.

The skinny is that property owners own to the normal high-tide or wash zone, and after that, it's public owned.

Technically, if you have your 'feet wet' you can stroll along anyone's beach no matter who they are or how big their estate.

Lakefront owners don't like that too much, as you can clearly attest.

What do you do?

You do things that you have the right to do on your land that may make it unpleasant for them to be out there. Perhaps a bit of driving practice with your favorite big bertha driver is in order? Be sure to yell "FORE!" right after you swing.

Maybe you should decide to toss the ball to your dog. A dog leaping from the dock, over the boat and into a favorite fishing spot is sure to get some kind of reaction.

I'd go into town and make friends with the fish/game warden. Invite him over for lunch and have a picnic dockside. It may not drive them away (probably won't), but it will make them behave.

Realize this - fishing hot spots go hot and cold. Be thankful that you own such a beatiful spot and enjoy it. When the fishing is cold, enjoy it more. When the fishing is good, work on your golf game.


grandpas68 posted 11-07-2005 07:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for grandpas68  Send Email to grandpas68     
Buckda, thanks for that and I agree with your points. I think our case is a little different than the public beach argument in that atleast around here there is a dune line that offers some privacy. Another interesting argument I have heard is that whenever there is storm damage we expect tax money to help rebuild our areas, so the public has a right to use it. I agree with that as well, I just want a little space like everyone else. I dont want to walk out on the porch in my boxers on sunday morning and have some redneck staring back at me. I also realize I dont have the energy to sit out there and ruin my relaxation time trying to ruin theirs. I guess I just wanted someone else to say that they thought it was rude too. I appreciate it.


kamie posted 11-07-2005 07:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     
The property line varies between the high tide line and the low tide line depending on the state but if they are floating they aren't on your property. If their engines were off I would send the dog out for a swim. A big dog splashing would send the fish downstream or away from there and the fisherman would soon follow. You could simply walk out to the dock and ask them to take it all to slightly deeper water. They may be a bunch of jerks and not move, and if you send the dog out to play they might just shoot the dog or they may be nice and move to a different fishing hole away from your dock. If you have secured the best spot, it's unlikely they will move until the fish do.

As for walking out in your boxers, that too could go either way. either they pull up anchor and run or they hang around to see if there's more.

good luck

high sierra posted 11-07-2005 07:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for high sierra  Send Email to high sierra     
Mount a large sprinkler on the end of the dock. Maybe a falling rain will cause them to move. OR, place some old weighted Christmas trees in the water to help the fish hide. Every so often go diving for lures. high sierra
HuronBob posted 11-07-2005 07:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for HuronBob    
There seems to be two questions... is it legal, is it rude..

Legal, probably, in Michigan it would be. Is it rude? If all they are doing is fishing, I wouldn't call it rude. There's a spot on the river where I can catch bass day in and day out... 20 feet from two cottages with decks on the water.. I'll take the kayak and go sit there for periods of time casting to the largemouth in the hole just off their decks..

I'm quiet, I say hi if anyone is sitting out there... but...the river is public, I'm not being disruptive....

Now...if they are loud, swearing, leaving trash, then you have a right to be upset... Just fishin', you probably ought to be glad that they are down there establishing a reasonable norm and keeping an eye on your dock!

myakka posted 11-07-2005 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for myakka  Send Email to myakka     
I've got it! A remote control sign. One side says "keep off the dock" and the other says "DONT EAT THE CONTAMINATED FISH". Just push a button when the boats show up, the sign slowly turns around and scares the bejesus out of the numbskulls.
grandpas68 posted 11-07-2005 07:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for grandpas68  Send Email to grandpas68     
Huronbob, I wish I could agree with you on them keeping an eye on the dock. My neighbors and my friends that come by and fish, they keep and eye on the dock. If the dock fell in tomorrow, these guys would probably use it as an excuse to pull in a little closer. We also dont have a high/low tide mark due to our seawall. It just gets deeper and shallower. So that does not factor into the equation either. I know its legal, but how about this. Would you do it?
grandpas68 posted 11-07-2005 07:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for grandpas68  Send Email to grandpas68     
Myakka, thats a brillant Idea. We actually have one of those signs that ended up on the beach after a storm. I might try it. I dont know if it will work, but it will atleast make me feel better.


minitauk85 posted 11-07-2005 07:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for minitauk85  Send Email to minitauk85     
grandpas68 - I believe as far as property ownership goes you are out of luck-I'm no expert- but I believe you only own up to the "mean tide " line, that is half way from the lowest low tide and the highest high tide. You do however have a right to what is referred to as "enjoyment" sometimes "quiet enjoyment" which assures against interference from others. You may have some foothold with local law enforcement on this issue, particularly if the folks invading your space are loud, rowdy, and/or drinking. I would be tempted to post an official looking sign at the end of your dock suggesting that boaters "stay 100 feet/ yards (whatever you choose)away from dock at all times". Choose your wording, make it look as though it was put there by a county official and let "implication" do the rest! If this doesn't work try sitting naked at the end of your dock with a bottle of tequila and a firearm (unloaded, of course). Rock back and forth while muttering obscenities and polishing the rifle/shotgun....k

ps: if you choose option 2- don't forget sunscreen, bug repellent, and a good bondsmen.

derf posted 11-07-2005 07:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for derf  Send Email to derf     
You may want to keep an eye out and see if the same guys come around frequently. If so, you may try strolling up and offering them a beer or soda. The old "you catch more flies with honey...." addage applies. If you befriend the regulars, then you can probably get them to leave when you need them to leave. If they know and respect you, they will be more likely to act kindly toward you. Also, when you are not around, they will be more likely to keep a watchful eye on your stuff.
home Aside posted 11-07-2005 07:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
I believe in Michigan you can even walk across the beach, you just can't stop, sunbathe, swim, lounge, or fish, from the beach.

How about runnin some power to the dock, and gettin yourself some nice speakers and a couple of obnoxious RAP CD's.....


HuronBob posted 11-07-2005 08:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for HuronBob    
Creating a disturbance that is worse than what the fisherpeople do is a bit counter productive...

One approach people use here is to create a "swimming area" (marked off with buoys) off the end of their dock... (this, however, is on the inland lakes).

trained sharks?

homey posted 11-07-2005 08:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for homey  Send Email to homey     

Technically if you don't own the waterway, they are fishing legally, means you have no case...They are in the canal-waterway so, beach, high/low tide, property lines don't apply...

Try to befriend these - fisherman or red necks as you call them...hmmmm...makes me wonder who the redneck is when you describe wanting to drop your pants and expose yourself and pee in there beer?? Then they would have a case...If you befriend them, explain your concerns and they might cooperate...

If you send the dogs out they might not come back, especially after they pull them in their boat. The dogs could get snagged in their lines, hooks or run over! The water sprinkler and signs will agitate them and you might find lead sinkers flying in your windows...

Finally, if it bothers you that much sell the place, to people who fish...

grandpas68 posted 11-07-2005 08:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for grandpas68  Send Email to grandpas68     
Homey, the peeing comment was my failed attempt to make light of a situation that is getting the best of me. And we do fish, but we cannot fish off our own property when there are that many boats, that close to our dock, anchored, casting their lines towards our house on shore. I dont want to make enemies or friend with them, there are more than enough people who look over the house for us. I do not have a problem with them fishing, I just dont want them fishing when we are around the house. That seems like common courtesy.
Roarque posted 11-07-2005 08:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Roarque  Send Email to Roarque     
For a few days about ten years ago, a group of gin palaces would park in front of my lakeside home on Sunday afternoons. The owners would inch closer to the shore to swim in the warmer water. Lots of noise and people lounging around on their decks drinking and staring at the only thing available to stare at - my house.

We decided to drive old range balls straight off the property. We'd start with a pitching wedge and have am accuracy contest. It gave the loungers something else to stare at. I dropped a few close to their mooring anchor. When they moved out, I brought out the 5 iron and dropped a few close to their new mooring.

One guy came rowing in and we had a conversation at the end of my dock. I told him I was accurate to about 150 yards and capable of hitting them 250 but I couldn't assure them that I could be accurate at that distance.

He suggested that they were allowed to moor there and I didn't have the right to do what I was doing. I pointed out that I wasn't complaining about what they were doing, they were complaining about what I was doing. I offered to phone the police while he waited. He left and his boat went away. They all found a place to moor in front of a public beach and that was that.

homey posted 11-07-2005 09:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for homey  Send Email to homey     

You have very limited legal recours...Your comment, "I just don't want them fishing, when we are around the house. That seems like common courtesy" They can't fish because your home???...hmmm...Sounds abit arrogant to me...


Driving golf balls in the water in close proximity to moored gin palaces and swimmers? Good thing you didn't call the Police because, you may have found yourself in handcuffs!! Its called, "Reckless Endangerment" and is jailable...You are lucky the guy rowing wasn't knowledgeable about the law or an offduty cop...

grandpas68 posted 11-07-2005 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for grandpas68  Send Email to grandpas68     
My actions in my opinion are not arrogant, I believe if you owned the house you would feel the same way.I like it to the scenario that someone is sitting in their car in the street in front of your driveway. Its legal for them to do that, but inhibits your privacy and access to your driveway and hinders the use of your house. Our waterfront is our driveway. They are in the waterway, what they are doing is entirely legal, but they are doing it in such away the inhibits our use of the house. Remember, its not one quiet fishermen casting for a few hours in front of the house, it was three or four in front of our house, and a couple more infront of my neighbors for most of the day blocking our access. I think most sportsman here have gotten frustrated by others crowding in on their favorite spot, they dont question the legality of it and I dont question their reasons to be frustrated. But I have gotten what I wanted from this thread and that was to vent and get the valued opinions from other fisherman and whaler owners that I respect. I never doubted the legality of their actions, I wanted to know if it was in good taste. Thank you for those that chose to respond in an positive manner without stooping to personal attacks.


Liteamorn posted 11-07-2005 10:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Liteamorn  Send Email to Liteamorn     
I'd be a little wary of my dog splashing around for fear that one mindless butt would try to hook it, then I would have to go to jail because I would have to get revenge. I like the speaker idea.
kamie posted 11-07-2005 10:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     
I am liking the golf ball idea from Roarque although I would use the floating golf balls, better for the environment and send the dog in after them to cut your costs down. Start early in the day, before they arrive so you can avoid the reckless endangerment issue. Best bet is to cover all the options and practice your golf in your boxers for extra effect. If it works, write a book, go on a speaking tour and if you come to a town near me, call, we'll do lunch.

I am taking notes since I am looking for a house on the water.

Your other option is to call all your buddies with boats and have them anchor over the fishing hole. This assumes they don't need their boats to go fishing elsewhere but since the fishing is at your place that is where they should be anyway. To really yank on the chain of the folks you don't know, have all your buddies anchor over the fishing hole, but get out of their boats and fish from shore.

Hope we have been helpful.

whalerwanter posted 11-07-2005 10:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerwanter    
Throw some crab pots out there. I avoid them like the plague. I think, while it is legal, it is rude for strangers to get so close to someone's house or dock, if it is obviously being used. There are plenty of other spots to fish. Half the fun is finding them.
David Livingstone posted 11-07-2005 11:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Livingstone  Send Email to David Livingstone     

Here you can only own to the high water mark. That said, here is a true story that happened a few years ago on the Island.

A family bought a piece of land next to a popular salmon hole on a river about 30 miles from my place. One of the locals was wading the river fly fishing. He was stopped by one of the younger owners and informed him that he couldn't fish that part of the river, they owned the land. The fisherman, reeled in his line, cradled his fly rod, calmly walked over to the young man and cold clocked him. That winter their boat house burnt. Since then, they get along with the locals and there has never been any other damage.

It's interesting to note that there is another camp just across the river. They have never locked their door, only a sign that asks folks to replace any fire wood they use.


HuronBob posted 11-08-2005 05:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for HuronBob    
I'm predicting that this thread will get REAL long, and then disappear... just a prediction...

Those that are telling you that it is legal to fish off your dock are correct. What you are experiencing is one of the "benefits" of owning waterfront property...

David's story probably sums up things pretty well..

In Michigan almost anything you would do to discourage someone from fishing legally would be against the's our statute, chances are you have a similar one there in North Carolina...

"324.47301a Obstruction or interference in lawful taking of fish; prohibited conduct; injunction; violation as misdemeanor; penalty; applicability of section to peace officer; definitions.

Sec. 47301a.

(1) A person shall not obstruct or interfere in the lawful taking of fish by a person licensed under this part.

(2) A person violates this section when the person intentionally or knowingly does any of the following:

(a) Operates a vessel or a device designed to be used on the water which does not meet the definition of vessel in a manner likely to significantly alter the behavior of aquatic species in order to hinder or prevent the lawful taking of an aquatic species.

(b) Wades or swims in a manner or at a location likely to cause a significant alteration in the behavior of aquatic species in order to hinder or prevent the lawful taking of an aquatic species.

(c) Tosses, drops, or throws any stone, rock, or other inert material in order to hinder or prevent the lawful taking of an aquatic species.

(d) Drives, herds, or disturbs any aquatic species in order to hinder or prevent the lawful taking of an aquatic species.

(e) Blocks, impedes, or harasses another person who is engaged in the process of lawfully taking fish.

(f) Uses a natural or artificial visual, aural, olfactory, gustatory, or physical stimulus to affect animal behavior in order to hinder or prevent the lawful taking of fish.

(g) Erects barriers to deny ingress or egress to waters where the lawful taking of fish may occur. This subdivision does not apply to a person who erects barriers to prevent trespassing on his or her property.

(h) Interjects himself or herself into the area where nets or fishing lines are cast by a person lawfully taking fish.

(i) Affects the condition or placement of personal or public property intended for use in the lawful taking of fish in order to impair the usefulness of the property or prevent the use of the property.

(j) Enters or remains upon private lands without the permission of the owner or the owner's agent, for the purpose of violating this section.

(k) Engages in any other act or behavior for the purpose of violating this section.

(3) Upon petition of an aggrieved person or a person who reasonably may be aggrieved by a violation of this section, a court of competent jurisdiction, upon a showing that a person was engaged in and threatens to continue to engage in illegal conduct under this section, may enjoin that conduct.

(4) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days, or a fine of not less than $500.00 or more than $5,000.00, or both, and the costs of prosecution. A person who violates this section a second or subsequent time is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or a fine of not less than $1,000.00 or more than $10,000.00, or both, and the costs of prosecution. In addition to the penalties provided in this subsection, any permit or license issued by the department authorizing the person to take aquatic species shall be revoked. A prosecution under this section does not preclude prosecution or other action under any other criminal or civil statute."

grandpas68 posted 11-08-2005 07:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for grandpas68  Send Email to grandpas68     
Huron, this can get as long as anyone wants it to be. you all can talk about whatever you want, just make note that my original question was do I have the right to be angered by these people and do you all consider it bad taste?, no matter how long winded I was about askin it.
HuronBob posted 11-08-2005 07:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for HuronBob    

oops, sorry, there was no intent to be critical towards you in my comment about the thread getting long.

I wasn't commenting on your original post. I should have been a bit more clear, my comment was meant to reflect that questions such as this tend to elicit a lot of responses from members here, most "opinion" types of questions do.

didn't mean to offend...

kingfish posted 11-08-2005 08:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I think you have the right to be angered (actually I think that's a pretty far-reaching right in this country: to be angered); however your rights to do something to prevent the activity that angers you are a lot more limited.

I sympathize and empathize, as we have suffered the same frustration for many years, both with a fishing spot *that we developed* right in front of our island camp, and with boats coming in to anchor and crank up their stereos right off our beach. Both of these irritations occur in an area where there are literally hundreds of other places to successfully enjoy both activities without doing so almost in our living room, or in fact without even having to see another boat or human.

There are a lot of clever things that might be tried, probably the most effective as mentioned above is trying to co-opt them in some friendly fashion. The thing is, at least when I'm angry, it's difficult to focus on seeming to be friendly.

Hope the venting helps-


tarbaby posted 11-08-2005 08:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for tarbaby  Send Email to tarbaby     
Topsail/Wrightsville Beach is a very cool place to live even if it is only the weekends. You are very fortunate to have a "LOCAL" fishing spot in front of your family "WEEKEND" house. Like other coastal NC areas, yours is getting crowded. I believe that in the next 5-10 years things are really going to get crowded down there. Dock space is at a premium in that neck of the woods. Most regular "LOCAL" folks cannot afford to keep their boats in the water so they trailer them and keep them in the backyard. Don't piss em off. They will look after your stuff while you are gone. The good way or the bad way.
My summer house is in Atlantic Beach on the sound and we have similar things happen. As a part time resident I feel that I am a guest in their town. I am respectful of them and realise that I can have a great time on my property and probably meet some cool people in the process. I try to look at the glass as being half full instead of being half empty. I would befriend those guys. They might give you some fish or tell you about other fishing holes. If ya can't beat em, join em!
Plotman posted 11-08-2005 09:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
I empathize - our family has a hunting and fishing camp on a river that is widely known for its early season walleye fishing (it is open all year and not subject to the normal seasons in the state) and its white bass run. Guys come and anchor feet off of our seawall all the time. You get used to it.

What we do not allow is folks to tie up to our wall. We also have to shag folks off of the island on a routine basis who come ashore to relive themselves (nearest public "facilities" are several miles away by water.)

We also have folks blast by in cigarette boats or cabin cruisers that are way, way to big for the river, and we have passed many a beer devising ways to "fix" the problem - like anchoring a telephone pole crosswise to the current a foot below the surface; spud guns and the like.

The best are the guys that showed up in a hovercraft to get back into our marsh during duck season (we own the marsh, but if you can float your boat and stay in in, you are legal). We didn't consider running a hovercraft at 4:30 in the morning 75 yards from our house and "parking" it on what passes for dry ground. They are followed closely on our list by the guys that cruise all around at night bow fishing carp. They do this from a 20 foot boat with - and I am not exaggerating - 20 or so 500 watt hallogen flood lights powered by very noisy generators. So much for a quiet night out in nature. So I really do empathize.

In all cases, you really need to remember to keep your cool. Get too unpleasant, and you are likely to eventually get crosswise to some clown who will "show you" by burning your place down.

That said, I really doubt that you are being prevented from using your house, or even accessing the water from it. Do you mean to tell us that these boats are bunched in so desely and so close to your dock and that an "excuse me, can I get in to my dock" doesn't get you all the room you need?

The bvottom line is that the waterways are public and belong to all. The whole thing. Why should you have claim (emotional if not legal) to an area just because you happen to own a house on the edge of it. You don't own the view - they have just as much right to it as you do.


elaelap posted 11-08-2005 10:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Fascinating topic, and one with legal/historical roots going back almost one thousand years in English common law.
In the U.K. struggles over rights to the use of the privately held but publically accessed "Commons" in various communities have actually led to armed clashes between landowners and the public. "Commons" land was/is land which for scores or hundreds of years has been used as pathways, grazing land, sports fields, etc, even though it is privately 'owned', often by a 'nobleman' or member of the royalty. When a landowner (let's say a mine owner) suddenly decides he needs to close the Commons (let's say to drill a new mine at that location), there's hell to pay. It has been and continues to be the natural conflict between those who believe in the unlimited right to do whatever one pleases with 'private property' and those who believe in the right of the public to at least some access to a limited and unique resource, and the right of a government as supposed representative of ALL the public to protect the environment as a whole.

Speaking personally, if I were grampas68 I'd be as annoyed as he at the circumstances he describes; but as a free-born American from the wild and wooly west, who always identified more with the cowboys and the free range advocates than the private property guys who came along with their barbed wire and hired gunslingers and carved up the land into private parcels, I gotta side with the fishermen. I remember a great story by John Steinbeck:

It's a hot summer day in rural Oregon. A hobo bumming his way across the country trudges down a dirt road alone, tired, hungry and thirsty, heading for a railhead where he can jump a freight. He comes upon a beautiful apple tree farm, climbs over a freshly painted wooden fence, picks five or six crisp, sweet, juicy apples and, munching on one, stretches out on the grass in the cool shade of one of the trees. Just then an angry farmer arrives and tells the hobo to 'Git the hell off my land!'

The hobo slowly stands, stretches to his full height, and asks, 'Why do you say that it's YOUR land?'

'It's my land 'cause I 'herited it from my Pa.'

'Yeah,' the hobo responds, 'Where did your father get it?'

'Why, he 'herited it from HIS Pa, and Gran'pa fought the redskins for it!' said the outraged farmer.

'Fine,' said the hobo, curling his work-worn hands into rock hard fists. 'I'll fight you for it.'

Anyway, the legal compromise worked out here in California is similar to the ones discussed by folks on this thread pertaining to other states--a private property owner's rights to land abutting the ocean ends at the mean high tide mark, and river and lakefront property rights don't extend into the's that simple. Sure, grandpas68 has every 'right' in the world to be angry at the situation, but the best solution, IMO, is to get to know the year-'round locals, and, when in Rome, do as the locals do. Good luck.


Buckda posted 11-08-2005 10:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Actually, in Michigan, people with docks are technically infringing on the public, or state-owned 'bottomland'. Unless of course, you have a floating dock that is anchored by guy wires to the shore.

That's why a permanent dock is more difficult to get a permit for on local lakes, as is having a seawall built.

As I said before, their behavior is rude, and you have a right to be upset, but you have no standing to get rid of them forcefully, and doing anything from your dock is probably not appropriate either.

As someone further up said - making friends with locals is a very important thing when you have a seasonal or weekend use home. The locals are the ones priced out of their own property (due to taxes, typically) and they have a bit of a bittersweet attitude about it all. Being a courteous "guest resident" may go a long way to help ease tensions with the locals.

Binkie posted 11-08-2005 11:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie  Send Email to Binkie     
Exactly, where is this fishin hole. I love drum, but the drum I catch here in Florida have been full of worms. Also can I clean my fish on your dock? I`ll bring my pontoon boat so there`ll be probably be 10-12 of us, plus my portable TV.
poker13 posted 11-08-2005 11:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
Well, if grandpa's question is "do I have a right to be angry at them?" Of course, you can be angry at anything you want. But what do you want to do about it, if anything? I'd say sip some good red wine and fuggedaboutit. The fishermen have a right to be there, and as long as they're not littering or breaking any other laws, there's nothing you can do about it.
Florida15 posted 11-08-2005 11:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for Florida15  Send Email to Florida15     
All I can say is , DO NOT piss the locals off especially if this is a vacation home. Chances are they have been fishing there for years, maybe before you even built the house and look at you as an outsider.
And some guys would like nothing better than to "fix" the attitude of a snooty outsider.
If you do piss them off, be particularly careful about leaving a boat, etc. at your dock.
grandpas68 posted 11-08-2005 11:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for grandpas68  Send Email to grandpas68     
Binkie, you can do whatever you so please. Huron bob, I wasnt getting upset with you, I can see your point. I just wanted to make it clear to everyone that I am not trying to get into a large conflict with these people or attempt a legal battle over this. In due time they will move on, I know this. In a month it will be absolutely dead down there. Maybe if our boats had been in the water last weekend, they would have given us a little more space. But once again, these people are not angry displaced locals and I am not an occasional tourist. The locals are the ones sitting on my porch with me sipping on a beer wondering where all these people came from and when its going to be quiet again.

But heres something for you all legal folks to chomp on, if we dont own the waterfront or our dock, and someone comes along and gets hurt on it, who gets sued?

elaelap posted 11-08-2005 12:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Anybody can sue anyone for just about anything, gramps. The question is whether one can successfully sue a landowner for injuries incurred while visiting the land, and there's sure not an easy yes or no answer. Start with the seemingly simple-at-first-glance concept of negligence on the landowner's part; and go from there to local, state and federal building code requirements; zoning regulations; land use permits; commercial and/or residential use of the property; was the visit invited, permitted, encouraged or prohibited (trespass); public, private and attractive nuisances; contributary negligence/comparative fault; responsibilities of adjoining property owners; and literally dozens of other variables...real property attorneys earn their money, take it from me ;-).


pglein posted 11-08-2005 12:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     
This thread is very long, so I didn't read it all, but I have some ideas:

Gardening stores have motion sensor activated sprinklers to keep deer out of your garden. We used one by our koi pond to keep the racoon away. Perhaps one of these mounted on the end of the dock would work. You would have to set the sensitivity way up to avoid it being triggered by waves, but it should still work. That would keep the fisherman at least 20 or 30 feet away from your dock. It's not perfect, but it would probably work. Another idea would be to rope off a "swim area" in front of your property. So long as you properly mark it, I don't see where the authorities would have any problem with it, and the fishermen would not be able to say much.

GODFATHER posted 11-08-2005 12:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for GODFATHER  Send Email to GODFATHER     
Grandpas68 you have suffered enough...I can help you...what is it worth to have your problem gone...or perhaps I may call upon you in the future to return my favor?
prj posted 11-08-2005 12:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for prj  Send Email to prj     
You. At least in Wisconsin.

Here, based upon the wonderfully titled Public Trust Doctrine,
the water and land beneath is everyone's and the State grants riparian owners
the right to place a pier in the water if it falls within the guidelines
for width, length, etc...

Recently the regulations on piers have been amended or clarified
in an attempt to preclude large structures, like gazebos and decks,
from being included in the rights allowed for piers.

Repeatedly pulling in and out in your boat,
ostensibly going on short runabouts, may be an option
for moving them (and the fish) away from your dock.
But again, this activity most certainly wouldn't increase
your enjoyment and relaxation.

gnr posted 11-08-2005 12:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for gnr  Send Email to gnr     
A few years age we were drigting down the shoreline one morning casting for bass. The same shoreline I have been drifting down for 30 years I might add.

We were being very quiet, no radio, very little talking. only the click of the spool and the plop of the spinner baits entering the water. This older fella suddenly comes stomping out of his recently purchased camp and starts screaming at us about being to close and that we needed to get out of there before he called the cops. I tried to be nice and reason with the guy. Let him know we were just fishing our way through and that we did have the "right" to do so.

He continues to get angry and starts writing down the reg number of my boat saying he's had enough and he's going to call the cops. That kinda ticked me off so I said fine and pulled in and tied up to his dock saying, "no problem bud, I'll wait right here for em". The guy went ballistic on me telling me he had me for trespassing and bla bla bla bla bla. I told him what my understanding of the laws of the State were then proceeded to build a small fire out of driftwood on the guys beach while he called the state police.

About a half hour later a trooper shows up and listens to the guys ranting and raving. He asks me if I agreed with that assesement and I said "sure, more or less".

The trooper then shows the guy the obvious high water mark on the beach and explains to him that he only "owns" up to that point and that I was breaking no laws being where I was including having my boat tied up to his dock.

He then turned to me and said, "make sure you extinguish that fire when you leave" and left.

As the trooper was leaving I mentioned to the camp owner that I knew for a fact that many of the people he might find fishing in front of his camp would handle the situation a bit differently and that he might want to be careful how he approached fisherman in the future. I put the fire out and we left.

Had that a-hole not tried to bully us out of his "view" we would have been gone in about fifteen minutes. Instead he got a lesson in state law and local ettiquete(sp).

LHG posted 11-08-2005 12:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
The town in FL where I have my vacation place has about 2-1/2 miles, total, of Atlantice Ocean private beach, mostly with high value (and I mean HIGH value) ocean front homes on the beach. This mean high tide situation was getting to be a problem, with calm day boat anchoring right off the beach, and the boaters cleverly setting up their folding chairs below High tide marks right on these people's private beach, making a whole day out it. A weekend day could bring 100 boats, and the PWC crowd were really bad offenders here, incidentally.

How did they solve it - very easily - The town established a swimming zone up to 300' offshore, as is always done with public beaches, with a complete line of bouys indicating NO BOATS. If you come in to excerise your "high water beach rights", you get a marine ticket for violating the protected swimming area, a really big fine. Yes, you can swim in 300' if you wish, but nobody does it, and that was the end of it.
Buckda posted 11-08-2005 01:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Larry -

Of course, then he can't use his dock.

Would probably work for Great Lakes or Ocean frontage, but seems to have a very big drawback in this circumstance.

Just a question on point of law - what about walking on the dock?? Was that a violation. Technically, the dock is his property, and the state/local authorities granted permission to locate that property on their land. I don't think the dock is considered public for use - or am I mistaken?


where2 posted 11-08-2005 01:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Technically, if you do not own the waterway, then your rights stop at your property line. If that "special" fishing hole happened to be on the other side of the waterway, and you were fishing just off someone else's dock, I suspect you'd see the other side of the coin more clearly.

"I just don't ever want to have to see them when I've come down to relax". If you live abutting public lands, you need to get used to the public using their land. Otherwise, you need to sell the property you currently own and purchase a large piece of property with a land locked lake.

You should be thankful that the state has retained ownership of the submerged lands and has not sold them to a developer who might restrict you from having a dock or accessing the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW).

grandpas68 posted 11-08-2005 01:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for grandpas68  Send Email to grandpas68     
yea but what difference does it make about the reclaiming of previous submerged lands when waterfront property on the said island has been going for 700k to a million a lot. Who can afford to pay that much other than developers?
grandpas68 posted 11-08-2005 01:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for grandpas68  Send Email to grandpas68     
I just realized I didnt finish my comment on the last post, because of high property prices, most people cant afford the taxes. We are currently in a battle to keep the end of our island from being developed. Im gonna stop posting in this thread, I believe its caused me more stress than the boaters to begin with.
HuronBob posted 11-08-2005 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for HuronBob    

Michigan law regarding bottomlands is different for inland lakes than it is for the great lakes. On inland waters the property owner actually owns the bottom land to the middle of the lake (creating an interesting pie formation that meets in the middle). They can not obstruct passage or the use of the water. There are some exceptions to this if property was obtained long, long ago (in which case one person may own the whole bottom of the lake), but I think these exceptions are few and far between.

In the case of the great lakes, the bottom land is considered publically owned up to the high water mark. Thus the recent case where property owners wanted to restrict beach walking (but, lost the case).

If you're interested in the Michigan specific law I think I may have the information somewhere...


elaelap posted 11-08-2005 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Don't be too sure that the 'problem' of public access is solved forever, Larry...nothing is forever, thank God. We had a similar situation in Malibu, where Hollywood producer and gazillionaire David Geffen was refusing public access to the beach fronting his huge home. An obnoxious and stubborn public interest lawyer (like myself) sued on behalf of the beach-going public and after a long, drawn-out battle, won---The court ordered that a public access easement be established along Geffen's property line and that Geffen and his 'employees' (read 'goons') be prohibited from preventing folks from accessing the beach.


An interesting sidebar to the story: Geffen is a self-avowed 'liberal' and is outspoken in the defense of 'common citizen's rights'...except when those rights impinge upon his own 'private' interests. Ho-hum...what else is new?

Buckda posted 11-08-2005 02:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Thanks HuronBob -

My experience has only been with Great Lakes access, since our cottage was in the Les Cheneaux Islands on Lake Huron - so the publicly owned bottomlands principle applied to us. We had trouble even clearing reeds for our docks some years due to red tape.

Wonder how it applies to inland lakes such as Mullet Lake and Lake Charlevoix, that are navigable to the big lakes?


HuronBob posted 11-08-2005 02:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for HuronBob    

I can't recall how the law impacts on lakes such as the ones you mentioned...

Goosedog posted 11-08-2005 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Goosedog    
grandpas68, if you get a bit more specific about your dock location, when I fish that hole (I need all the help I can get) I'll bring you a beer and some friends for your dog. My in-laws have a cottage on the southernmost canal and have been there about as long as your family. Although crowded, sure hard to complain about that sound.
poker13 posted 11-08-2005 02:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    

the same is happening all over the U.S. And of course, densely populated states with lots of millionaires figure prominently on the list (Florida, Texas, California, Connecticut). It's outrageous how many arrogant wealthy people get away with stealing our public lands. Their sense of entitlement is pretty galling to say the least.

elaelap posted 11-08-2005 03:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Just so we're clear that 'arrogant wealthy people' come in all shapes and sizes, Poker...liberal, conservative, gay, straight, black, yellow, brown & red, old and young, Democrat and Republican, men & women, abled and physically challenged, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, pagan, and freakin' Wikken, however they spell it
;-). Being a piggish, selfish a$$hole is an equal-opportunity occupation, in my never-too-humble opinion.


Binkie posted 11-08-2005 03:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie  Send Email to Binkie     
Your assuming grandpas68 is one of the wealthy owners. He never said that he was.
poker13 posted 11-08-2005 03:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
I agree with you on that, Tony. Money changes everything and everybody.

Binkie, I don't think Tony is assuming that. You are assuming he's assuming. And you know what they say about assume...

elaelap posted 11-08-2005 04:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
No, Bink...please read carefully. I said that I personally related to grandpas' plight and would be as annoyed as he if it happened to me. When I was speaking of 'arrogant wealthy people' I was thinking more in the lines of the great 'liberal', David Geffen.


sportroyalwulf posted 11-08-2005 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for sportroyalwulf  Send Email to sportroyalwulf     
From the movie Wall Street:

Michael Douglas (Gordon Gekko): The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of it's forms - greed for life, for money, knowledge - has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed - you mark my words - will not only save Teldar Paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you.

grandpas68 posted 11-08-2005 04:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for grandpas68  Send Email to grandpas68     
I shot you an email with directions. Actually, perhaps it would be a good place for a CW get together. you all can all anchor up infront of the house and fish and then we will atleast have some pretty whalers to look at while I lounge around the porch in my boxers drinkin beer. I wonder if I planted oysters I could lease our own sound bottom?...Im joking...kind of.... ;P


poker13 posted 11-08-2005 04:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
Actually, greed is what's sinking this malfunctioning nation (not corporation).
Binkie posted 11-08-2005 05:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie  Send Email to Binkie     
I know what you meant, I was just kidding.
JMARTIN posted 11-08-2005 05:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
Interesting subject. The family beach cabin's lot is only 50' wide, but we own the tide flats out to mean low tide. We own the tide flats and the beach, but I have never thought about what would happen if someone anchored in front of the cabin and we wanted them to leave. If they stayed, at low tide they would be sitting on the tide flats that we own. When you walk down the beach, you are trespassing, but nobody cares, yet. We do not need a license to dig clams on the property, but we do need a license for the crab, and to fish. A new wrinkle in private property rights has surfaced here in Washington State. Native Americans are allowed to harvest 50% of the shellfish on privatly owned tide flats. To my knowledge, this right has not been tested yet. An organization of private tide land owners, of to which we belong, managed to insert some requirements into the ruling which must be met before the harvest can begin. John
Buckda posted 11-08-2005 05:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Also -

Waterfront property ownership should not be synonymous with wealth. Quite frankly, the Wealth in this country snubbed waterfront acreage for a long time.

Chicago's near north neighborhood called Streeterville (where the Hancock building, NBC Tower and Navy Pier all are) was named after the unauthorized shantytown founded by captain Streeter, and was where the very poor were located. Today, it is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the city. Donald Trump is building a condo tower not far from this district.

I know of several Islands you can buy for well under $100,000 US that are within 6 hours of a major North American city and financial center.

One would tend to think that that land is a premium investment opportunity, since 30 years from now, it will likely be in strong demand and highly valued.

So! Let's be careful on that front as well - waterfront property does not necessarily equate with owner only means that the present owner has enough money to keep up with taxes on his/her land.

(Of course, property was relatively cheaper in the past - the average home was perhaps 1.5 x the average salary. Today, rates of 3-4x the national average salary are not uncommon in popular areas.

Binkie posted 11-08-2005 07:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie  Send Email to Binkie     
"Gramps" If you start selling beer, hot dogs and bait off your dock, there won`t be any need to finish your college education at UNC. As they say in NYC--"you gotta do what chu gotta do! youknowwhatImean.?


Binkie posted 11-08-2005 08:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie  Send Email to Binkie     
Here are some more good ideas for you:
Organize weekly fishing tournaments at your fishing hole. Charge an entrance fee and a grand prize for the largest fish. Make sure the fee more than covers the grand prize, but being a college student you already know that.Because the fishing hole is small, limit fishing to one hour, and then usher in a new group. You can do this all from your own dock. Just get a whistle. At the end of the day, just weigh all the winning fish from the hourly groups and present a trophy and the cash prize for the biggest fish You will most likely have eight groups. Also sell the beer, hotdogs and bait during the tournaments.
Another good idea is to spend a lot of time on your dock taking notes as to the best tides to catch fish, time of day, and the best bait to use, and sell these notes, to the fishermen, when you sell them the beer, dogs and bait, and explain to them that without these "secrets" they will never have a chance of winning your weekly tournaments. I bet you didn`t know you have a gold mine at your back door.

One important note: Never hold a fishing tournament during a NASCAR race. You`ll never get those rednecks on the water, when Dale Jr. is on TV!

where2 posted 11-08-2005 11:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Speaking of Dale Jr., Dale Sr. had a really nice house locally, and Sunday Money (His yacht) sits out back blocking most of their otherwise beautiful view of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

Buckda said it well: "waterfront property does not necessarily equate with owner only means that the present owner has enough money to keep up with taxes on his/her land". I personally fall into this category. Neither my father, nor I are personally wealthy although we both own waterfront homes. Our neighbors have common jobs and are not millionaires.

GNR makes a good point about being familiar with the state laws governing water bodies and the limits of state ownership in your particular state (these laws vary considerably from state to state).

LHG: petition the city council for a public beach access path. A public beach is only useful if the general public can access it. Otherwise, the cost of maintaining the bouys is a waste of tax money.

outrage38 posted 11-09-2005 12:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for outrage38  Send Email to outrage38     
Thank you for the new spot.The waterways are for all to enjoy. Try to make friends,you might learn something new.
Roarque posted 11-09-2005 12:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Roarque  Send Email to Roarque     
Homey are you suggesting that I can't put a golf ball into a 5 foot radius circle 10 times out of 10 from 150 yards?

I don't spend all my time on the water you know ;-)

Last summer I averaged 25 hours/week fishing for Salmon and 25 hours/week golfing. Its dark and lonely work being retired, but someone has to do it.


jimh posted 11-09-2005 01:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
grandpas68--Take a picture of these guys and their boats that shows the relationship to your dock and shoreline. Then we can see more clearly what the situation actually is like.

A gaggle of boats sitting all day fishing alongside a private dock is not a great joy for the dock owner.

Here's a Michigan anecdote of similar circumstances, which dates back about 20 years:

A co-worker had a place up north, south of Traverse City, a little home out in the woods with some surrounding acreage. A stream flowed through the property. He was a younger fellow, in his early twenties. I think he inherited the property from his mother, or something like that. In any case, he was a newcomer in the area.

One day he finds some guys fishing along the stream. He informs them they're on private property. They inform him that they are Indians and they will do whatever-the-F they please. (This is pretty much a universal attitude among the Indians I have met in the Great Lakes.)

The irony of this story is that as I write this the Indians of Michigan are engaged in a court battle with the State of Michigan which will affirm this attitude in law. Using the phrase describing the lands of the treaty being available to the Indians "until needed for settlement" which occurs in Article 13 of the Treaty of 1836, the Indians are on course to give themselves the rights to set up a tee-pee and camp out on your front yard if they feel like it, as long as the property is not within the city limits of an incorporated town or city. They are seeking the right to unlimited hunting and fishing on any inland lands covered by this treaty. I think this is preposterous, but I also think they have already won cases like this in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

On this basis I can just pass along the bright side of grandpas68's situation--at least he is just dealing with "rednecks" and not someone whose great-great-grandfather has passed down to him some dubious birthright. If that NASCAR effect truly holds, Sunday afternoons ought to be nice and quiet.

jimh posted 11-09-2005 02:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Inland property owners in Michigan should get up to speed on this case of Indian rights to fish, hunt, and gather on your land and inland lakes. Here is some good background on the dispute:

And another irony is that this action is being brought by the United States, acting as a "Trustee" and representative of the tribes against the State of Michigan. So Michigan landowners and taxpayers are paying taxes to the federal government taxes to finance the case on behalf of the Indians! And at the same time they are financing the State's case against the Indians. Only in America.

Among the lands and lakes included in this dispute are Higgins Lake, Mullet Lake, Burt Lake, Lake Charlevoix, Glen Lake, and Lake Leelanau. These lakes are among the most densely settled areas of Northern Michigan, typically with cottages ringing every inch of waterfront. However, most of these properties are not inside city limits.

If you live in Michigan, read this information. It is like an episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

poker13 posted 11-09-2005 10:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
Imagine then how the Palestinians feel about the dubious "birthright" claimed by the Zionists to take their entire land!
gnr posted 11-09-2005 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for gnr  Send Email to gnr     

The fella's dock extended out into the "public" waters of the lake which makes it fair game. I never had to set foot on the gentlemans private property to access his dock. In fact, at that time of the year the low water levels required the entire dock to be below the mean highwater mark making it entirely in public "waters".

There have been cases where dock owners have been taken to court by other because of their docks causeing access problems.

As a rule these kinds of things don't happen much but when they do it usually always involves a "newcomer" to the area who didn't do his homework.

pglein posted 11-09-2005 12:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     

That law has, to my knowledge, actually been around for many many years. And it has been tested on a regular basis, it's just that the property owners are generally unaware of it. The indians are coming in at night and harvesting on an incoming tide to avoid confrontation.

ddcIII posted 11-09-2005 01:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for ddcIII    
While the fishermen are within their rights and may argue that waterfront owners are aware of the nuisances that come with the territory, maybe you and the neighbors could find a compelling legal reason to keep close boaters away. Is there any protected wildlife that live in the area that they anchor near? Environmental reasons such as protecting the sea clams, for example, might qualify.

Further, perhaps you and your neighbors can extend your dock space (and dock volume sideways) to create a barrier between you and the boaters

On a lighter note- this might be a great time to get into a new hobby - like gas powered radio controlled boats and practice your new craft from the end of your dock.

3 or 4 hours of a high powered weed wacker circling the fishermen might level the playing field.

Or perhaps a few Mega-watt dock- mounted speakers aimed towards the offenders with your favorite Tiny Tim CD might get your point across..

Good Luck.

gnr posted 11-09-2005 04:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for gnr  Send Email to gnr     

we could try some patience and tolerance and learn to live together.

Ya better make sure you like the smell of cow manure before you buy that beautiful house out in the country...

HuronBob posted 11-09-2005 04:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for HuronBob    
I met Tiny Tim... now THERE'S a claim to fame!
kingfish posted 11-09-2005 05:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Well I met Ernie Kadoe (but why are we talking about claims to fame?)
prxmid posted 11-09-2005 07:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for prxmid  Send Email to prxmid     
I have a 100 foot pier extending into a creek off the Chesapeake Bay. It's a beautiful overnight anchorage an good fishing spot.

Why would I think people don't have the right to utilize
the water outside my pier.

Do I want them all over the dock, probably not. But I don't go out the front of my house and tell people they can't walk down the sidewalks either

JMARTIN posted 11-09-2005 07:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
Peter, the Puget Sound tribes filed a lawsuit in 1989 to take shellfish from public and private lands. The final rules that came out say that the property owner must be notified 30 days in advance, there must be a study done to determine what 50% of the harvestable shellfish is, a study must be done to determine if the shellfish are safe, and the tribes must come in by water. They can not cross private land, but they can harvest on private beaches and tide flats if the other rules have been met. The rules are so burdensome, according to the tribes, that there has not been any commercial harvesting that I know of on private lands, with the exception of Hat Island. United Property Owners of Washington is the organization that went to court on the private property side of the case. I believe the State of Washington also was in court to try to protect the public beaches. John
oysterman posted 11-09-2005 09:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for oysterman  Send Email to oysterman     
I'm a shellfish grower and a private property owner on Hood Canal. You touched on a sore subject with me. Yes the language of the rules are so confusing there has been no tribal harvest on commercial property that I'm aware of. I have heard some private property owners having their beaches dug for clams on the Canal. The State of Washington has been little or no help in resolving this issue. It all started eons ago with the State selling property to the citizens with the treaties in place. Yet the State pretty much bailed when told this mess started with them. They were no help at all to us growers. We have spent a few million while the tribe has spent more than ten times (taxpayer money of course) That all said, there is an agreement very close, but the Federal government is balking at the amount of money they need to put up (along with State money and property) to have an agreement put in place. Earlier it was the State hesitating and the Feds saying okay. What a mess!
Hobie1981 posted 11-10-2005 12:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hobie1981  Send Email to Hobie1981     
I suppose you could always put a couple of "bee hives" on the shore near your docks. You can get really mellow bees (Italian, Carniolan), bees with some attitude (Buckfast, Starline), or really pissed off bees (Africanized).

Your local gardens will really enjoy the pollination.


HuronBob posted 11-10-2005 05:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for HuronBob    

tiny tim was mentioned a couple of posts up..

Jkcam posted 11-10-2005 05:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jkcam  Send Email to Jkcam     
My comments are based on spending a good portion of my life living on the water. I've lived in my current home, about 140' of water frontage, for the last 8+ years.

You don't own the water, or the fish, and like it or not, the people that are fishing off your dock have as much right to be there as you do. This is your problem, not theirs, unless they are trashing your dock, (if in fact you own the dock and it was properly permitted when built, etc.)

Ignore it, and it will pass. Mess with them and you may be inviting a battle you can't win.

Loud music? plan on being awakened at 4 am to their version of what's music.

Sprinklers? I would figure that every gull in 4 counties will be fed on your dock. I would also plan on enjoying any left over bait, etc. being left on your dock.

Golf balls???? Give that suggestion a try and it will solve your problem. The first guy you hit will be the next owner of your waterfront home..............or what's left of it.

It will pass, just ignore it.

PeteB88 posted 11-10-2005 11:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
I didn't read all this stuff but here's my .02 on this topic of interest to me:

CONCLUSION: If you buy and live on water front property, golf course, near a public market, football stadium or airport DO NOT complain about users who have been there longer than you have - - - GO to a gated community and then you can keep "those people" away from your domain and out of your life . . .

Lakes, oceans and streams should have public access perhaps with 25ft buffer to private land. This is consistent with new trend for river front development in most cities.

I grew up in Michigan where, for example. Lake Michigan beaches are freaking fenced off to the public which I believe is stupid, against the law and unfriendly.

I lived in Oregon for many years where I never saw a fenced off beach or river. The only thing that ever stopped my wading PWN rivers was 1) impossible white water or falls w/ 2) basalt shear rock walls.

In Michigan, goat ropers will fence off their little piece of river front heaven often driving fence posts into the waterway extending wire fences 10 or more feet into the river thus preventing foot traffic along the trails of Chief Pontiac and Chief Okemos.

In Oregon I don't think I ever saw fenced off river frontage so anglers, boaters etc could access the bank if necessary and certainly walk along the bank unaccosted by wire fences.

I didn't fish for the first several years I returned to my home state because of assholes mostly from the city who took all their money power to our trout, steelhead, salmon and small mouth rivers and put up their expensive fences.

I was stunned and did not enjoy going out anymore especially after one incident on the Rogue R near Grand Rapids. My wife and I were bushwacking for steelhead between two bridges, high water conditions. We had to go past a house right on the bend of the river located on sort of a point. In normal conditions it is possible to slowly wade through while casting to holding water. On this particular day, it was too high to wade.

I am a strong enough wader to have made the deep pool plus I am 6 ft tall - however, my wife is 5"2" and she could not. So we got out of the river and and had the gaul to tip tow on Mr Jerk Ass's holy ground. This rotten bastard came running out of his house, in his bathrobe, on a Sunday started swearing at us to get off his XXX land and all that. I tried to reason with MR Green Freaking Acres and told him I didn't not feel like drowning my wife that morning - no mercy and I thought he was going to throw down and was ready to cast a tight loop around his neck or a #5 weighted spinner between his bloodshot, pus eyes.

WE just proceeded to safe water while his big filthy mouth echoed off the forest.

Ridculous - - the water ways should be open - river banks and beaches to the public -- I have heard in public forums that "we need to keep those people away . . ."

I am one of those people. I lived in the most livable city and state in the country. I now live in a state that is "48th on the list of desirable states to move to . . ." and we are losing population and businesses.

If you have read this far perhaps there is a solution. Open the beaches and respect public access to all streams and lakes.

Perhaps they should use their fence money to take a kid fishing or boating.

bloller posted 11-10-2005 11:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for bloller  Send Email to bloller     
This thread brings up an interesting question. When Hurricane Isabel came through Maryland a few years back, the tidal surge swelled the river well beyond its normal high tide. Most waterfront properties were completely inundated. When I decided to kayak across these properties, was I trespassing? Some of the property owners looked upset but perhaps that was just from the fact that there homes were now waterlogged.
flagold posted 11-10-2005 12:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for flagold  Send Email to flagold     
And what they are doing here in Florida now is using their money and clout in forming "friends of the . . . (insert river) to protect their "pristine" waterways from the heathen public and getting them added to the "protected" (protected from what) list . . . Anchor in front of their home and you soon have a guy with a gun inspecting your boat, going through all your paperwork, and making sure you're safe until you leave . . . They've done it on the Rainbow, and they're doing it on the Weeki Wachee and numerous others.

Land of the free, home of the brave . . .

JMARTIN posted 11-10-2005 12:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
Oysterman, I feel your pain. The commercial or even the private shellfish grower really took it in the shorts with this ruling. If I remember correctly, the tribes are entitled to 50% of the shellfish that would have occured naturally under the commercial bed that you planted. Now, how in the heck are you going to determine that? The way I read the rules, if the tribes did all the correct steps, they could come onto a commercially planted oyster bed and take out 50% of the oysters. The Goverment is of no help. I think they are reluctant to do anything that would tick off the tribes. They are scared the race card might be played. John
oysterman posted 11-10-2005 05:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for oysterman  Send Email to oysterman     
Right John,
How do you determine the naturally occurring shellfish when we actually seed our beaches? Is that clam natural or artificial? The language is there to let tribes on our property and walk around and survey the beaches. Luckily most of our property is diked walled, and that gets us free from the tribes in that case. But like I said, the tribe is waiting for a settlement, they would rather have the land and money.
Sheila posted 11-11-2005 02:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sheila  Send Email to Sheila     
I'd be pleased if I could keep trespassers off my private property.
DaveH posted 11-11-2005 11:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for DaveH  Send Email to DaveH     
Here's a new wrinkle for you all to chew on:

A homeowner's association here in Central Florida did not pay their property taxes on the common land for the community which included the area around the central lake. During the annual land tax sale by the county, a man bought the rights to this land for the tax value and proceeded to install an 8' fence on his new land. The lakefront owners had to buy back the rights to the land with an exaggerated value to gain their lake view back.

I am not sure all of these details are correct since it has been a few years since I read about it, but it was amusing to see the actions of all involved.

Another situation I believe was in Daytona Beach was with the noise pollution from all the waverunners. The solution was for the county (or city?) to create "motorized water craft free zones" near residential beach areas. This coincided with the creation of water vehicle parks along the coast especially for the wave runners.

Note to Grandpas68: I feel for you and I would be annoyed also. I would install a sign on your dock such as the ambiguous "Danger: High Voltage Power Cable Crossing" and "Do not anchor". That may not be true, but it goes along with all the private "no wake" signs along the ICW that are not legal also. The booze cruisers will not know the difference and move away for fear of death.

tgresla posted 11-11-2005 12:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for tgresla  Send Email to tgresla     
I didn't read this whole thread but in NH (Lake Winnipesaukee) you cannot anchor within 150ft of shore or any private dock or raft. You can cruise, at headway speed only, within 150ft but no mooring. Fisherman often come within 150 ft while trolling which is legal. Certain coves also have restrictions on rafting. Off my dock no more than 3 boats can raft together. When there is 4, you can be sure one of my neighbors (I don't know which) will immediately call the marine patrol.

Personally I enjoy seeing people rafted, enjoying Winter harbor, especially when they're wearing a bikini.

Hobie1981 posted 11-11-2005 01:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hobie1981  Send Email to Hobie1981     
Hey Tgresla:

You would'nt be near the old Wyanoke property would you. I went to camp there in the 60-70's and also learned to sail at WBC. My grandmothers lived on Everett Ave and Lewis Road in Winchester.


tgresla posted 11-12-2005 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for tgresla  Send Email to tgresla     

We are at the northern tip of Winter Harbor. When you are about to enter the basin you can see our house with the green roof to your right. I am not near the Wyanoke property. If your grandmothers are from Everett Ave in Winchester you come from good stock. We are in the little houses portion of East Hill Winchester near Medford.


tgresla posted 11-12-2005 10:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for tgresla  Send Email to tgresla     

It's interesting your name is hobie1981. In the late 70's and early 80's I was growing up in Michigan City, IN sailing Hobie 14's and 16' every day. We are on the wait list for the WBC, I hope to get in next year so my kids can learn to sail.

Whalerider posted 11-12-2005 10:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerider  Send Email to Whalerider     
I like the idea of stringing some orange balls between the docks and adding a “swimming area” sign. Legal or not...I would try it. I think all the local officials would do is tell you too remove it.
PeteB88 posted 11-12-2005 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
That New Hampshire rule sucks - I hate those kinds of rules but I am sure there are those on this site that want to keep "those people" away. In any case, there is activity in Michigan legislature and this link is quite interesting rainy day reading:,1607,7-153-10366_15383-31738--,00.html

Don't Fence Me Out!!

People need to lighten up and build relationships, neighbors etc. I remember years ago when I rode my quarter horse nearly every day - we used to trail ride intensely and often crossed private farm land following the rules to stay on the edges of the fields. IN any case this 120 acre farm sold and one day several of us were going back to the woods on the land we had been riding for years - and the new owner, we left greetings and invite sheet in his mailbox he never replied to came flying out on a tractor with a shotgun yelling "get off my xxx land!" We rode right up to him and tried to talk to him but Rambo had other ideas. Of course he had the right to ask us to leave but I explained to him that guys like us help watch over his land and to back off. No chance with that jerk until the cops found a stolen car ring out there and a hobo camp neither one existed prior to his kicking trail riders off his land.

Later he let us ride. And got a horse from one of us.

David Livingstone posted 11-12-2005 11:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Livingstone  Send Email to David Livingstone     
It's Saturday morning and I'm back from the rink and just can't help posting this:

Artist: Craig Morgan
Song : Redneck Yacht Club


i'm meeting my buddies out on the lake
we're headin out to a special place
we love that just a few folks know
there's no signing up, no monthly dues
take your johnson, your mercury or your evinrude and fire it up
meet us out at party cove
come on in' the waters fine
just idle on over and toss us a line

basstrackers, bayliners and a party barge,
strung together like a floating trailer park anchored out and gettin loud
all summer long side by side there's five
houseboat front porches astroturf,
lawn chairs and tiki torches
regular joes rocking the boat that's us
the redneck yacht club

bermuda's' flip-flops and a tank top tan
popped his first top at ten a.m., thats bob
he's our president
we're checking out the girls on the upper deck rubbin' in 15 spf, its hot
everybody's jumpin' in
later on when the sun goes down
we'll pull out the jar and the old guitar
and pass'em around

basstrackers, bayliners and a party barge,
strung together like a floating trailer park anchored out and gettin loud
all summer long side by side there's five
houseboat front porches astroturf,
lawn chairs and tiki torches
regular joes rocking the boat that's us
the redneck yacht club

when the party's over and we're all alone
well be making waves in a no wake zone

basstrackers, bayliners and a party barge,
strung together like a floating trailer park anchored out and gettin loud
all summer long side by side there's five
houseboat front porches astroturf,
lawn chairs and tiki torches
regular joes rocking the boat that's us
the redneck yacht club



tgresla posted 11-12-2005 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for tgresla  Send Email to tgresla     
Massachusettes governor (and likely future presidential candidate) has a nice place on Lake Winni in Wolfeboro, NH. This past summer he tried to place some yellow 'privacy bouys' in the lake off his property to keep the gawkers away. Everybody made a big stink and made him take them out.
jimh posted 11-12-2005 02:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Many thanks to PeteB88 for the contribution of that interesting link above, which I herewith repeat as a hyperlink:,1607,7-153-10366_15383-31738--,00.html

TomG posted 11-13-2005 09:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for TomG  Send Email to TomG     
As a lakefront homeowner on a popular inland lake near Detroit, it was very common for us to be awakened by voices at 5:00 AM on a weekend morning. Looking out the bedroom window, I'd see a bass boat or two sitting about 2' off the end of my dock.

Since we always slept with the windows open in the summertime (and they were only about 50' away from the house), you could hear plainly as they whooped, hollered, belched, farted and otherwise acted like they were at "deer camp" (a la Escanaba in Da Moonlight) in the North woods...instead of in the middle of suburbia.

I always yelled out "Hey can I get you guys some coffee or breakfast?" That usually shut them up, because suddenly they realized they were actually in a populated area...not the wilderness. I always wished I could go to their homes, sit on their front lawn and make noise at all hours without any repercussions.

I know that they have a legal right to be a riparian property owner, my property officially ends at the waterline...but many people are so unbelievably rude and inconsiderate.

I support access to public a boater and fisherman, that is very important to me. But, in my mind, there is a flip side...that access needs to be "considerate and appropriate". Just my .02...


gnr posted 11-14-2005 12:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for gnr  Send Email to gnr     
Please define what you mean by "considerate and appropriate".

If you can hear the guy's fart then I'm guessing the "hooting and hollering" may be more like talking back and forth in normal tones for the situation.

The real reason you are being disturbed is because you are trying to sleep RIGHT NEXT TO a public waterway.

Live and left live.

If you want to ensure your morning sleep is not interrupted then buy a place which will allow you enough buffer between your bed and the nearest public property.

Course then you'd have to something about those damn birds that start their infernal racket at sunrise.


newt posted 11-14-2005 12:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
GNR, with all due respect, what a crock of sh*t. I live right next to a public street. In the summer, my open window faces "a public way". I'd be just as pissed off with some loud a-hole in the street at 5:00 am. Just because it's a public waterway gives fishermen the right to be rude?
Binkie posted 11-14-2005 12:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie  Send Email to Binkie     
Sound carrys over water a lot further than over land. Living on the water is a noisy proposition. No question about it.
gnr posted 11-14-2005 01:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for gnr  Send Email to gnr     

With all due respect.

Two fisherman talking and farting in their boat is far from rude.

Yelling and screaming and crankin' the tunes in the early hours of the morning probably would be.

Sound carries very well over water and one should know that before they buy a house feet from a public waterway and start whining about the public activities.

TomG posted 11-14-2005 04:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for TomG  Send Email to TomG     
gnr, "with all due respect", you are being pretty self-righteous considering you don't have all the facts.

The lake I lived on was 1 mile long and 1/2 mile wide (465 acres to be precise). It had over 300 homes fronting on it and those homeowners paid significantly higher property taxes than their neighbors who weren't directly on the lake. At last count, there were over 600 boats permanently moored on the lake. The vast majority of those boats and boaters rarely caused a noise or behavior problem...especially not at 5 a.m.

Because...let's see if you can get this, because it's complicated...they were considerate!

This lake has a Michigan DNR public acess site where the "public" can launch a boat on this "public waterway". This access site has 32 parking spaces...when those spaces are full, no more boats are allowed on the lake until someone leaves and vacates a space.

So bascially what you are saying is that 32 boats full of the "public" can come in and behave however they want because it is a "public waterway". Give me a break. Like I said, a little consideration goes a long way.


Jkcam posted 11-15-2005 05:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jkcam  Send Email to Jkcam     
We sure could debate the lack of curtesy in today's society. You don't have to live on the water to encounter that in everyday life.

I chose to live on the water a long time ago. In Annapolis I frequently was awakened by the USNA early morning rowing practice. Such is life on the H2O.

In Florida the sound of fisherman, crabbers, commercial giggers, is common stuff. It still beats the sounds of garbage trucks, subways, taxi's, fire engines, etc. It also beats the sounds of 125 mph hurricanes.

I pay higher taxes so I should be more entitled to my sleep? hahahahahahahahahahahahah.

Sounds a little like the driver that says, I own a BMW so I should be able to go faster.

Some people that live on the water, should not. But I suspect they could find something to be po'd about.

I really think the genuine offer for some coffee will go a long way to greater and quieter enjoyment of your waterfront estate.

David Livingstone posted 11-15-2005 12:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Livingstone  Send Email to David Livingstone     
"Two fishermen talking and farting in their boat is far from rude.”

Wow, I was fishing a long time before I got a boat and will be hopefully be fishing a long after I'm too old to boat.

Early morning farting in a fishing boat is like a walkman to a jogger or tight shorts to a biker. It's just natural!

We also have waterfront property. Commercial 40' fishing boats throw a wake up over our docks all the time. We've also found beer bottles (not our brand) on our landing on the river bank.

If it ever gets too much for us, we will wait until the fall when the leaves start to change. By this time the commercial season is over, trout season is closed and the jet skis have all gone back to Hades where they came from. We will advertise the cottage in a mainland newspaper and get top dollar for it. Then we’ll move far inland up behind a Wallymart somewhere and live out our days in peace and quiet.



gvisko posted 11-15-2005 05:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for gvisko  Send Email to gvisko     
My problem at my oceanfront home are not fisherman or kids
but birds . Thats Right birds ( pipeing plovers ) If they
decide to make a nest in back of my house the feds find it
and rope of the beach from april till august. what a nightmare.

George Viskovich

an86carrera posted 11-15-2005 06:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
If you have ever fished ... there are good and bad spots.

I don't like anybody looking in my windows and farting in my back yard but, if you live there live with it. Most of my homes have been on the water so it does't bother me enough.

However the car thing should be the way JK described, the '99 C4 Porsche would apreiciate it.

gnr posted 11-16-2005 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for gnr  Send Email to gnr     
"So bascially what you are saying is that 32 boats full of the "public" can come in and behave however they want because it is a "public waterway". Give me a break. Like I said, a little consideration goes a long way."

In a word, yes.

Within the bounds of the law of course.

Your higher property taxes don't mean that I have to walk on pins and needles while involved in a legal activity on a public area which happens to border your property.

You are absolutly right when you say a little consideration goes a long way. I couldn't agree more. The problem lies in the definition of the phrase 'a little consideration'. I think to some lake front property owners that phrase means stay away from my lakefront and if you do have to come by don't make the slightest noise.

Consideration is a two way street.

Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.