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GoDoe

Trespassing issue while fishing the LIR just above Marvel

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I heard from a good source that there is a guy that bought property just above Marvel's on the LIR. He owns both sides of the river and is calling the Game Warden to issue trespassing tickets if you anchor or set foot in or out of the river on his property.

If you are floating and don't touch bottom it is my understanding you are OK but otherwise beware.

Anybody hear of this? It effects the way I fish because I have been putting in at Marvel and paddling my kayak and fishing my way up and back to the Watts area.

Marvel is now charging to park for the day also but I don't know the rate.

The world just keeps getting more complicated to live in...................

John

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Think your fine...Arkansas says recreational use is cause enough to deem a stream as navigable in the state of Arkansas...i.e. the state claims ownership to the river bottom up to the high water mark. Anchor do what you want. The guy might not like it but he is clearly wrong.

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Sorry assumed Arkansas...Oklahoma is a bit different because landowners own the stream bottom on non-navigable rivers.The public has a right to fish if they can get to the river via public land, but the state does not claim ownership of the stream bottom.. No case law on anchoring, or portaging, but I saw a note saying you cant anchor a trot line on a landowners property. Think your still good to go.

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Is the Lower Illinois a non-navigable river? The upper part is considered a scenic river, but is that only in certain sections? How would the law apply there?

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I'm not sure of the exact date but several months ago Marval stopped having trout stockings from the Department of Wildlife thus eliminating the need to let licensed fisherman enter the river from their property. They do not own the river in their section but they do own the land up to the river, assuming a certain amount of dry land for easement. I would assume that the land owner, mentioned above, is in the same situation. Regardless of whether they own both sides of the land parallel to the river, they cannot own the river nor the determined easement. It is still public land in the river and their is nothing the "land" owners can do about it. Not 100% sure but seems logical considering similiar situations up and down the river.

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According to the OK government website, no court in OK has definitely decided one way or the other on whether wading, portaging, or using gravel bars on non-navigable streams is okay. In whichever court case it was that prohibited anchoring trot lines to private property, the MO case of Elder v Delcour was cited favorably, but only to differentiate pole and line fishing from trot line fishing. OK uses pretty much the same definitions of navigable vs. non-navigable as MO and AR, and that's where a lot of confusion comes in. Float streams are NOT navigable streams under the definition! The only navigable streams are those like the Missouri, Mississippi, and Arkansas which are actually used today for commercial freight hauling. However, in OK as in AR and MO, the public has an "easement" on floatable and boatable streams, allowing them to use the water for floating and fishing. In MO and AR, court cases have decided that the easement includes wading, portaging, and using gravel bars. In OK there has not yet been such a court case, therefore the issue is still in doubt.

For all practical purposes, that landowner will only be able to have people arrested or ticketed for trespass IF the county sheriff is willing to arrest them and the county prosecutor is willing to prosecute them. If indeed people ARE being ticketed for trespass on that guy's property, it will take somebody fighting it in court to remedy the situation.

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Good info Al. I guess the only way to know the limit is to test it. I hope someone that is unaware and stumbles into this mess will have the means and the attitude to fight!

Kind of hard to hate the landowner either if the law is not clear. I wouldn't want people roaming around on my property either, but he had to kind of know what he was getting into when he bought it.

Maybe one day the water will go down and we will get to go to the river again.

I am headed to the gulf for some fly fishing as soon as this tropical storm does it's thing.

John

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