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Water Gates


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Im sure that this has been addressed before, but I just finished a float on a river (has it's own forum on here) that is regularly floated, and had to deal with 6 water gates. Yes it was farther up than is generally floated, but still plenty of water, with floats even higher in the system being very possible. What are the basic laws on obstructing a floatable stream? Who would you report these to? 4 of them were easy to take down, but 2 of them were in very bad places and completely impassable (6-8 ft bank on each side). Frustrating.

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As far as I know, there aren't any laws specifically against fencing across streams. I suspect that if anybody had any jurisdiction over it, it might be the Corps of Engineers since it could be construed to be obstructing the flow of water. The Elder v Delcour decision that governs floating streams says nothing about it except stating that one has the right to portage around obstacles, which would include fences and gates. I suspect you may be talking about the upper Meramec, which is where the original Elder lawsuit was based, so if any stream is included in the ones which are considered to have a public easement it's that one, but a few of the landowners along the upper reaches of the river have always been somewhat hostile to floaters and from year to year you'll see some of this stuff...until the next major flood tears it out. When floating streams like this, keeping a low profile and putting up patiently with obstacles both natural and man-made is about all you can do.

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