914surf

Access Question

15 posts in this topic

Can't seem to find the writing on legally fishing below the high tide line in NY. If I were to walk through a government owned park that states no fishing is allowed and wade into the water past the high tide line would that be legal?

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Good luck.  Start with a google of  Dongan Patent: December 27, 1686 

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Do a google search of Mean HIgh Water Mark Property Line NY, you'll find everything from legal documents to news paper articles regarding the topic. I had the same question a season or 2 ago, minus the govt property part, and found that no one owns the land below the MHW. Stay below the weed line and you are ok, you don't even need to be IN the water.

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.... I also just found this which is pretty clear: "The New York State Public Trust Doctrine says that anything seaward of the mean high water mark on the beach is public land, and anything landward of the mean high water mark on the beach is private property. The so-called wrack line, where debris washes up on the beach, is often looked at as an informal high tide mark, but it can change from day to day."

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Trespass and no fishing regulations are two different things, and particularly given that you're dealing with a government entity, you may get into a bind conflating the two.

 

While the law may allow you to wade below the high tide line (I qualify that ability to access below the high tide line, because in some places, particularly on the North Shore, the towns have jurisdiction over the submerged bottom), the state also has jurisdiction over the water; it can prohibit fishing in that water if it wishes to do so even if you arguably have the right to access the area.

 

You wrote "government" rather than "state," so you could be talking about a federal, county or municipal park, rather than a state.facility.  In that case, I don't know what authority such government may have to prohibit fishing off the shore of the park in question; it's not an issue that I've run into before.  However, there is also the practical side:  You need to ask yourself whether, in the event that you choose to assert what you believe to be your rights, you are willing to be hassled, and perhaps ticketed, by the local enforcement authorities, pay any resultant fines or take the time and expense to fight the mater in court, etc.  

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Funny..a few summers back we were fishing Cedar Beach  over to the far right where the private beach begins.. we remained within the high tide lip line and a man from one of the bourgeoisie private homes came down to give us a stern talking to.

 

We tried to ignore him, but then he proceeded to enter into the water in front of our casting at which point we called it quits.. it just wasnt worth the fight for cocktail blues.

 

One gentleman however insisted to carry on, nearly missing the resident with each cast of his 1 ounce diamond jig.  

 

I couldnt help but to think who was crazier, the resident intentionally standing in harms way risking a surely cracked skull from a diamon jig... or the hyper-vigilant fisherman who refused to back down.

 

Finally the resident went up to his house and phoned the police... then as the police were walking up, the resident actually grabbed the fisherman's pole trying to hold it down from casting in protest, the fisherman let go of the rod and reached into his pocket handing the police a magical piece of paper with the law which clearly stated that even on the private beach, so long as he remained within the high tide water line he was fine.

 

He then proceeded to inform the police that the resident had commandeered his rod and refused to give it back. Obviously the police made the resident give the rod back and said nothing to the fisherman other than to remain within the high tide water line  ( I honestly don't think the police even understood the document or cared for that matter ).

 

After the police left, the resident came back down cursing and mouthing off to the fisherman and then AGAIN entered the water standing in the way of each cast, except this time it was an SP minnow with some nice and sharp trebles wizzing by.

 

This went on for 10 mins, while my friend and I watched from the public beach line.

 

Eventually the fisherman gave up, so we walked over to stroke his ego and he reached into his backpack and pulled out a copy of the letter and gave it to me and encouraged me to make copies and give them out to people.

 

Long winded story to say... damn it.. I lost that paper so if you find what your looking for ..please pass on the link.

 

Tight lines!!!

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I ran into an access problem while shell fishing from my boat on the water in a North Shore harbor. The house owner came out and announced he was calling the police because his deed had water rights. He was screaming and carrying on, I ignored him because it was the only lee I could find with the wind blowing like snot. Cop shows up and calls me in to shore. The guy is showing the deed? to the cop, and cursing me out. Cop takes the homeowners side, I ask him where are the surveyed boundaries and the posted signs. You can’t accuse me of trespassing on land abutting public land unless you survey and post it. Cop told me to go back to work. 

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Posted (edited)

You can't expect cops to know the law. Never assume they'll take your side because you're right and acting within the law. With the millions of pages of laws and regulations, nobody can be expected to know it all. So like CWitek said, be prepared to go to court because even if you're guaranteed to win, you still may have to take a day off, pay court fees, etc. Make sure you're ok with that before venturing out.

 

Honestly, though, if some jerk off tried to grab my rod, I would ask the cops to charge him with assault. At times like this, a gopro would come in handy. 

Edited by Fishy Fisher

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While the law may allow you to wade below the high tide line (I qualify that ability to access below the high tide line, because in some places, particularly on the North Shore, the towns have jurisdiction over the submerged bottom), the state also has jurisdiction over the water; it can prohibit fishing in that water if it wishes to do so even if you arguably have the right to access the area.”

 

Charlie, As per the Public Trust Doctrine, you do not only have the right to access below the mean the highwater line but you have the right to use it for recreational purposes such as recreational fishing. This goes for navigable waterways. According to the doctrine the feds hold title to submerged land. 

 

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The mean high tide "rule" seems to be in effect everywhere except for Breezy Point. I remember reading somewhere that there the rule is the mean low tide mark.  Either way, they don't want you fishing in certain areas there.

 

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2 hours ago, Rockawayjb said:

The mean high tide "rule" seems to be in effect everywhere except for Breezy Point. I remember reading somewhere that there the rule is the mean low tide mark.  Either way, they don't want you fishing in certain areas there.

 

hmm. You mean that private beach club on the ocean front? or the residence area in the back?

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This is pinned in the NJ forum. I would think you in MY would have something  similar available?

Screenshot_20180601-174234.png

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On 5/31/2018 at 7:57 PM, tom farrell said:

While the law may allow you to wade below the high tide line (I qualify that ability to access below the high tide line, because in some places, particularly on the North Shore, the towns have jurisdiction over the submerged bottom), the state also has jurisdiction over the water; it can prohibit fishing in that water if it wishes to do so even if you arguably have the right to access the area.”

 

Charlie, As per the Public Trust Doctrine, you do not only have the right to access below the mean the highwater line but you have the right to use it for recreational purposes such as recreational fNot iishing. This goes for navigable waterways. According to the doctrine the feds hold title to submerged land. 

 

Not in some places, including parts of Oyster Bay, where old land grants are recognized and boats have been found to be trespassing when they dropped their anchor in the wrong place.  Similar situations exist elsewhere on Long Island.  What you cite is the general rule, but there are exceptions, most based on titles dating back to the English crown.

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