EarningStripes207

Question about access

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Ive been looking at a new fishing spot and drew up a pretty good plan to access it. Did a quick google search and found out that the land is owned by a family that allows access with permission only, and right now is stating the whole area is closed due to Covid-19. On top of that the website I read makes a claim that the only access is by boat and walking to the area over the intertidal zone (which was my plan) is a big no-no. I call BS, Maine law states that even though land owners have private property rights down to the low tide mark, the area between low and high tide is designated as an intertidal zone open to certain activities by the public (one of which is FISHING). Im mostly making this post to ask if anyone has experience in a situation like this, I believe I have the right to use any land in the intertidal zone to get too and fish the spot. If I'm wrong id rather get schooled here than by an angry landowner after a half hour hike. Thoughts?

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1 hour ago, EarningStripes207 said:

Ive been looking at a new fishing spot and drew up a pretty good plan to access it. Did a quick google search and found out that the land is owned by a family that allows access with permission only, and right now is stating the whole area is closed due to Covid-19. On top of that the website I read makes a claim that the only access is by boat and walking to the area over the intertidal zone (which was my plan) is a big no-no. I call BS, Maine law states that even though land owners have private property rights down to the low tide mark, the area between low and high tide is designated as an intertidal zone open to certain activities by the public (one of which is FISHING). Im mostly making this post to ask if anyone has experience in a situation like this, I believe I have the right to use any land in the intertidal zone to get too and fish the spot. If I'm wrong id rather get schooled here than by an angry landowner after a half hour hike. Thoughts?

The state of Maine does have defined fishing, fowling, and navigation rules for inter-tidal public access. However, the property owners (especially those with money) tend to ignore those rights and are quick to call in a local lawman or two to chase uninvited trespasser(s) away. You can try to argue your rights with said lawmen but, often it usually ends up a lost cause. If your argument gets to aggressive you may end up getting an unexpected ride to town.

Your best bet is to get in touch with the landowner and try to work it out directly with him/ her.

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It's been a while since I've fished the rocks from shore seriously enoughfor this to be an issue, but I used to fish a few areas that had adjacent landowners that didn't enjoy my presence.  The CCA Maine site (https://cca-maine.org/?page_id=10) has some good resources, though one of the links seems to be broken.

 

I used to carry a laminated version of MRS Title 12, Chapter 202-A in my tackle bag (no cops or landowners were ever interested in reading it - go figure).  It wasn't too unusual for a landowner to threaten to call the cops on me, but I only had them show up twice.  Both times they asked me to just leave to avoid a hassle with the landowner, and both times I told them I'd be happy to discuss the issue with their sergeant if they weren't sure what to do, but I wasn't planning on going anywhere unless I was being arrested (I was a young guy with time on my hands).  In both cases, I was left to fish, though the landowners made it clear that they weren't happy about it.  

 

These days, I'd probably just move on, it's not worth the hassle unless the fishing is _really_ good.

 

p.s. If the cops do show up, there's a pretty good chance they're not going to be happy about the whole situation - make sure you're parked in a very clearly marked legal spot.

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See if your state has a statute for harassing hunters or fisherman while in the act of taking game and flip the table on the landowner harassing you. Video it then call the police. When they arrive hand them the copy of the statute show them the video and demand they issue a ticket.

 

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16 hours ago, EarningStripes207 said:

Ive been looking at a new fishing spot and drew up a pretty good plan to access it. Did a quick google search and found out that the land is owned by a family that allows access with permission only, and right now is stating the whole area is closed due to Covid-19. On top of that the website I read makes a claim that the only access is by boat and walking to the area over the intertidal zone (which was my plan) is a big no-no. I call BS, Maine law states that even though land owners have private property rights down to the low tide mark, the area between low and high tide is designated as an intertidal zone open to certain activities by the public (one of which is FISHING). Im mostly making this post to ask if anyone has experience in a situation like this, I believe I have the right to use any land in the intertidal zone to get too and fish the spot. If I'm wrong id rather get schooled here than by an angry landowner after a half hour hike. Thoughts?

Maine allows Intertidal land use for specific purposes if you can access the area from public land, i.e. you can't walk across my yard to get to the intertidal in my back yard. You also can't hang out in my adirondack chairs in yard and wait for the tide to go down if you get stuck. So lets say your going to...i don't know...an island. An island thats closed to public access which is normally open but is closed due to public health crisis.Your going to make a miserable trek across to do what exactly when you get there? No way you can walk around said imaginary island and stay in intertidal zone without going above high tide. Plus you are conspicuous because the other uses are shut down.  And intertidal rights maybe don't exactly apply as simply to an island but I am sure the lawyers for the owner would have a pretty clear handle on any statues involved. 

 

If you maybe went north of imaginary island and parked at a public lot you would find some good fishing with a shorter walk.

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21 hours ago, Chiefy said:

If you maybe went north of imaginary island and parked at a public lot you would find some good fishing with a shorter walk.

checked out that spot the other day too. Some bait but it wasnt exactly the type of water I'm looking for, and there was a no trespassing sign where stuff did start looking more interesting. I'm sure theres fish all over there, maybe as many as tourists. 

 

I see your point, and since the fishing the past few days has been lights out in easier locations I won't make the hike anytime soon. If I was going, Id pick a day where the tide stayed below the average high tide mark and the swell wasn't crazy. That way I could probably stay in the intertidal zone for as long as I needed until my access out opened back up. Ive done a good amount of intertidal cliff scaling so far this year so I think I might be able to make it further around than you believe, but until I can go look for myself from a distance (kayak) It isn't safe to go out there. Ive got no problem with a miserable walk, it usually keeps the riff raff far out of sight and mind. 

 

I didn't pick this location because its hard to access or because its currently closed, I picked it by looking at maps and charts. just so happens that the spot is a bit of a challenge. If I can manage to do it in a safe and legal way its an option.

 

Thanks for all the other responses, If I do decide to make the hike, Ill reach out in advance to ask permission/ let them know I'm coming. I respect private property and am not looking to do anything I don't have the right to be doing. 

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6 hours ago, chr1s said:

OP brought to mind this post from a few years back...

 

 

Oh jeez, that sounds like an experience I want nothing to do with. Im fantasizing about putting a weighted treble through that a-holes bedroom window as we speak.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Never seen or heard of an individual that makes the day trip via kayak Or SUP get in trouble. Camping without the permit, accessing via foot (timing of tides and size of tide have to cooperate), and pulling in via boat a different story. 

 

May just want to email the gent on the  website. He is VIGILANT with access and does his job very well. 
 

with regard to threading the needle on Access and harassment laws, the pockets of everyone on the 2200 acre estate are deep as a is the holding corporation.  Say what you will about the law and execution of it. There’s enough money to tie things up in litigation for a looooooong time. 

 

 my experience has seen a decade or two of boom and a couple decades of fishery decline.  i held an all access pass for 12 seasons to this spot.  I would classify the experience and fishing as “meh.”

Edited by HeyNine-ah

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I am not certain of the exact state of the law in Maine now, but I do know that years ago my Dad won a lawsuit in the Maine Superior court that concluded the "land" between the mean low water mark and the high tide mark belonged to the landowner, so called "riparian rights".  I don't think that anyone would question the public right to pass over the flats in your boat, when covered by water, for the purposes of fishing etc., but wading through someone's mudflats at low tide without permission might be problematic.  As suggested earlier, the best solution is to talk with the landowner about access, and even if you don't believe you need their permission, get their "acquiescence."

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Sorry but dead wrong, Maine supreme court decided for fishing, fowling, or navigation you can access the intertidal zone. Id say the law is settled as far as that goes. As far as general public use that is different. That's why its important to know your rights and stand up for them. I would rather be shot in the face then give up my fishing rights. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

When an officer shows up to facilitate resolution, the taxpayer will win. 
 

like it or not, that’s the experience being delivered up and down our coast.

 

have not yet once experienced citing our rights prevail. 
 

great part about our state is this fishery isn’t the only game in town. Plenty of places where the landowners are amicable. 
 

Edited by HeyNine-ah

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Those that can still hike and fish negative lows will continue to do so. It's not always easy on the back depending if you carry a plug bag, backpack, chunks, or perhaps a combination of both. Landowners are but the least of your concern. For the most part you are but an artful ornament on your hood. A caretaker may yell idle threats but no lawmen is gonna hike up his pants and chase you to the end of the earth. The Maine fisherman is king of his domain.

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