Ftyer

What is NY’s Tidal Navigation Laws

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I’m trying to find out how Ny handles their tidal navigation when fishing? I came across this text online and I’m trying to ensure I’m reading it correctly: 

 

“You have the right to fish in tidal waterways and publicly owned non-tidal (freshwater) waterways. Even if the privately-owned waterway is navigable-in-fact, you don't always have the right to fish in that waterway. The right to fish in a privately owned navigable-in-fact waterway depends on other factors such as: 

  • The property owner's deed rights of the property and
  • Whether the State has acquired public fishing rights from the landowner.”

 

Does this imply that I can fish in the tidal zone here? is that how they handle it?

 

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I cut through (not fishing) a private boat club marina on the tidal Hudson to land and launch a kayak. Members have tried to stop us but we ignore them. 
  As far as I know, one can be anyplace on a tidal body of water up to the high water mark!   Of course check with your local authorities to clarify the legality of fishing verses navigating on private water.

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15 hours ago, Ftyer said:

I’m trying to find out how Ny handles their tidal navigation when fishing? I came across this text online and I’m trying to ensure I’m reading it correctly: 

 

“You have the right to fish in tidal waterways and publicly owned non-tidal (freshwater) waterways. Even if the privately-owned waterway is navigable-in-fact, you don't always have the right to fish in that waterway. The right to fish in a privately owned navigable-in-fact waterway depends on other factors such as: 

  • The property owner's deed rights of the property and
  • Whether the State has acquired public fishing rights from the landowner.”

 

Does this imply that I can fish in the tidal zone here? is that how they handle it?

 

As the passage you quoted suggests, things can get a little complicated.

 

If we stick with tidal waters, things are somewhat less complex than they are in freshwater.

 

To begin, you can run a boat anywhere on tidal waters (unless there is a particular exclusion zone, such as the zone near JFK's runways), and you can fish anywhere you can run a boat.  However, there are situations where you may not be permitted to anchor, as a result of adjacent landowners having been deeded rights to bay bottom, although such rights only exist when they flow from a grant in a colonial-era deed and have been passed down, uninterrupted, since that time.  Thus, some duck clubs own the right to sections of bsy bottom (meaning that non-members can't do things like anchor a layout boat in the area) in eastern Great South Bay, and some north shore municipalities and private residents can dictate who anchors in sections of a few North Shore bays.

 

The shore fisherman's situation is roughly analagous.  Generally, they can wade and fish anywhere below the mean high tide line, subject to the same sort of exceptions and deeded bay bottom rights that can impact the boat owner who might like to anchor (although local landowners and homeowners' association might, and frequently do, try to assert dominion over bay bottom that they don't own).  However, there is no legal right to trespass upon private upland in order to access the water.  You can't cut across someone's lawn, or walk through restricted municipal.county/state/federal land, in order to access the water.  That fact can often render your right to fish below the high tide line academic in many locations.

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2 hours ago, CWitek said:

As the passage you quoted suggests, things can get a little complicated.

 

If we stick with tidal waters, things are somewhat less complex than they are in freshwater.

 

To begin, you can run a boat anywhere on tidal waters (unless there is a particular exclusion zone, such as the zone near JFK's runways), and you can fish anywhere you can run a boat.  However, there are situations where you may not be permitted to anchor, as a result of adjacent landowners having been deeded rights to bay bottom, although such rights only exist when they flow from a grant in a colonial-era deed and have been passed down, uninterrupted, since that time.  Thus, some duck clubs own the right to sections of bsy bottom (meaning that non-members can't do things like anchor a layout boat in the area) in eastern Great South Bay, and some north shore municipalities and private residents can dictate who anchors in sections of a few North Shore bays.

 

The shore fisherman's situation is roughly analagous.  Generally, they can wade and fish anywhere below the mean high tide line, subject to the same sort of exceptions and deeded bay bottom rights that can impact the boat owner who might like to anchor (although local landowners and homeowners' association might, and frequently do, try to assert dominion over bay bottom that they don't own).  However, there is no legal right to trespass upon private upland in order to access the water.  You can't cut across someone's lawn, or walk through restricted municipal.county/state/federal land, in order to access the water.  That fact can often render your right to fish below the high tide line academic in many locations.

This is excellent information, and I appreciate both of your responses. I was thinking that this is how it went, and this is a somewhat similar situation to other Atlantic states that I’ve fished. Access it from public land, and you’re pretty much good to go anywhere below the mean high tide mark. 
 

Thank you. 

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I’ll update this thread with an interaction I had in the peconic bay today where a family had asked me to “pass through their water” while I was fishing, to which I told them that’s exactly what I was doing. Then, I was told that I wasn’t moving quickly enough. At that point, I expressed how what I was doing was perfectly legal and the lady then began to “skip rocks” at me, which was her way of disguising the simple fact that she was throwing rocks at me. Then after that, I was lectured on how me fishing lacked “courtesy” and “kindness…” by the lady that threw rocks at me. In the end, they looked like the aholes and I got a funny story out of it, so not a total loss I suppose. 

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2 hours ago, pakalolo said:

Can you be a bit more specific as to location? 

I’m not sure what’s allowed in terms of specific location here, but it was on Shelter Island (if you’re really curious, feel free to PM me and I’ll tell you; personally, I see a lady throwing rocks at fisherman as a public concern to anyone who fishes near there, so I’ll give you the exact address). And when I asked if their deed goes back to the colonial period, the guy didn’t even understand that question, so I’m really doubting that any of them had a leg to stand on. 

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There's tricky rules to entering the inner portion of Lloyd Harbor, NY. They post "NO BOATS UNDER POWER WEST OF THIS SIGN" and I've heard dozens of explanations if this is enforceable. Water gets really warm in there anyway so not the most ideal fishing spot most of the season. 

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