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Old 05-21-2012, 01:37 PM
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Default Noob question about access

Coming from a lifetime of fishing public lakes for bass, I'm a bit stumped about stream fishing access. How do I know which stream waters are public and which are not? Are there places I can look on line? I used to own a piece of land with a good stock pond on it, and had a tough time keeping trespassers at bay... I don't want to be one of those guys...

Thanks...

Jack
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:44 PM
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Default Re: Noob question about access

Jack: Good question. It depends on where you live as it is state regulated. Probably the best place to start is checking with your Fish and Game folks to see if they have any maps of public access points or wildlife refuges, ets. Here in Wyoming, Colorado and Utah the landowner owns the river bed, so that means the public can only wade in the river where there are public access points or in waters within National Forests. In Montana the public owns the river bed so you can wade in the river below the high water mark, you just need to enter the river at a public access point (bridge crossing, etc). If you have some sort of boat that gives you access to a larger amount of the water, you just can't anchor or get out of the boat where it crosses private land.
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: Noob question about access

Firstly, welcome to the board Jack! Secondly, stream access laws vary greatly, mostly by state, and are in a constant state of flux. If you give a general idea of where you are located someone here can steer you right. You can always consult your state Fish & Game as well. milt.
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Noob question about access

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnerney View Post
In Montana the public owns the river bed so you can wade in the river below the high water mark, you just need to enter the river at a public access point (bridge crossing, etc).
Here, I think it can get worse than that.. the stream/river needs to be classified that way.. Spring Creeks aren't - they can be private, and some streams can really be considered ditches, so they're private too.. it's a little crazy
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Noob question about access

I'm located in Amarillo, TX. I'll be fishing mostly in New Mexico and Colorado.

Thanks,

Jack
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Noob question about access

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Originally Posted by schrederman View Post
I'm located in Amarillo, TX. I'll be fishing mostly in New Mexico and Colorado.

Thanks,

Jack
As mentioned, in Colorado if they own both banks they own the bottom. However you can find access information online - if you're hitting a river, check a fishing report and they often include info on access as well. Calling a nearby fly shop is another good place to start plus you can get some local info on flies, flows, etc. Other than that you check out a map and look for the river running through public land/parks. Many river/creeks will run through a park than be private, then a park, etc etc. South Platte below Deckers is a great example. There are marked pull-offs with public access interspersed with well marked private land. Just fished a smaller creek that was the same way.

If you're heading up here and have specific water you want to hit. Post a question on the forum and folks might PM you some access info. It'll be hard to get the secret, unmarked, off the beaten path access points, but I bet you'll get some good info.
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