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  1. #11

    Default Re: Snake River Fly Fishing Floats In Jackson Hole

    It appears that the law may be a little confusing, but hopefully this will shed some light on the question at hand.

    Apparently if a stream is able to support passage of watercraft then the "high water mark" is the rule, if not able to, then it is private, I think......


    Website, Rivers of Wyoming:

    Who owns the rivers in Wyoming?

    Answers to frequently-asked questions about river law in Wyoming,
    regarding river ownership, use, access, and conservation.


    Question: I have been told by one source that rivers in Wyoming follow the "High Water mark" law. And other sources have lead to make me feel the opposite (i.e. the river bank and bed are private property). I am particularly interested in the North Platte River below Grey's Reef.

    NORS: The key question is whether the river is "navigable for title purposes" under federal law. Our impression is that the North Platte is indeed navigable for title purposes, because it is useable by a variety of small craft throughout the spring and summer. (Correct us if we are mistaken.) Therefore, it is held in trust for the public by the state, and is public land up to the ordinary high water line. The ordinary high water line is the actual mark you see on the ground, the line between ground that has been covered during "ordinary high water" (not during extreme flooding) and the land that has not, as distinguished by the effects the water has had on the sand, gravel, soil, and vegetation. Wyoming state law, last we checked, was supportive of this. State law can modify the management of these public-trust lands along rivers, but it cannot give them away to adjacent landowners, or deny all public use of them. (To do so would be a violation of the Public Trust Doctrine, a body of relevant federal case law.) Any ambiguities in Wyoming law should not be interpreted so as to narrow the definition of rivers that are navigable for title purposes--that is a matter of federal law, not state law.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Jackson Hole, WY
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    Default Re: Snake River Fly Fishing Floats In Jackson Hole

    Quote Originally Posted by rpharoah View Post
    If this water was in the state of Montana, the statements would be true but I believe in the state of Wyoming the Land Owner controls the all the land, including the land under the water. I believe walking or anchoring is trespassing. I certainly will verify this information before I float the river. Thanks again for the article...
    I believe you have to own the land on both sides of the stream to claim the stream bed. Yes your right about walking and anchoring in that case. That is how the Green and New Fork rivers are. But on the Snake river once you leave the park it is the high water mark. Might have something to do with those folks building there homes on the natural flood plain of the river. But you may get out on the gravel bars and riffles to wade fish, and you may drop anchor anywhere on those stretches. This does not include tributaries like Fish Creek and Spring Creek.
    Davo
    My worst day on the water beats my best day anywhere else hands down!!

    Upstream Anglers and Outdoor Adventures

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Missouri City (near Houston), Texas
    Posts
    1,262

    Default Re: Snake River Fly Fishing Floats In Jackson Hole

    Guys, this confusion as to what waters a fly-fisherman can and can't fish - with particular emphasis on out-of-state fisherman - is exactly why many of us won't fish Wyoming or Montana other than in national parks. No one from out of state wants to get into a shooting match with some over-hormoned landowner.

    Seems to me that both states need to get a more "tourist-friendly" and understandable fishing-rights law in place.

    In the meantime, guess I'll wear my Kevlar vest and a hard hat when in Wyoming next September.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Wyoming . . .
    Fly2:

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Jackson Hole, WY
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    Blog Entries
    59

    Default Re: Snake River Fly Fishing Floats In Jackson Hole

    If the river flows through their land they own the stream bed. If their land abuts the stream on one side they do not own the stream bed nor does the land owner on the other side.
    Davo
    My worst day on the water beats my best day anywhere else hands down!!

    Upstream Anglers and Outdoor Adventures

  5. #15

    Default Re: Snake River Fly Fishing Floats In Jackson Hole

    How is Dam-Pacific section in spring in terms of rapids?

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