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BillM

More irate land owners.

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I hit a portion of the Saugeen yesterday with my oldman. Pulled up to the bridge and parked the car. As we were stringing up the rods a nice white haired old lady comes walking around the corner. I think nothing of it and say hello as she walks up to the car. We were talking about the fishing and such yada yada yada when she informs me that she owns the property on the one side of the bridge. I'm thinking that's cool, I'll make sure to not step foot on it and get into the water directly below the bridge as planned. She then informs me that she also owns the riverbed. This is where I just smile and continue lacing up the flyrod. I get into the water and make my way up to a small run where my buddy Dave hooked a really nice bow in a few weeks ago. Well I'm in the middle of my first drift when from behind me I hear the old lady again "You are trespassing, this is private property!" I looked at her and said "your property is on the other side of the bridge correct?" she says yes, but still continues on. Meanwhile I hook into a friggin monster rainbow, which is making the little ultralight beg for forgiveness and is peeling the 4lb test off the Shimano like it was going out of style.

 

I eventually lost the fish after about 5mins or so, not making headway on it once, lol. I was then being threatened with a fine, and this is what set me off. I informed her that she couldn't 'fine' me anything and if she thought I did deserve a ticket to call the police, bring your deed which states you own the riverbed and I'll gladly leave. She then tells me she doesn't have to show me anything, lol. I can see my dad is about to blow his fuse, so we just wrap things up and make our way to the car. She even used the reference of "How would you like it if I camped on your front lawn"... I gave her the what the hell look and said when was the last time she parked a lounge chair in the middle of the river? This isn't waterfront property, if you've seen the Rocky you know exactly what I'm talking about. I also didn't step foot on her 'land' as I made my way upstream (All of 10ft mind you) via the river itself.

 

I would really like to find out if she owns the riverbed or not.. If she does, then she had every right to ask me to leave, but from what I've been told it's a rarity that ownership proceeds past the high water mark. Do I need to call the township? Would they possibly have this information? I guess I just need to look at a land survey correct?

Edited by BillM

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Im not sure about the Rocky, but i do know that some old deeds do include riverbeds. The upper Credit near belfountain has some privately owned riverbeds, and i believe mabey a few properties in Hockley may as well.

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Tell her to take a flying leap at a rolling Kielbasa on a gravel road!!! :angry:

 

Just another water front property owner that thinks she owns the water and the fish!!!

 

I'd have farted in my hand and then waved it under her nose!!!

 

 

When you packed things up and left... she won!

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I dont really fish contested areas but did she own both sides of the bank? If she didnt Ill just about guarantee she didnt own the bottom. Also next time some one harasses you like this inform them it is against the law to interfere with angling and that she is more than welcome to call the police as you would like to see her charged.

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I hit a portion of the Rocky Saugeen yesterday with my oldman, this section is west of highway 6. Pulled up to the bridge and parked the car. As we were stringing up the rods a nice white haired old lady comes walking around the corner. I think nothing of it and say hello as she walks up to the car. We were talking about the fishing and such yada yada yada when she informs me that she owns the property on the one side of the bridge. I'm thinking that's cool, I'll make sure to not step foot on it and get into the water directly below the bridge as planned. She then informs me that she also owns the riverbed. This is where I just smile and continue lacing up the flyrod. I get into the water and make my way up to a small run where my buddy Dave hooked a really nice bow in a few weeks ago. Well I'm in the middle of my first drift when from behind me I hear the old lady again "You are trespassing, this is private property!" I looked at her and said "your property is on the other side of the bridge correct?" she says yes, but still continues on. Meanwhile I hook into a friggin monster rainbow, which is making the little ultralight beg for forgiveness and is peeling the 4lb test off the Shimano like it was going out of style.

 

I eventually lost the fish after about 5mins or so, not making headway on it once, lol. I was then being threatened with a fine, and this is what set me off. I informed her that she couldn't 'fine' me anything and if she thought I did deserve a ticket to call the police, bring your deed which states you own the riverbed and I'll gladly leave. She then tells me she doesn't have to show me anything, lol. I can see my dad is about to blow his fuse, so we just wrap things up and make our way to the car. She even used the reference of "How would you like it if I camped on your front lawn"... I gave her the what the hell look and said when was the last time she parked a lounge chair in the middle of the river? This isn't waterfront property, if you've seen the Rocky you know exactly what I'm talking about. I also didn't step foot on her 'land' as I made my way upstream (All of 10ft mind you) via the river itself.

 

I would really like to find out if she owns the riverbed or not.. If she does, then she had every right to ask me to leave, but from what I've been told it's a rarity that ownership proceeds past the high water mark. Do I need to call the township? Would they possibly have this information? I guess I just need to look at a land survey correct?

 

Beautiful just Beautiful what you told her. Atta Boy. Would of loved to hear what she would of came back with, if you used MUSKY OR SPECKS statement.

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Is this a navigable waterway ?

 

I've tried to make this point before. A lot of folks don't distinguish between navigable and non-navigable waterways, but then I think there's enuf confusion as to the definition of navigable in this context given modern conditions and methods of transport to make it a tricky point to apply.

 

JF

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Here's a for-instance. How many of you have heard of the old towpath allowance? This was a narrow band of shoreline that was kept open for the horses drawing barges along a navigable waterway. The problem now is that obviously no one uses horses to pull barges these days. They seldom even use barges other than in the largest waterways. So is that towpath still necessary? Should there be public access along a shoreline of any navigable waterway? We have a battle over that going on in our park area. Periodically some landowners along the river block off the public pathway that has been used by walkers for years. Then the fuss starts. I don't think the municipality knows how to apply the archaic laws that really don't make sense any longer but are still in existance.

 

Should a waterway that rises from a spring on a private property be considered a navigable waterway just because a small canoe or kayak can get up it? It goes nowhere and is of no value to commerce or meaningful travel. As much as I'd like to see fishermen have access to these fishing opps I can understand why a landowner might feel he has a claim to the riverbed. It's probably counted as part of the land he owns and taxed accordingly.

 

Different situation for two properties on opposing shores of a river passing through and past their property boundaries, or a substantial navigable waterway passing through a private property. Then it should not be private and closed.

 

YMMV.

 

JF

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If you're in the water, you're not trespassing. It is possible that she owns the shoreline, but a bridge adjoining her property would probably result in an easement that you can legally use to access the water.

At the end of the day, some people don't seem to have enough to keep them busy.

Living well (fishing) is the best revenge.

BB

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Is this a navigable waterway ?

 

Well there is a provincial canoe route right through this spot, so I would assume it is considered navigable.

 

BB: She had no issue with me walking down besides the bridge, it's when I waded upstream she started to go off..

 

BTW, Welcome to OFC :)

Edited by BillM

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I think the Saugeen would be described as navigable, no? There's probably precedent going back 100 years+

And thanks, this forum is great!

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Well there is a provincial canoe route right through this spot, so I would assume it is considered navigable.

 

 

BTW, Welcome to OFC :)

 

Thanks for the welcome, the published canoe route is a pretty clear cut , sometimes I think the

" I'm standing in the water and you can't touch me " mentality goes too far at times. I am only familiar

with the Rocky from a few trips in the 70's when we used to take the varmint rifles up that way on the

weekend for a Saturday of groundhog shooting and then we hit it on Sunday where it crossed the Markdale

Road for a dinner of pansize Brookies . At that point I would have to say that I would hesitate to wade through private property.

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Dave, my only issue is that I didn't get to the water via anyone's private property. According to the Waters way act, if the river or creek is deemed navigable, the bed is Crown land.

 

Summary:

 

The plaintiffs owned a parcel of land which was bisected by a creek. Their title derived from the original Crown patent which reserved all navigable waters therein. The creek was a shallow, fast-moving stream with a bottom predominantly of cobble-stones, but it had some natural obstacles in the form of rapids, falls and boulders. These occurred also at the site of the plaintiffs' land. The width of the creek varied from 26 to 60 ft.; its depth varied seasonally from one to five feet. In the past the stream had been used for navigation by canoes and other shallow craft and for floating logs on a seasonal basis. The latter was a commercial use, the others probably were not, since the area was served by a good road system when it was settled. More recently, the creek at the site of the plaintiffs' land and elsewhere was used for recreational purposes by shallow craft and, in the winter, [page609] by snowmobiles, skiers and others. The plaintiffs, being concerned about their ability to sever the lands on either side of the creek, brought an application to determine whether they owned the bed of the creek.

 

Held, the creek was navigable; hence the bed was vested in the Crown.

 

The issue whether a stream is navigable in law must be determined as of the date of the Crown patent. However, modern uses of the stream may be taken into consideration. Navigability is determined by the following criteria: (1) A stream is navigable in law if it is navigable in fact; (2) a stream is navigable in fact if it is capable in its natural state of being traversed at least by small craft, or even, in the Canadian context, if it is floatable in the sense that it is used to float logs, log rafts and booms; (3) the stream does not in fact have to be used for navigation so long as it is realistically capable of being so used; (4) the stream may be navigable over part of its course and not navigable over other parts and hence its navigability may be determined independently at different locations; (5) as distinct from the law of Quebec, the test of navigability does not, in Ontario, require that the stream be capable of navigation in furtherance of trade and commerce. Rather, the test identifies a lake or stream as a public water over which the public have an inherent right to pass, whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes. Moreover, the test remains open to definition in light of modern needs of the public; (6) the essence of the test of navigability in law is that a stream be a public aqueous highway used or capable of use by the public.

A stream is not navigable if it is used only for the private purposes of the owner; (7) navigation need not be continuous, but may fluctuate seasonally; (8) interruptions to navigation of a natural kind, such as rapids, which may, by improvements, be readily circumvented, do not render the stream non-navigable. Moreover, a stream not navigable by reason of natural obstructions may become so as a result of artificial improvements.

 

On the facts, the creek was navigable in fact and in law at the site of the plaintiffs' land at the date of the Crown patent, either on the basis of the traditional test of navigability, or the test as modified by modern conditions and considerations. Hence, title to the bed did not pass the grantee. This conclusion was confirmed by s. 1 of the Beds of Navigable Waters Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 40, which declares, with retrospective effect, that the beds of navigable waters do not pass to grantees of the lands through which they pass in the absence of an express grant.

Edited by BillM

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We all know this law because we're fishermen (and fisherwomen).

 

A lot of people don't know the law....and quite frankly, it might seem like common sense (esp to an older person) that they own the creek, especially if they own the land on both sides.

 

It doesn't make what she did right...not knowing the law isn't an excuse.....but i don't know that her freakign out is as heinous an act as we're painting it.

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It doesn't make what she did right...not knowing the law isn't an excuse.....but i don't know that her freakign out is as heinous an act as we're painting it.

 

I don't think anyone is making it out to be a heinous act, I know I'm not. I wasn't rude, I didn't swear, I barely raised my voice. But why should I have to put up with that when I'm trying to spend some quality time fishing with my dad? Especially if I'm within my legal right to fish?

 

I have found some excellent docs and will be contacting the Land Registry Office. If I can make my way down to the river without trespassing, I have every right to fish without being hounded by property owners who have no clue about the law.

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Dave, my only issue is that I didn't get to the water via anyone's private property. According to the Waters way act, if the river or creek is deemed navigable, the bed is Crown land.

 

I agreed, you entered at a road allowance ie. public property and the water is navigable as evidenced by the government published canoe route map. My point is that some think they are OK as long as they are standing in water , sometimes the status of that water as navigable is quite debatable.

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I don't think anyone is making it out to be a heinous act, I know I'm not. I wasn't rude, I didn't swear, I barely raised my voice. But why should I have to put up with that when I'm trying to spend some quality time fishing with my dad? Especially if I'm within my legal right to fish?

 

I have found some excellent docs and will be contacting the Land Registry Office. If I can make my way down to the river without trespassing, I have every right to fish without being hounded by property owners who have no clue about the law.

 

Sorry -- maybe a poor choice of words.

 

And like i said, her (potential) non-knowledge of the law doesn't make what she did right. You are entitled to do it, and do so in peace....just saying, in her mind she probably thinks she's right. For most people it is probably common sense to think they own it.

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Bill,

 

My friends and I have tried looking into this for a piece of property on a gbay trib for the same reason. You have to go to the land registry office with her address, and or legal description. You can then pull the deed for a fee. Its a very hard thing to prove, I would do the homework before going up again.

 

Some land owners do own riverbed, and unfortunately we as anglers have to respect that. I would say that if the police did come, they would slap you with a fine and you would have to fight it. Guilty until proven innocent in this case.

 

Its funny, everyone knows places on rivers where land owners claim to own riverbed and come out shouting at you when you're fishing saying that you're tresspassing. At the same time, you never hear of anyone getting a ticket, or a fine. Wouldn't you think that if a few people got fined for tresspassing, word would spread like wildfire and no one would even think of tresspassing on that land anymore? Makes you think, do they really own the riverbed, because if they did, why come out, just call the cops and let them sort it out.

 

J

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Why don't you just be a prick back and notify the police or ministry and let them know what she is doing. Maybe they will pay her a visit and shut her mouth!

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1st point:

 

I'm under the belief that the landowner must own both sides of the river to claim any riverbed ownership and if it's navigible it gets harder---what is she gonna do if your fishing "Her" water from a canoe--nicely suspended 3 feet above her riverbed??

 

2nd point:

 

It truly is a shame when people wish to lock up the land and waters along with the fish and game.(Maybe in this instance we can learn from our first nations about sharing these items with each other)

BUT people have proven to be pigs and landowners get upset to come down to said riverbank to find empty beercases-smashed bottles--tin cans--broken fences etc etc etc.

 

3rd & last

 

In my early 20's a friend and myself found a country road outside of Dunville and found our way down to the Grand River--we set out our lines and it was'nt long a man and his bear sized german shephard arrived and notified us we were on private prop.

 

My friend and I apologized for not knowing and we asked where we could fish---well I guess he thought we were harmless and polite and he said ok right here---he was just keeping tabs to ensure his prop was not going to become a dump---too bad most of these stories did'nt end like this--we were always allowed access after that.

(Nice old guy)

But there's also the story where we were fishing the lower stretches of Bronte at night and watched a group of brain surgeons light a 30 ft pine completely on fire...

 

Bushart

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yep i ran into this problem before on a trout creek,i myself thought they only owned the high water mark(bank)but i found out they did indeed on the bed lol(atleast where i was)

so i checked into it and i found it if its good enough to navigate a canoe its good to go

 

3 days later i parked my canoe right in front of there house and started fishing lol,not a word was said to me..

 

good luck

 

 

Hawg Hunter

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I'd have farted in my hand and then waved it under her nose!!!

 

Very classy. Just another example of how fishermen can be seen as ignorant idiots

Edited by msp

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I'm not about to park myself there again until I know for sure. I'm not out to make any enemies and she did apologize to my dad as we were leaving. I think it's just a case of her assuming she owns the riverbed, nothing more. I'll do some research and let you guys know if anything comes of it.

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There is no need to be impolite or to lose your temper. Just inform the irate landowner to go back to his or her home and to please call the police, IF they arrive, you can let them know that you have been harassed by the landowner and are wondering if you can press charges. You are fishing on a navigable waterway which is considered Crown Land, if there is no Crown on the irate landowners head then you should be fine. But for God's sake, be polite, being nasty makes all fishermen look bad. Chances are, you are dealing with a grumpy old woman and who knows what her problem with the world is, and really, who cares.........

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