Fishing rights on Sandy River

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chaminade

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All,

I recently checked out Garbage Hole for the first time, and did some exploring downstream from the main parking area. There was a path alongside the water, and I kept a good eye out for "no trespassing" signs to ensure I don't overstep onto other people's toes. As I came upon a yellow rope blocking the trail as it lead up above the high water mark, I respected that by getting in the water and wading over to an island that is clearly visible from Garbage Hole. As I fished from that island, someone hollered to get off his property.

It was my understanding that no one person owns a section of the river, but I obliged because the rules on the first page of the regulations book isn't quite as clear either. The rules basically say that if the river is navigable by boat, then you are okay to be there. If it is not navigable, then it's a grey area. This part of the river at this time of year isn't exactly navigable, unless you're drifting in an inflatable, then you could get by.

Again, I didn't pass any 'no trespassing' signs, and I definitely did not step on the other side of the rope. I only walked along the trail that appeared to be below the high-water mark, and started wading and hopping boulders once I came upon the yellow rope.

Was I in the wrong?

Map attached shows the parking area, the red line that I took along the bank, then across boulders to the island. I know that fishermen like to keep a low key on nice fishing holes, but if this owner is going to try to trample on the public's rights, especially one who in good faith respected all signage and ropes as possible... Well, I'm going to post. ;)

Thank you for any feedback. My friend and I ended up going further up-river. We're still hoping to catch our first ever salmon.
 

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JeannaJigs

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I know where you're talking about, I was shown this hole, and we did the same thing, waded across and continued downriver. No altercation with the land owner, but I can see how land owners could get irritated with the number of people fishing this area. However, it's my understanding that if you're below the high water line, you're on public land, and they can't do anything about it.
 
O

OnTheFly

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I agree with Jeanna. Below the high water line belongs to the public. Property changes hands all the time so perhaps the new owner hasn't a clue.
 
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eggs

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you were in the right.. dont worry about it..

p.s. you found a good fishing spot ;)
 
Irishrover

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If you drive up Marsh Rd from Dodge Park toward the Gargbage Hole, before you get there on the right you will see a barbwire fence and a ton of no trespassing signs. That property borders the Garbage hole (Ed Latourett County Park). If you go down stream there is a trail but the barbwire at one point cuts across the trail and you can not legaly cross that fence. You did the right thing and hit the water. The truth is the best way to get there is to head up river from Dodge Park and stay below the high water mark. You will hit another good hole before you get to the island hole. The owner of the mentioned property does not want folks on his properrty. Years back you could cut down the middle of the property to the hole. I think from the looks of the fence which appeared a couple of years ago, I'd say it's a different owner now. I just wonder if the owner his it in mind that if you are on the Islan that it is above the high water mark? There is not much of that island that is above the high water mark.
 
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Anyfishisfine

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Exercise your rights or lose them. Let the owner call the cops so they can educate him.
 
C

chaminade

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Thanks for the replies, everyone.

I waved my friend over to the island, and once at the end of the path I told him not proceed any further but rather cross via boulders, which is when the owner heard me and started hollering at my friend. I tried to explain that it was public property and encouraged my friend to ignore him and keep coming to the island, but the owner wouldn't have any of it, my friend hesitated and turned around to walk back to the parking lot to avoid a confrontation. Frustrated, I wound up packing and crossing back over to shore. After talking this over with my friend, explaining our rights and their rights, he was eager to go back to the island, but the day was getting late and I figured I would do more research. Besides, all we wanted to do was fish and enjoy ourselves, and not waste the last couple hours of daytime putting up with this landowner.

I'm a huge advocate for personal and public rights, so now armed with documents that show the Sandy River from milepost 0 to 37.5 as being navigable will go a long way in defending my/our rights to walk beneath the high-water line. I plan to return to that hole in the very near future, and I encourage the rest of you to exercise your rights while being respectful of nearby owners. Beer cans, cigarette butts, plastic trash don't belong to the river, please keep it clean.
 
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F

fishtales

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I was going to mention Accession- which is a change in border by natural causes in the pluss for the land owner. I doubt that is the case here but as beaverfan posted above it is good to know your rights.
 
H

halibuthitman

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I think a lot of people think that this goes for ALL rivers in Oregon. There are only 12 rivers in Oregon that all or some of the submersible land has been deemed publicly owned. So the high water thing is completely invalid in about 99% of the rivers in Oregon.
:clap::clap: exellent job Jay, I can asure you all 1 thing, if you encounter a posted sign on property that does not belong to you, it is illegal to pass it, if you happen to know the property owner, say by chance the forest service or state.. and choose to remove the illegal sign, you are breaking the law, I myself have a giant collection of no trespassing signs, that will continue to grow, but don't try being a lawyer on this.. if asked to leave.. leave. The police will not come and vindicate you, you will look like an ass and damage relations further with the property owner for future fishermen. Just sneak in and out like the rest of us and clean up after yourself. Plus a trespassing ticket is cheaper than most guides and any fishing club.. but leave if asked to leave, trust me.
 
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Coho Kid

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Clack

Clack

I was once told by the Sheriff that the Clackamas is not classified as a navigable river and there for I didn't have the right to access private property below high water mark. I was trespassed from Riverside park for accessing the private property just upstream from the park. I hadn't noticed a no trespassing sign which I had admittedly bypassed at a fence to access the upper holes of the river. I'd not looked into the classification of the river myself, anyone know the law?
 
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beaverfan

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I was once told by the Sheriff that the Clackamas is not classified as a navigable river and there for I didn't have the right to access private property below high water mark. I was trespassed from Riverside park for accessing the private property just upstream from the park. I hadn't noticed a no trespassing sign which I had admittedly bypassed at a fence to access the upper holes of the river. I'd not looked into the classification of the river myself, anyone know the law?

Unfortunately in Oregon there does not have to be a no tresspassing sign for you to be tresspassing. If the land is private and your on it and not supposed to be you can be charged with tresspassing. The Clackamas is not one of the 12 rivers deemed navigable by the state. (the complete list is included in the attachment in my previous post)
 
Irishrover

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Regarding trespass here is a little tid bit to keep in mind.

164.265 Criminal trespass while in possession of firearm. (1) A person commits the crime of criminal trespass while in possession of a firearm who, while in possession of a firearm, enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises.

(2) Criminal trespass while in possession of a firearm is a Class A misdemeanor. [1979 c.603 §2]

On the other hand without a firearm....


164.245 Criminal trespass in the second degree. (1) A person commits the crime of criminal trespass in the second degree if the person enters or remains unlawfully in a motor vehicle or in or upon premises.

(2) Criminal trespass in the second degree is a Class C misdemeanor. [1971 c.743 §139; 1999 c.1040 §9]

The big difference is the upgrade from a class C misdemeanor to a class A misdemeanor.

The two main elements of the crime are one Enters unlawfully and two Remains unlawfully.

I have fished that strech of river for years and have never had a problem. I just stick to the river. If I head down river to the girl scout hole I do the same. I don't take the easy way down walking the path way. The local property owners have put pressure on the Cops and they have little choice. When I win the lottery I'll buy that land and post it open to all OFF members.:lol:
 
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halibuthitman

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and of couse now that we have hammered out the merits of property ownership... nothing opens more fishing water than simply politely asking for the permission to enjoy the expensive property said individual has posted.. after all it is the lack of respect that has been shown to property owners that has driven them to deny access.
 
G

GDBrown

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... nothing opens more fishing water than simply politely asking for the permission to enjoy the expensive property said individual has posted....

Well said, I have done this on more than one occasion and been given permission because I was willing to politely ask before hand and in some cases arranged to come back at another time that was more convenient for the landowner, who fished with me that day.

GD
 
F

FISHERNELSON

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Exercise your rights or lose them. Let the owner call the cops so they can educate him.

I Agree. And I have been told by many people down the whole river, if your below the high water mark you are on public land. Also I have been told if you are unshure of the high water mark then put your toes in the water and you are fine.
 
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beaverfan

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Regarding trespass here is a little tid bit to keep in mind.

164.265 Criminal trespass while in possession of firearm. (1) A person commits the crime of criminal trespass while in possession of a firearm who, while in possession of a firearm, enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises.

(2) Criminal trespass while in possession of a firearm is a Class A misdemeanor. [1979 c.603 §2]

On the other hand without a firearm....


164.245 Criminal trespass in the second degree. (1) A person commits the crime of criminal trespass in the second degree if the person enters or remains unlawfully in a motor vehicle or in or upon premises.

(2) Criminal trespass in the second degree is a Class C misdemeanor. [1971 c.743 §139; 1999 c.1040 §9]

The big difference is the upgrade from a class C misdemeanor to a class A misdemeanor.

The two main elements of the crime are one Enters unlawfully and two Remains unlawfully.

I have fished that strech of river for years and have never had a problem. I just stick to the river. If I head down river to the girl scout hole I do the same. I don't take the easy way down walking the path way. The local property owners have put pressure on the Cops and they have little choice. When I win the lottery I'll buy that land and post it open to all OFF members.:lol:

Hey Irishrover, I was just reading the OSP Field Report and notice a mention of an angler being charged with "angling in violation of criminal trespass II". What's the difference between that and just regular criminal trespass?
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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Hey Irishrover, I was just reading the OSP Field Report and notice a mention of an angler being charged with "angling in violation of criminal trespass II". What's the difference between that and just regular criminal trespass?

They are two seperate charges. First there is the plain charge "Crim Trespass II. Enters or remains unlawfully in a motor vehicle or in or upon premises."

Then there is the second charge which stems from the game law violation. It is unlawful to angle or hunt while violating trespass laws. It allows for the suspention or revocation of hunting and fishing licenses. Thus the charge angling in violation of criminal trespass.

" 498.002 Wildlife as state property; taking, angling, hunting or trapping in violation of wildlife law or rules prohibited. (1) Wildlife is the property of the state. No person shall angle for, take, hunt, trap or possess, or assist another in angling for, taking, hunting, trapping or possessing any wildlife in violation of the wildlife laws or of any rule promulgated pursuant thereto. (2) No person shall angle for, take, hunt or trap, or assist another in angling for, taking, hunting or trapping any wildlife while intentionally violating ORS 164.245 to 164.270 or 498.120. [1973 c.723 §73; 1993 c.440 §1; 2003 c.656 §10]"

The two cites would be Ors 164.245 (crim trespass) and Ors 498.002 (angling in violation of ors 164.245)

It is similar to a bad guy getting busted for burglary and if he used a pry bar to get in he would also get busted for possession of burglars tools.

Hope that helped.
 
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beaverfan

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Thanks for explaining it, never really knew that if I was trespassing while fishing I was actually comitting two crimes. Good to know.
 
M

Mike123

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I've fished the island and below it every time I've gone to the Sandy and nobody has ever said a word.
Does that guy got pot growing up there in the woods or what!? haha..

There's a spot on the Alsea like this where some guy thinks he owns a stretch of river.. I gotta do some research and find out about it..
 
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FISHHEADMAFIA

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That spot "used" to be accesable by the trail . Land owner was nice and really didn't care . There was always a huge mess there . Garbage every where . The old land owner died and it was inhereted by some one who put a end to the mess , and put up the fence .
You can acces the island from below the high water mark , right there at the fence . I do not cross the fence .
You can also get to that hole just below the island from dodge park . Just stay below the high water mark .
It is the same above the garbage hole . There is private property up there , but if you are below the high water mark ,
your good .
Just respect the land owners , "AND" the river , and clean up after yourself .
 
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