posted on Oct, 15 2013 @ 06:49 PM
Many years ago we were caught fishing on a small river that the landowner thought we weren't supposed to . When the state DNR guy came and ordered us
out of the river we told him we would meet him at the bridge In a couple of hours because the state owns the water and it's right of way. The DNR guy
knew that and told the property owner so. Good day fishing but if we would have stepped out of the water we would have been arrested.
I researched the laws here in Michigan concerning water right-of-ways. Any river that had logs floated down it during the logging era back in the
1800s is public right of way. Even though a property owner may own the riverbed, a latter ruling allows fishermen in waders to walk on it. Also, the
riverbed extends to the river's highest water mark in the spring, so technically you could walk along the bank where it was underwater in the
However, I wouldn't go pushing the issue with an angry landowner whose property surrounds the body of water you happen to be in, esp. if the fish are
spawning on his gravel beds.
Anyway, this doesn't apply to any public owned land where you are free to traverse the area regardless. If they prevent you from river entry on
federal land, simply find some other public easement or get permission from a private land owner, they are usually cool if you ask nicely and offer
them something in return.
ETA: An up to date plat map helps in this regard, also where a road is next to, crosses or ends at a river is normally ok for access.
15-10-2013 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added last line
edit on 15-10-2013 by MichiganSwampBuck because: typo