Fishing and Posted Property in New York State
I would encourage everyone interested in this discussion to go read the entire speech. It’s a valid and important argument from the view of a private property owner, and quite frankly, many sports and recreation related websites and magazines don’t publish the views of this group.
Instead, our industry tends to always favor the argument of those that want access to all water everywhere. While I can certainly see their point, the modern circumstance of law needs to be taken into consideration: We like to sue. And we like to sue a lot.
What’s At Stake in the Navigable In Fact Waterway Argument
As with most issues, both sides have an arguable point or two in their favor. Considerable NYS funds go into the protection of our water. We have a lot of freshwater in our area, and a lot of wetlands. These do indeed need protection, and monies spent to do so come from the public coffers.
This gives every NYS resident a stake in these waters financially, as well as from an environmental health perspective.
Our license fees also go towards the hatching and rearing of fishes, some of which find their way onto private property after their release. So an argument could be made that as purchasers of those licenses, those fish are our property as well.
The problem, to me, comes in the form of application. How do we effectively give New York State residents the ability to pursue their sports while still providing an adequate layer of protection for private property owners?
Consider a story I heard that takes place here in the Western New York area.