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Author Topic: Water access drama  (Read 2408 times)

Offline bknilvr00

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Water access drama
« on: May 16, 2018, 02:07:47 PM »
With all the good weather recently and my recent acquisition of a fishing kayak, I have been hitting a few local lakes. Really took a liking to Lake Connor since it's all of 5 minutes from my house and holds a decent amount of largemouth bass. Fished it several days in the last week. Had a representative of Lake Connor park stop on the road and ask me to not retain the trout, as they had just paid to have it stocked for a memorial day weekend fishing derby for the kids. I'm after bass, not dog food fish so no big deal. She was polite and the whole interaction lasted maybe a minute. Few hours later I had two different vehicles pull in behind my rig, watching me fish, I'm going to assume they took down my license plate#. That was yesterday. Cut to today. Myself and another party of 3, (two teenagers and dad) were on the lake. All of us were there for all of 15 minutes before the sheriffs deputy rolls up and calls us over. Says the manager at Lake Connor park called because its a private lake, so we cant be there. Myself and the other gentlemen both knew that Lake Connor has a WDFW owned(verified by county assessor map, god bless the internet), water access site. Lake Connor park owns a hefty majority of the Lake except for the WDFW access which is right off the road. Knowing better than to try my case with a deputy who doesnt want to deal with such petty disputes, I moseyed on home and immediately looked up the tax maps to verify what I pretty well already knew. I called the Region 4 office to verify with them to see who is or isn't right. Gal on the phone was helpful, but didn't know WDFW had a water access site there. But she confirmed that there was one, and from my past experience as a waterfowler in this technicality strangled state, I asked if it was a case of owning the bottom, but not the water. She said yes, and told me I had legal access. So she then routes me to the snohomish county sherrif to inform them of the situation as it happened and to let them know that wdfw verified its legal access, despite Lake Connor parks protests. So, after all this, I'm feeling pretty good, decide to call Lake Connor park and politely touch base with them and let them know that we can in fact fish the lake. Once I got connected to the manager and informed her I was one of the gentlemen she called the cops on, she was very polite. Asked if I caught anything, told her of course not because I was only there for 15 minutes. I just explained to her all the hoops I jumped through to verify legal access blah blah blah. Despite what I had to say, she maintains that they own the lake, and the fish in it. She wouldnt even talk about the validity of the wdfw access, conveniently ignored it during our discussion. She name dropped a few people saying they told her its their property and such but in the end she maintained her position of complete lake ownership, and stated  that she also did not call the cops. They just "showed up". Realizing I was getting absolutely nowhere, which is what I get for doing what I believed to be the right and courteous thing to do, I thanked her for speaking with me and hung up the phone. So now, after all this, whats the general consensus on what I should do? A part of me wants to print off a picture of the WDFW owned access tax map and have it on me for the inevitable call to law enforcement. What do you guys think?

Offline 92xj

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Re: Water access drama
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2018, 02:12:28 PM »
I'd go fish it
"If you have to be crazy to hunt ducks, I do not wish to be sane."

Offline h20hunter

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Re: Water access drama
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 02:13:18 PM »
Get it in writing and go fish.  You can't be forcibly removed from conducting yourself in a legal manner. Sportsman should not be bullied by false no trespassing signs or statements. I of course would also consider being respectful of the request to not keep trout knowing a youth event is upcoming.

Offline vandeman17

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Re: Water access drama
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 02:17:26 PM »
I agree with above and you should fish it. Print out information showing wdfw and enjoy your fishing
" I have hunted almost every day of my life, the rest have been wasted"

Offline mallard

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Re: Water access drama
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 02:24:23 PM »
I agree with the above. Carry some documentation with you and go fish.

Offline BD1

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Re: Water access drama
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 02:25:41 PM »
Get it in writing and go fish.  You can't be forcibly removed from conducting yourself in a legal manner. Sportsman should not be bullied by false no trespassing signs or statements. I of course would also consider being respectful of the request to not keep trout knowing a youth event is upcoming.

 :yeah:

Offline Badhabit

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Re: Water access drama
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 02:32:45 PM »
Just go fish it. Let anyone know who confronts you while fishing that they are interferring with a legal activity and you'll be the one calling the sheriff on them for that interference if same. Also, how can they prove if you caught a trout that it was a fish they paid for or a naturally produced fish? This is the stuff that makes YOU TUBE so much fun to watch, ignorant people getting educated.

Offline bobcat

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Re: Water access drama
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2018, 02:35:32 PM »
Keep fishing it. Fish it every day if you can.

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Water access drama
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2018, 03:08:16 PM »
I concur with the rest. Keep fishing, and some formal documentation clearly showing the access easement.

The manager may very well believe that the park owns the lake, so don't blame her directly, she was probably misinformed. It may take a couple run-in's and uncomfortable situations to bring everything to the surface.
I hunt, therefore I am.... I fish, therefore I lie.

Offline bknilvr00

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Re: Water access drama
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2018, 03:32:04 PM »
Well I fired off an email to wdfw get some written verification about access. I also printed a parcel picture of the wdfw access as well as the lake access listing from wdfw's website. I suspect I'll be talking with LEO's again, but next time I'll be prepared.

Offline ThurstonCokid

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Re: Water access drama
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2018, 03:37:40 PM »
Keep fishing it!


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Offline 92xj

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Re: Water access drama
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2018, 03:38:03 PM »
I'd also make them come out to you if they want to chat.
And throw out the hunter/Fisher harrassememt if parks gal stops you to chat again, just for giggles.
"If you have to be crazy to hunt ducks, I do not wish to be sane."

Offline baker5150

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Re: Water access drama
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2018, 03:47:06 PM »
I had a similar issue growing up with a small lake by our farm.  It had a WDFW access and boat launch onto a public lake but the road to the access was privately owned.  We never saw anyone on this lake, most likely since the access wasn't visible or advertised.
We hunted ducks and geese on the lake a lot, until the guy who owned the road decided to throw a fit.
He tried to tell us we couldn't access the lake, we new better and kept hunting there.
He called the cops on us and the Sheriff showed up and happened to have used the access himself once or twice.
He set things straight.
The next season came and we found a gate on the road, shut, locked, and posted.
My old man called the local WDFW officer and he said he would look into it.
Turns out the guy didn't own the road at all, WDFW did, and he ended up getting in some hot water for the gate.  So much so my old man got called in to court in the case against him, idiot had the nerve to fight it, and try to press charges against us for trespass.
Anyway, point is, we can't let people steal our access or claim it as theirs when it's not. 

Offline Special T

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Re: Water access drama
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2018, 04:07:57 PM »
If you have a smart phone screen shot the Go Hunt access & assessors page.
If the WDFW has the access listed copy the URL. Should be good enough... it may also help to get to know the local game warden. 2c keep fishing.

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In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

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Offline jackmaster

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Re: Water access drama
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2018, 04:50:35 PM »
I would take as much time off as I could and fish it day light to dark  :tup:
my grandpa always said "if it aint broke dont fix it"

 

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