Permission from Tenant to Hunt Private Land
However,I've had another thought (or question) regarding "navigable waterways" for some time. For me - now that seining wild minnows is no longer legal - it's a moot point. But it's still a nagging question.
There's been three times over the years when a landowner claimed the waterway abutting their property (in these cases,a creek) was exempt. In all three cases,a canoe could be used in portions of that creek(s) even during low water.
In two of the three cases,I was working on a property and mentioned to the landowner that I'd been in the creek in the past,seining minnows. I chose not to argue the point as it's never a good idea to argue with a customer. Besides,I was granted "permission" during those discussions. In the third case,I told him to "call a cop - I'm not leaving 'til I'm done.". Nothing came of it.
But are there any natural,navigable waterways that are "exempt"? (besides a fish refuge,a dangerous area below a dam,or other such places).
What?? I guess in my first post I should have specified to have the tennant get you written permission from the landowner.
If you can get the permission in writing from the landowner you willl be good to go. Seems like it should be easy to get the landowners contact information. The more you can cover your butt the better off you will be.
The Public Trust Doctrine Wisconsin's Waters Belong to Everyone
Wisconsin lakes and rivers are public resources, owned in common by all Wisconsin citizens under the state's Public Trust Doctrine. Based on the state constitution, this doctrine has been further defined by case law and statute. It declares that all navigable waters are "common highways and forever free", and held in trust by the Department of Natural Resources. Assures Public Rights in Waters
CanoeingWisconsin citizens have pursued legal and legislative action to clarify or change how this body of law is interpreted and implemented. As a result, the public interest, once primarily interpreted to protect public rights to transportation on navigable waters, has been broadened to include protected public rights to water quality and quantity, recreational activities, and scenic beauty.(1)
All Wisconsin citizens have the right to boat, fish, hunt, ice skate, and swim on navigable waters, as well as enjoy the natural scenic beauty of navigable waters, and enjoy the quality and quantity of water that supports those uses.(2)
Wisconsin law recognizes that owners of lands bordering lakes and rivers - "riparian" owners - hold rights in the water next to their property. These riparian rights include the use of the shoreline, reasonable use of the water, and a right to access the water. However, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court has ruled that when conflicts occur between the rights of riparian owners and public rights, the public's rights are primary and the riparian owner's secondary.(1) What are Wisconsin's stream and lake access laws?
Wisconsin's Public Trust Doctrine requires the state to intervene to protect public rights in the commercial or recreational use of navigable waters. The DNR, as the state agent charged with this responsibility, can do so through permitting requirements for water projects, through court action to stop nuisances in navigable waters, and through statutes authorizing local zoning ordinances that limit development along navigable waterways.
The court has ruled that DNR staff, when they review projects that could impact Wisconsin lakes and rivers, must consider the cumulative impacts of individual projects in their decisions. "A little fill here and there may seem to be nothing to become excited about. But one fill, though comparatively inconsequential, may lead to another, and another, and before long a great body may be eaten away until it may no longer exist. Our navigable waters are a precious natural heritage, once gone, they disappear forever," wrote the Wisconsin State Supreme Court justices in their opinion resolving Hixon v. PSC.(2)
The fact is that you do not need permission in order to use the shoreline, but contacting the landowner always is a good first, and respectful move.