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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's one for all you sea-lawyers out there - any help would be greatly appreciated.
My brother and I launched his inflatable (westmarine w/a 3.3 hp merc) off the knapp st beach in brooklyn on 5/19/02 at 7:30 am and broke down almost immediately. We beached the boat across the channel by Kingsboro college and I tried to snag some bunker (unsuccessfully) while he worked on the engine. Soon after that a security guard told us we were on private property and were tresspassing (tide was way out and I was in the surf, standing/casting about 20 yards from the rocks). I told him that we had not tresspassed on any college land and that we were both well below the mean high tide line, which I thought was public property. He proceeded to call for back up. He also told me that as long as we were in the boat in the water we were ok; I then asked him whether it would be ok for me to stand in the surf, in a few inches of water, since that was being "in the water." About that time his back up arrived and he decided that we had talked enough. We got back in the boat and rowed/paddled back to knapp st. The whole situation ended peacefully. Obviously, security had the upper hand here, since I wasn't going to press the issue and spend my sunday afternoon in jail, hire a lawyer and take the case to the supreme court. The question is, though, who is right? If I'm below the mean high tide line and have not tresspassed any property to get there, can I be kicked off a beach? Any input would be helpful.
 

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These people who own thhese big homes on the water kill me. Can't tell you how many run ins I have had on the North Shore. Your absolutely right. You can walk anywhere on the island at or below the mean high tide mark. They don't own the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info, Bill. As a follow up, has anyone ever gotten into a situation where cops (or another authority) were called? What happened? Did the cops side with the fisherman or with the owner? thanks, Jim
 

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Jim,

That was the whole issue in Glen Cove many years ago.

I know several anglers who surf fish the North Shore who have had beach-front property owners yell at them and call the cops from being in the water near their houses (legal access to the beach too). No one I know has been arrested or ticketed but I'd hate to be a test case.

I agree with Bill. However, let's keep in mind that while I, Bill, you and others are sportsmen just looking for recreational angling opportunities, there are others who use the guise of fishing to hang out on the beach, party, make mischief etc. The point is that when land owners and fishermen like you and I clash in their minds we represent all anglers. If we give them a hard time it sets in their minds that all anglers are nasty people, and it strengths their resolve not to allow shore access.

I am not saying that we as surf anglers should roll over and give up our access. Not at all. Shore access is precious little as it is and gets worse every season. But a tense confrontation doesn't help our cause either. IOW, sometimes while you may be technically right, in the longer run and for the fishing community overall to retreat politely is the better course of valor.

Jaiem
ArtsNFlies.com
 

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Hi Jaiem-I respectfully disagree. I undertand that land owners have to put up with people abusing their land. But the mean high tide mark is not their land nor will it ever be. Ill be damned if I'm going to leave my fishing because somebody has a problem that Im blocking their view. At the same time Im always respectful. What I pack in I pack out.I pick up garbage and try to make sure someone sees me pick it up. If a land owner comes out-- many times Ill just talk to him and sometimes offer a fish. It's great PR and will get you more access. If the person is a jerk Ill advice that person to excercise their right to call a cop. I have had the cops called on me one time. The officer told me I could fish in the area any time I wanted and park any on the street. Furthur the No Parking signs that the home owner had up were illegal. The land owner was advised to take down the sign from the officer. That was about 10 years ago-Been fishing there ever since. Although Ive been fishing that area for over 20years-and I knew I was in the right.Food for thought-Off to Montauk
 

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No one owns below the high tide line on LI. We have the right to fish or walk below the line no matter what some rent a cop or wind bag property owner has to say about it!! Do not give up yer rights or be intimidated. LATER
 
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