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Joined: 08/02/2010
Posts: 135
found this: so

found this: so far:

According to South Dakota law, navigable

rivers and streams are public highways. This

allows the public to use these waterways for

any lawful activity such as wading, floating,

boating, snowmobiling, fishing, and hiking.

However, these activities need to occur within

the boundaries of the “public highway,” which

is located between the ordinary high water

marks on each stream bank.

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Joined: 08/02/2010
Posts: 135
According to South Dakota

Navigable rivers and streams are

designated by the South Dakota Legislature as

being capable of supporting a manned canoe or

other vessel throughout the summer in two out

of every ten years.

ecubackpacker's picture
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I guess hunting is included

I guess hunting is included in "lawful activity" because it isn't included in the rest of the law. So, if it isn't included then you're breaking the law and that means it's unlawful. Get my drift.

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Joined: 08/02/2010
Posts: 135
so long as you have licenses

so long as you have licenses for what you are hunting and you are doing everything legally...

read: any lawful activity such as

they simply list a few examples

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Now that is an interesting

Now that is an interesting situation. That can really open up a lot of terrain for you to work with. I can see what the others have said about it possibly putting you in a very sticky situation in which you might have a gun pointed at you if you accessed the wrong guys property and he was unaware or didn't want to let you pull out your hard copy of the law. But I see what you are saying too... its in the law. The law protects your right to do so as long as you do it in the right way so why not take advantage of it. Especially if you can identify which properties are more passive about your presence. I do not think that I would be pushing my luck with a pissed off landowner and it sounds like you have just backed off when people have gotten mad. That is probably the right way to go about handling that situation. Good for you for finding a way to increase your number of huntable acres. Are there many other people that use that technique?

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OK... this has got me really

OK... this has got me really thinking and I have a couple more questions to throw at you:

You said that you have to access the water ways at a public point. So does the right of way on the side of the road count as a public point. What I mean is can you park your truck on the side of the road at a river crossing and access the river from there. That seems like it would pretty much opening up every river... as long as you were willing to hike a good long ways.

Have you ever had a gun pointed at you or had to deal with some one that was so aggrevated with you that it was looking like it was going to get ugly. It seems pretty likely that it would happen every once and a while.

Does anyone know if other states have this law?

 

CVC
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I think most navigable waters

I think most navigable waters are open to the public up to the high water mark.  Now where I think he is mistaken is what is the High Water Mark.  I don't think it is past the bank where water might go on occassion, but the point of the bank that shows erosion from the water "marking" it.  This does not mean if a stream that is considered navigable flows through a man's pasture that you can hunt in the pasture, even if water on occassion floods the pasture.  You are limited to the banks of the river up to the high water mark.

This is my interpretation.  Hawkeye, google the definition of high water mark and let me know what you think.

CVC
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This is from PA....just an

This is from PA....just an excerpt so please read the entire link.  Very informative.  Not all waters are considered navigable.

What makes a river, stream or lake navigable for legal purposes?
Waterways must be regarded as “navigable in law if they are navigable in fact.” According to the United States Supreme Court in The Daniel Ball in 1870, waterways are “navigable in fact” when they are used or are susceptible of being used in their ordinary condition as highways for commerce over which trade and travel are or may be conducted in customary modes of trade and travel on water.

http://www.fish.state.pa.us/water/public/faq_public_waters.htm

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