View Full Version : Cartecay's public waters
03-25-99, 01:54 PM
I am curious about the Cartecay River and GA creeks and rivers in general. If they are shallow enough to wade, can you stay in the stream and fish upstream and downstream, or do the landowners own the streambed too? I kayak, and have seen some great big trout on waters flanked by private land. Are there any sections of the Cartecay that are open to the public, and how about the Nottely?
03-25-99, 03:02 PM
This can be a complicated ques. According to a DNR officer I met on a stream one day it goes like this-- IF the river,stream,creek in ques is classified as navigable water you can be in it anywhere but you cannot get out on private property. you can float, swim, wade etc. If it is not classified as navigable the land owner owns everything, streambed included, to the middle. If he/she own both sides , obviously they own the whole thing. Whether or not you can float down and not touch bottom I don't know.
The problem with all this is, what is a navigable stream. It's not as clear as it would seem. Appearently the waterways were Classified at the turn of the century. It depended on whether or not they were used to move goods I.E. lumber, grain, appples, etc., for commercial purposes. This means that the Conasaga might be considered navigable and the Taccoa might not.
Now the problem is , and I dont have the answer to this, where do you find a comprehensive list of waterways classifications.
Sorry, the best I can do is give you an answer that is as clear as mud.
03-25-99, 04:12 PM
It may look like md, but that's the best , most concise answer I've heard on it! I wonder if there even IS such a list !? Although I would neveradvocate TRESSPASSING, most of the time, there will be signs posted if the creek is off limits. Yes, sometimes in error from a greedy landowner, but hey, if I owned a section on Noontoola, I prob wold want to keep it safe from poachers and also have somewhere that friends and family could fish without being bothered..........
walkin a mile in new shoes ( metaphorically, of course! )
03-25-99, 04:13 PM
OOPS-- Reread my own post and it sounded like I was speaking from an official position at the end. This is only my interpritation of a conversation I had some time ago.
If you get arrested for tresspassing and tell them ICHTHUS said it was ok to fish here they will probably put you in the funny farm.
03-25-99, 04:28 PM
I got this off of the www.chattahoochee.org site, but I don't know where to get the list of the "navigable" waterways.
PUBLIC ACCESS TO WATERWAYS IN GEORGIA
Georgia's test for whether the owner or owners of the land along the banks of a river or stream can close off access to the water to the public is one of "navigability". Simply stated, for a river or stream to be completely "open" to public use for boating, fishing, and other uses, it must be deemed a "navigable" waterway. (See Official Code of Georgia Section 44-8-5)
The trend of many states today is to allow waters which are suitable for public recreation or useful to the public in general to be considered navigable, and thus open to the public for recreational purposes. The state of Georgia, however, has refused to change its definition of "navigable" waterways to include the manner in which many Georgian's use streams and rivers today; that is, for recreational purposes such as canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Georgia's definition of navigable waterways remains as it historically has been: a navigable stream is one which is capable of transporting boats loaded with freight in the regular course of trade either for the whole or part of the year. This definition excludes the rafting of timber or the transporting of wood in small boats as "freight". This definition is clearly based on the historical use of waterways for commerce, and does not lend itself to the marked increase in recreational use of the rivers and streams of Georgia in recent years.
If a stream or river is deemed non-navigable, then the owner of the land on either side of the river or stream has exclusive fishing and navigation rights to the middle of the stream or river. If one owner owns the land on both sides of the river or stream, then such owner has exclusive fishing and possession rights, whereby he or she can exclude all others from use of the river or stream.
If a river is deemed navigable, the public may p****upon it as it would any public highway. The rights of the owner of land along a navigable river or stream extend only to the low-water mark in the bed of the stream. The public's fishing rights on such a river or stream extend to the low-water mark of the river or stream.
03-25-99, 05:02 PM
Here is the official code...but where's the list?
44-8-5 G*** CODE SECTION *** 12/31/98 44-8-5.
(a) As used in this chapter, the term "navigable stream" means a
stream which is capable of transporting boats loaded with freight in
the regular course of trade either for the whole or a part of the
year. The mere rafting of timber or the transporting of wood in
small boats shall not make a stream navigable.
(b) The rights of the owner of lands which are adjacent to navigable
streams extend to the low-water mark in the bed of the stream.
03-25-99, 05:28 PM
Thanks for answering your own question. The answers have been excellent and are consistent with my very limited understanding of the Georgia Laws. As you mentioned, there has been a recent ruling (last fall) in New York that helped redefine navitable waters in that state and is hoped (by some) to have an impact on others. The answer to the list question may be available from the Georgia Canoeing Assn. I have posted an inquiry on their list-serve and will post if I get a response.
See you own boths sides and then set up a toll booth. Charge people different amounts dependent on what they are doing.
Canoes 4$, Motorized boats 8$, keeping and killing fish 6$ per pound, drinking and floating charge them a 6 pack.
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