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I've fished some creeks where they had a fence crossing the creek for property line and also because they keep cows on the land around the creek. This helps eliminate waders or canoers but most people just climb the fence, and it's bad if you use small fencing that also blocks fish from going up the creek (which I believe is against state law to do that).
 

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According to the 2 different Morgan Co. CO's anyone fishing, kayaking, or conoeing must have permission from a land-owner in a "non-navigatable" waterway. I don't "own" the water, but I do own the property around and under the water. It would be impossible to navigate White Lick w/out getting out from time to time and touching ground. I'm guessing that's why it's deemed "non-navigatable." I had a long conversation w/ a CO about a month ago on this exact topic just for reassurance.
the only problem with non-navigatable is the fact that creek channels change yearly depending on the spring currents that flow through them. new islands and bars appear in a different spot frequently and one year it might be non-navigatable and the next year it is navigatable. LOL! State doesn't keep up with the changing water ways enough.
 

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Most people who fish/wade small creeks and waterways off public areas are usually die hard fishermen anyways and know better than to leave trash and crap behind, but it still happens. I was wading a creek the other day and found t-shirts, some soda cans, couple used worm bait cups and plenty of metal/old tires around. Sad thing is most of the trash was odd metal/tires laying around which is safe to say that 95% of that stuff is left by property owner's trash from year's past.
 

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I too like to wade and fish but I get permission from all there, or I go to navigable streams.

IIRC even in navigable streams- the banks are still private property, as are islands that remain visible above stated flood stage (those that are under water when at flood stage are considered part of the stream bed and OK to be on).

Mushroom hunting or fishing along the road............hear the claims of "not hurting anybody".

Well it's probably private ground, owned and paid for by somebody else.
Why not go to the house and eat the guy's dinner and have a go with his wife too?

After all, his stuff is free for you to use.

Most folks are decent, give permission, but the "do whatever" ones usually get them to change.
 

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http://www.adventuresports.com/river/nors/us-law-public.htm Details the public's right to running water

AND

http://www.in.gov/nrc/2392.htm a list of navigable waterways in indiana

The first link says that all moving water is indeed public property, but after that the law is very, very vague. The assumption that I use is that on navigable waterways, I can stay within the high water line. On non-navigable, I can float it.

Now, you will always have issues with land owners like tobais that try to lay claim to the water when really it isn't his. Read the end of that first document and follow it's advice: it's best to avoid confrontation and move along. I keep a copy of that document with me when I fish, but just because you have have the right to be there doesn't mean that everyone will acknowledge that right.

Many times, police are more willing to satisfy the land owners before they will actually confront the people that called them. Law makers don't want to expand on the law because they don't want to be portrayed as the person who infringed on the rights of land owners. I've had the police called on me twice in 4 years, and when i show them that document they have acknowledged that as long as I did not jump a fence I was not in the wrong. When that happens, i just move elsewhere. I've also had at least 10 'confrontations' with land owners who have acknowledged that I had the right to be there as long as I did not cross private property to be there. The #1 thing that works in my favor is I always have a pouch in my vest for trash that I find and I release everything I catch.

Use Google earth (it's free), map out several different put ins in the area that you'll be fishing. That way if you happen upon a problem your day isn't shot.
 

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any one been having any luck on white lick this year? i have been fishing up in Plainfield franklin park area, but haven't had any luck. Gonna try a few more parts in the park district downstream this week.
 

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According to the 2 different Morgan Co. CO's anyone fishing, kayaking, or conoeing must have permission from a land-owner in a "non-navigatable" waterway. I don't "own" the water, but I do own the property around and under the water. It would be impossible to navigate White Lick w/out getting out from time to time and touching ground. I'm guessing that's why it's deemed "non-navigatable." I had a long conversation w/ a CO about a month ago on this exact topic just for reassurance.
Like the earlier post that stated law and facts, a lot of CO's need more education also. Too many CO's think they are God and act accordingly. They need to be aware of the law and act accordingly. Many know people will not know the law and spend the money to fight a bogus charge, so they get away with wrongly charging people.

If I owned a piece of property that had a creek running through it and came home to someone hauling fish out of "my" creek, oh well!! Get over it and find something else to gripe about. Sorry, but that's how I feel.
 

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A river does not have to be listed as navigable to be considered public, nor does it have to be deemed a river. A good example is Pigeon Creek in Evansville. It is not on the list of navigable rivers, but the city has installed two boat ramps on it anyway. Most of the land surrounding the creek is private. The city sponsors an event called Canoe Evansville where they guide people down the creek. It even says on their website that it is perfectly legal to be on the creek as long as you don't step on to the bank. Another example is Little Pigeon Creek in Warrick County. Again, several boat ramps. All of which are across the stream from private property. It is not listed as navigable either. Navigability is a relative term. It is a way for the state to say that a river is for certain public. But just because a river is not listed does not mean that you cannot be on it. The state can't go out and look at every stream to determine if it is navigable. Really, they would have been better off not listing any streams as navigable instead of causing confusion.

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caught this little guy yesterday after work on a wee craw.



wasn't trying to respark the disagreement but there are plenty of places to fish on this creek that is within public parks as well. I'd like to do a paddle down this creek from Brownsburg in the spring. I actually called the DNR office and requested a CO clear it up a little. I asked if i could kayak the creek and he said it is legal for me to float wherever i want but its when i get out of the boat and step foot on the ground below or around the creek is when im on private property if not owned by city/state
 

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I have been fishing Little Pigeon Creek a lot. They will bite on anything white. Caught a couple of nice stripers. Lakes that feed the creeks are the best.

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I fish white lick a lot between Franklin park and Hummel. Also do a lot from Hummel south to Mooresville. The bass fishin has went downhill around the parks due to them widening the creek and redirecting it. South of hadley road is typically best for bass.
 

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Also I always throw a grasshopper pattern crickhopper. I get plenty of gills along the way and the bass tear it up as well.
 

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It's NOT a river.......it's a creek and the state of Indiana deems it a NON-NAVIGATABLE waterway. That makes it's private property! All you have to do is go the DNR webpage and get a listing of all the NAVIGATABLE waterways in this state.

That's great that you asked TMAN. So many people don't and that's what makes property owners like myself get fed-up.
Indiana may say it is non-navigatable but FEDERAL LAW says you don't own it and anyone can walk the stream bed up to the normal high water mark as long as they legally access the river, eg. at a bridge, by state right of way. Here is a link to answer some questions. Not as clear cut as you may think.
http://www.nationalrivers.org/us-law-menu.htm
 

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If you pay close attention, there are no non-navigable streams in Indiana. Just streams declared navigable and those that haven't been declared.

Thus, by Federal law if you can navigate the stream at any point in the year via canoe (allowing for portages around log jams), the stream is indeed NAVIGABLE.

Carry a copy of this in your pocket. Typically conservation officers are woefully uninformed about this. And to be fair, someone's called in a complaint, they just want to defuse the situation right or wrong.
 

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Tobias- I totally understand your point of view on White Lick and property ownership along the creek.

You love smallmouth bass and it's got to be close to your own personal wonderland to have a creek with some nice ones in there running along your property.

Seeing people take the fish out of the creek would kill me too.

But. It is the law. The best thing you can do is educate people on how long it takes for those fish to be replaced once they are on a stringer.

There really aren't that many fish in a creek like White Lick that everyone can get a string of slow growing smallmouth bass as food.

Instead of hassling people- make them your friends and have them keep an eye out for you. You cannot be on the water all the time. If you allow others you trust to Catch and Release to fish. Make sure there is an understanding they pass along the word to those they see littering or hunting your land.

Everyone benefits because the fish are staying in the creek and getting big.

Smallmouth are like the family dog to me, the amazing things I've seen them do while fishing make me want to catch more and bigger. I can't contemplate the mindset that wants to cut them apart, when fish can be had better and cheaper from the market.

Put up a sign that says, "Please Catch and Release"

Another thing, get out of White Lick and fish elsewhere from time to time. It isn't always harvesting that lowers SMB populations. Massive floods can wipe out year classes of the spawn, ruin habitat, and leave fish high and dry in the woods for the *****.
 

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Tobias I understand why you would be frustrated! That being said from a legal standpoint...you might not be in the right. You cannot own any flowing water or the land underneath it, period. Now if they were on your property outside of many other have said above then beyond all means report them and ask them to leave.

I fish a lot, a lot more than most do in a few years. I exclusively fish creeks and rivers here in Indiana. I am after smallmouth and practice catch and release religiously for several reasons. Many of these waterways in Indiana have consumption advisories on them anyway, I don't particularly want to glow at night! Anyway I almost always park and a bridge and either float or wade the creek, which is totally legal. I was doing this same thing and twice this year I was runoff by landowners with the latest involving two county sheriff deputies. I can totally understand someone stopping me and questioning me regarding what I am doing, especially in this day and age. After they find out that I am simply fishing for smallmouth and abiding by the law that is where it should stop, in these two circumstances it did not. I simply left and vowed never to return, not to mention the fishing wasn't the best anyway. I fish to get away from the city and people in general not there to argue over whether I am right or wrong.

If you are into smallmouth conservation take a look at this site:

www.indianasmallmouthalliance.org

We are all catch and release fisherman that love chasing smallmouth and doing what is best for the fish. We have often participate in several stream cleanups a year. Just last year we organized our own stream cleanup on the Southfork of Wildcat Creek and removed almost 300 tires. So if there is any trouble areas that need some extra help let us know and we can organize a cleanup.

Navigeable waterways and landowner rights are a mess legally and often end up being a peeing match betwen the two sides. The courts probably won't clarify this issue soon either. I can understand where Tobias is coming from as a landowner seeing trash left behind and poaching as well as where I am coming from as just wanting to fish PUBLIC waterways. As always just a few bad apples cause issues for the rest of us!

Please gentleman and ladies practive catch and release, a large smallmouth can take upward of ten years to replace. There are also much better and safer fish to eat! Fiberglass replicas from pictures are also available and are much more durable than a traditional mount.
 

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So is this the type of stuff that began the end of site. I live near mooresville and don't mess with White Lick because of the non navigatable rules. Most people are probably confused because many smaller creeks and streams in the state are designated navigatable and wading is legal.
If you get permission White Lick does have some decent bass, and a pretty healthy population of channel catfish.

Anyway, Friday was fishing the spill way below the dam at Lieber. Only caught a couple crappie, but a kid fishing near me caught a keeper walleye 15 inches.
Fished Mill Creek saturday, caught 13 smallmouth, biggest was 2 lbs 1oz. Missed a couple that were probably bigger.
 
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