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Private lakes/multiple landowners.

Discussion in 'Questions about Indiana Hunting/Fishing Laws' started by JohnSmiles, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. I have a question.
    I and my brother have tried to get a clear ruling on this for several years now, and have come up blank.

    The law used to state that if you had access to fish a private lake, you had legal access to fish the entire lake as long as you did not anchor or dock on someones property.

    Now it seems it is up for debate, and not clear at all.
    We fish one lake, where most of the fishing is best at one end.
    The owner of the biggest portion of the lake has given us permission to fish.
    The other end is owned by a grouchy old man who has called the State Police and the Sheriff out on several occasions to harrass us.
    No arrests have ever been made.
    At one point the State Police told us to come over and get out of the boat and we refused.
    If we had done so we would have been on the mans property.
    They did not bother us at the other end of the lake.
    We have been threatened several times with arrest if we didn't leave.
    A conservation officer has told us that the police don't have a leg to stand concerning the fishing from a boat on and are just blowing smoke.
    The state police stopped coming out, and now only the deputies bother with it.

    Now, we have went to the court house, and have spoken with several people, IN person, and have still gotten no actual answer.
    If he has the legal right, so be it.
    If not, this is harrassment.
    The sad part is, we can't get a ruling, or anything in writing, from anyone including the IDNR.
    I emailed them a couple of years ago also, and basically got an answer which meant 'umm, not really sure. Do you have to fish there'?....
    I simply want to know what the law says.
    That isn't asking so much, is it?
  2. From how you are explaining it, it seems like you are in the right. You have permission from a land owner to access the lake from HIS property. This other person does not own the whole lake so he can not dictate who is given access to it from other property owners. Just go fishing, tell this clown to stuff it and when the deputys show up meet them on your side of the lake for a little conversation. As long as you don't leave the boat to access this guys land there is not a argument for tresspass. Its a shame when people think they "own" nature.

  4. I'm not positive, but I believe you're fine. As far as I know, there are no riparian rights in Indiana (while fishing or otherwise). Perhaps one of our resident ICOs could help with this?
  5. I do know that in Syracuse, there is a private lake that I fish, If you have permission to fish it you must have a home owner in the boat with you. That is there rules. Don't know about all private lakes.
  6. If it is truly a private lake and all the contiguous land owners around the shore line have a set of signed and recorded covenants establishing rules and regs, then access could be limited as far as guests and watercraft. But there usually is little or no way to enforce the rules (other than complaining to the police who could care less).
  7. I had a similar case go to trial in Morgan County. If you have multiple owners of a piece of property that is under water it is going to come down to the property lines. If the property owner can show where his line crosses the lake then yes he can keep you out. If it is a subdivision with lake rights/covenants it is all civil and no police officer regardless of agency is going to be able to doing anything with it.
  8. Thanks for the help, ICOKnoy.
  9. Do you have a link to this by chance?
    And by 'show where his line crosses the lake', does that mean it has to be marked to show WHERE the actual line is?
    This guy has a fence that runs down to the water on one side, and no indication of where it continues on the other.

    And, most importantly to me anyway, if this is the case, why is it so hard to find the actual law, or anyone who even knows what the law says?

    And thanks!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2007
  10. Is this a nutural lake or man-made? That would make some difference.... Most natural bodies of water are state owned! Water that is. It doesn't make a lot of sense, and there are quite a few grey areas so to speak, but that is when the lake is natural. A man made impoundment is subject to the actual property lines ( like you would find on a survey) as long as more than one property owner involved.
  11. I have lake front property and my property line ends at the waters edge. When the water is up I have less property and low I guess I have a bit more. I was under the impression that if you owned the property on both side of the water than you could restrict traffic, or fishermen, boats.
  12. When it comes to the Trespass and hunting/fishing without consent statutes the law is pretty clear. You cannot hunt/fish on another persons property without consent. Under these statutes the property does not have to be posted and is very clear in stating it is up to the sportsman to know where the property lines are. Under the Trespass statute property must be posted at the entrance.