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I was curious what everyone's position on the matter was. We have talked about it before in a different thread, but a HB391 is being introduced by Rep Pearson that would essentially make all tidally affected waters open to the public. It is getting a ton of support but also a ton of resistance. I have seen letters from oil companies to their leasees asking them to contact reps in opposition of the bill, and I have seen organizations like LaSC rallying the troops in support. It is supposed to be introduced on April 9th last I've heard. So far as I know, CCA has not come out in support.
 

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This would be a huge win for outdoorsmen. With that said, Lowsyanna has a long history of not doing the right thing; so I'll believe it when I see it.

If written properly, land and mineral owners would retain ownership and be shielded from liabilities. Can someone explain why an oil company would object to fishermen floating in public water over private lands? And spare me the evil oil company speach. There must be a reason I am ignorant to. I think the primary objection would be from wealthy duck clubs.
 

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Mostly Harmless
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I saw this bill was brought forth. From what I understand, permanent wiers and gates constructed before the bill is passed are grandfathered in. Improvised weirs and gates, eg. drill stem stuffed vertically in the mud and chains across canals are not grandfathered in. The main benefit of this bill is that you could again hunt and fish in open water even though it was once land in 1812 and owned by such-and-such before it eroded away.

Marshland was only valued for the mineral rights and the few cattle it could support when I was a kid unless it held enough ducks to lease out for hunting. I am not sure what changed, but landowners only started limiting public access for fishing within the last 15-20 years. I don't think they are succeeding in making money by limiting public access, but, by God, if it has potential value, they ain't gonna give it away for free now.

This has hurt Louisiana's "Sportsman's Paradise" reputation. From what I hear, lots of business has been lost. I know ramps that are suffering and some tournaments are avoiding Louisiana specifically because our water access is so convoluted. I can't justify going back home to fish (I even have a lifetime license) because much of the area I used to fish is private. There is no requirement for clearly marking property boundaries and there is no accurate single resource showing property boundaries and who allows public access, so unless you are local, the system is totally opaque. Even the local guys just figure it out by trial and error. Why spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to travel home just to have locals cuss at you, shoot at your boat (yes, it happens) or get ticketed by deputies?

While I have a problem with the concept of denying public access to unimpounded tidal water because it is private "land", I am all for protected the hunt clubs' lease privileges on impounded marshland. In that specific case, the landowners spent money to build weirs and levees to impound fresh water to improve and protect the habitat on their lands. If they are saving marsh (which helps us all), they deserve to reap some reward. There is no incentive to take care of the land otherwise. The state isn't going to proactively step in to take care of the marsh if the landowner is forced to open it to the public and the landowners aren't going to spend money to protect marshland so non-paying skyblasters (I hunted public land and have a very low opinion of many of my peers) can leave beer cans, Snickers wrappers and crippled ducks all over their marsh.

A 200-300 yard safety zone around occupied duck blinds would be smart.

Nate
 

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@jmrodandgun I know this one gets you fired up
It does. What frustrates me the most is the idea that there needs to be some kind of compromise. In order for a compromise to exist, both sides have to want something to change. The problem is the land owners are perfectly happy with the way things are, so all they will be doing is giving, while the supporters of the bill simply get to take. That is not how a compromise works. Secondly, its either public or it is private. The idea of blurring those lines to make the duck hunters feel better is preposterous. As far as I am concerned, those who spend the most money are the ones who should get to decide. Duck hunters can take their 2 months and shove it up their ass. I'm done with them.
 

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Frankly, I find the idea that any sort of navigable waterway regardless of whether or not it was once dry land can be consider private preposterous.

You can certainly consider private and post no trespassing signs on marsh islands but that's about it.
 

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A 200-300 yard safety zone around occupied duck blinds would be smart.
You do realize that could put boaters in a situation where they have no other choice but to violate the buffer zone. Opening weekend someone would for sure set up on the entrance to a lake or a major canal.

You can't close off access to areas because someone decided they wanted to spend a few hours shooting at birds.
 

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Mostly Harmless
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You do realize that could put boaters in a situation where they have no other choice but to violate the buffer zone. Opening weekend someone would for sure set up on the entrance to a lake or a major canal.

You can't close off access to areas because someone decided they wanted to spend a few hours shooting at birds.
While I agree there needs to be some common sense written into any hypothetical buffer zone, you shouldn't fish through someones dekes either. That is kinda like fishing so close you snag the line of another boat. I think it could be written so you could move through the buffer zone to access otherwise obstructed areas, but you cannot loiter in the buffer zone. I know trusting a politician to phrase this right is naive.

Unfortunately, my argument isn't important because buffer zones aren't in this bill... ...yet.

Nate
 

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While I agree there needs to be some common sense written into any hypothetical buffer zone, you shouldn't fish through someones dekes either. That is kinda like fishing so close you snag the line of another boat. I think it could be written so you could move through the buffer zone to access otherwise obstructed areas, but you cannot loiter in the buffer zone. I know trusting a politician to phrase this right is naive.

Unfortunately, my argument isn't important because buffer zones aren't in this bill... ...yet.

Nate
My apologies, I was being a little obtuse. I just don't feel like we need specific legislation put into place to keep fisherman from getting too close to someones decoys. We already have hunter harassment laws. We simply do not need more laws.
 

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Brandon, FL
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I have no horse in this race;

From what I have read above from people who know something about the issue, this appears to be nothing more than a public access issue.

If that is correct and they want to take privet lands that taxes have been paid for generations away from those footing the bill. This has a silent connotation to it. This sounds like the single largest eminent domain land grab ever.

How many landowners are in support of this or is this solely supported by non-interested parties? What is their compensation plan to these landowners?

What the hell will happen to Swamp People?
 

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I have no horse in this race;

From what I have read above from people who know something about the issue, this appears to be nothing more than a public access issue.

If that is correct and they want to take privet lands that taxes have been paid for generations away from those footing the bill. This has a silent connotation to it. This sounds like the single largest eminent domain land grab ever.

How many landowners are in support of this or is this solely supported by non-interested parties? What is their compensation plan to these landowners?

What the hell will happen to Swamp People?
It is a tidal water grab. Lots of previously privately owned land has subsided and is covered by tidal water in Texas. The land covered by tide is now owned by the state.
 

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Brandon, FL
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Here are the nuts and bolts
Present law (C.C. Art. 3413 and R.S. 56:3) provides, in part, that wild animals, birds, fish, and shellfish in a state of natural liberty either belong to the state or are things without an owner, but that the owner of a tract of land may forbid entry to anyone for purposes of hunting or fishing, and the like. Proposed law clarifies present law by providing that the running waters of the state and the wild aquatic life inhabiting those waters are and remain the property of the state and that title and ownership of these natural resources remain unchanged whether they flow over public or private water bottoms, and further provides that the running waters and aquatic life are subject to the supervision and control of the state. Proposed law provides that no person may prohibit the public navigation of running waters which are navigable by a motorboat required to be registered or numbered pursuant to the laws of this state or the U.S., except where navigation has been prevented or impeded by an obstacle constructed by the landowner prior to March 2, 2018. Proposed law provides that for the purposes of proposed law, "running waters"mean running waters as provided in Civil Code Article 450 and includes waters passing over any privately owned water bottom which has a direct natural or man-made inlet or outlet to a state-owned water bottom that is subject to the ebb and flow of the tide of the Gulf of Mexico and the tidally influenced arms and tributaries passing through the coastal areas of this state. Proposed law specifies that proposed law cannot be deemed to establish a change in ownership of the bottoms and banks of any privately owned waterway, and that no watercraft powered by a combustible engine may be used to navigate running waters over privately owned water bottoms and banks of waterways in such a way as to cause damage to the bottoms or banks of the waterway. Proposed law provides that the owner of a privately owned water bottom or bank is entitled to the existing limitations of liability for owners of property used for noncommercial recreational purposes

It is a tidal water grab. Lots of previously privately owned land has subsided and is covered by tidal water in Texas. The land covered by tide is now owned by the state.
Thanks for the info on TX. LA wants the resources and leave the bill with the owner. There is no mention of restitution to owners.
 

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This really is a difficult issue to address. I used to think that if the water were tidally influenced then there should be no private ownership. Then I talked to a land owner and listened to his perspective. His family had hundreds of acres of land. Due to subsidence and coastal erosion most of the land is now shallow marsh. Is it just tough luck for them? People can come and go as they please? I enjoy kayak fishing. I used to love to go down around Leeville. It's not worth the hassle anymore. You have no way of knowing whether you are on private or public water. More and more areas are seeing more and more posted waters. It's obvious that some of the posted waters are natural bayous. Something needs to be done, and I have no idea what the right solution is.
 
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