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gated canals

well it finally happened to me yesterday. hadnt been to my favorite bass fishing hole in a year. its a canal close to lake decade. drove the 30mins by boat to get there.

and what did i find a metal gate with a big no tresspassing sign. i watched the tide flowing hard out from behind the gate and no doubt fish flowing in and out with the tide.

ive heard about it saw the written post on here about it. i taught my boys how to plastic worm fish in those canals.

does anyone know if there is any current fights pending this issue.

stan thomas holden la.
Gated canal
The state is behind these land owners because of their money speaks louder than our complaints. I don't think the sportsman have a chance in this fight. In my opinion, the state should make the land owners dam off all the cuts that go into their property so fish could not migrate in and out. If the waterway allows wild fish in and out, that should be enough for the waterway to be public.
I am not a large land owner, but I stand behind them 100%. If I spent a ton of money to dig a private canal for whatever purpose, and I didn't want people in there, I would gate it. If something happens to anyone in those canals, it is a huge liability. They can sue your pants off in this state and they would win. Also, I always get a kick out of the arguement that people use saying the tide moves in and out or the fish can swim through the gate so that makes it public. Well, in that case, the deer breath the same air on your side of the fence as on mine, so I think I should be able to cross your fence and shoot a deer from one of your stands with no regards to your mangement rules of philosophies.
bucksnducks, I think you are not getting the point super duck is making. The canals that are being posted are not canals that one individual dug. These are canals that oil companies dug many years ago and that have been public from day one. People owned the land that the waterways ran through, not the water. Now, since their land has eroded to the point that it is not land anymore, they are blocking PUBLIC canals because somewhere under all that water is "their" land. If you dig your own canal, than it is your canal. Putting a gate across public water is illegal. I have never been run out of a canal before and the first time I do, the person running me out better have a badge that is bigger than mine and for that to happen it is going to have to be a federal agent.
still private
You are right...most canals are dug by oil companies. However, most oil company canals have spoils banks on either side, especially in Terrebonne parish. I should know, I was born and raised there. Very little erosion occurs in these canals, so I am not sure what marsh erosion has to do with the actual canal. Most oil companies still own the land that is on either side of the canal. And just because the public has used it for years and treated it as public property, how does that make it public land. For years and years, the public had free range on most timber company land. It was treated as public land. Then, when leasing became big business and the timber companies quickly saw the potential profit, they restriced access to only those that paid for that right. So if I grew up hunting that "public land", do I still have a right to trespass on it once it is leased and the land owner says it is private and I can't hunt there anymore? Of course not, it is private land. But then you might use the arguement of the deer can cross the fence and the deer belong to the public, or the deer can breath the air which freely flows across the fence so I should be able to hunt it (notice the direct relationship to the tide (air) flows freely in and out of the canal or the fish can gross the gate(fence)? The canal is private property no matter how long you have fished there or whether or not you caught your biggest fish there or if it is just your favorite canal to fish. If more companies would just lease fishing rights to those canals, such as the Harry Bourg Corporation in Dulac does, maybe people wouldn't complain so much about not being able to trespass on public property, but that is doubtful to ever happen. But it is a lot harder to keep out someone who hasn't paid for the rights to fish in a canal, than it is to keep out someone who hasn't paid for the hunting lease they are on. So gates are the only alternative.
The only way that oil field canal is public is if the public has used it freely for 30 years. I think that became a law in the seventies. That is why you are seeing more gates being put up. They are restricting access before 30 years are up. Then they get to keep their canal. Don't blame the landowners, blame the law. If there was no law like that, they might not have a gate.
Sorry, but you guys who insist that those canals are private are totally incorrect. LA Civil Code Article 450 tells us that running water (aka tidally influenced water) is a public thing, SUBJECT TO PUBLIC USE. It is irrelevant who dug the canal. If the tide influences the water in the canal at all, it is PUBLIC, PERIOD. END OF DISCUSSION. This whole "30 yr. use" concept is totally incorrect and irrelevant.

Of course, the land around it remains private, however. Too bad the crooked law enforcement people in these areas are too stupid to actually know what the law is. That is a scary proposition, but all too true.
I apologize if I was not clear earlier. What I was getting at was the land issue. I have never and will never trespass on land that is not mine or I am not leasing. My problem is when someone claims they owned a piece of land 175 years ago that has since been retaken by the water, that person thinks it is their right to gate every canal that gives access to this once dry piece of land. Some people also gate canals just because they own the land that the canal borders. If someone owns a piece of property they have every right to keep others off of it. If that particular piece of property is prone to erosion it is the landowners responsibilty to combat that erosion. If the landowner does nothing and that land becomes part of a PUBLIC WATERWAY than the landowner is SOL. We have a camp on Lake Verret. With the regular occurence of large waves, our property has eroded probably 10 feet back from where was dry land 15 years ago. Do we stop people from fishing that stretch of bank? We do not. Do we have the right to stop people? We do not. Do we have the right to put up a better seawall to stop future eroding? We do and we are doing it right now and the land that was lost is lost and we have nobody to fault but ourselves.
I do appreciate that we can have this disagreement like civilzed adults and not like children as happens too often on here.
great lakes
these same battles were fought in the great lakes for years. when all the legal battles were over the lawyers were rich and the land owners won. we have laws that contradict other laws in this state, so who knows. all i can say is i need the pattern on that gate for in the basin
eroded land
JB, You mentioned that you are bulkheading your property that was eroded. Nothing can stop you from putting your bulkheading where your land used to be before the erosion occurred and backfilling it to regain your property. I am in the process of doing this also. You just have to make sure your survey and permits are accurate. If your not too far along in your process, you may be able change your plans, to regain your property.

As far as the canals go, I would think the same rules apply. If someone dug a canal on thier own property, its still thier property, whether it has water on it or not. Now to block off a natural waterway, that shouldn't be done.
Private vs. public
Last time I checked, a waterway had to be "navigable" to be considered open to public use. "Navigable" generally meaning used for commerce,which private fishing,hunting boats are not. The case of Kieff vs. La. Land and Exploration held that the ebb and flow of tidal waters across property does NOT make that water public.

By the thinking that running water is "public" water,everytime it rained, any normally dry drain on my land would become public for awhile. NO WAY!
irresponsible fishermen vs greedy landowners
The whole problem lies with two types of people. Irresponsible fishermen who have no regard for landowners property and landowners who are just greedy and want all the spoils to themselves. I think most landowners and fishermen don't fit those two categories but those that do screw it up for the good people. I can see both sides of the issue b/c I am both a landowner and a fisherman. Our deer lease has an oil company canal on it and I would not want anyone not authorized to be there in it. We have lots of trouble with outlaws hunting at night. The canal is very shallow and only mudboat accessible and doesn't hold any good fish so fishing is not an issue. By some people's logic I shouldn't be able to stop people from accessing our lease. Yet at the same time I don't think it is right for some of these land owners to block access just b/c they can. Some of them only do it to keep all of the spoils of the land and they have no property protection issues. They are just greedy. Some of them would block natural waterways if they could. Same goes for some of the fishermen. We used to have a camp that was broken into several times. I remember duck hunting on our private lease and seeing people come into the pond chasing Redfish and looking at us like we were crazy when we told them to leave. There has to be a way to resolve this issue while pleasing both sides. I don't agree with the notion that if water flows in it it should be considered public property. The oil company dug these canals on their land and they retained the rights to that property.
Wrong again
First of all, read Article 450. Running waters are listed SEPARATELY from navigible waters. If you want to use the navigible waters argument, activities like oil/gas commercial crabbing, etc. make the areas NAVIGIBLE, because its navigible in fact. If you can put a gate up, then you can get a boat through there to do a number of different commercial activities, thus making it a navigible waterway. KIEFF is a 4th Circuit case that has ZERO binding authority on the entire state. Until the Supreme Court gets involved in this matter and correctly determines that these areas are for the public use, we must look to what the legislature has so cleary determined.

There could be a good compromise during landowners and fisherman if fisherman would agree to stay out during hunting season. But this is too easy.
Look at all the legal scholars we have on the site. Whodathunkit?

Why don't you go tell the armed guard at the canal that I access that Article and see if he lets you in? There have been many court cases regarding the gating issue, even one in the past few years that side with the landowners. In the law that states "navigable waterways", you are halfway correct. Navigable waterways do belong to the state, but only if they were navigable in 1812 (I think that is the year). That is why the Land Department is currently mapping those 1812 waterbodies as we speak. You take a very literal reading of the law, but obviously the law is a lot more complicated or there would be no gates.
Posted Canals
The first time I can remember this issue coming about in the Golden Meadow area was back in the late 70's or early 80's with the Tidewater canal just south of the Golden Meadow floodgate on the east side. This canal was used for many years to access Barataria bay and Lafitte from Bayou Lafourche. When the landowners first closed off access it was taken to court and the courts said they could indeed block it off, however I do believe you can get a pass from them and use the canal so long as you do not stop and fish.

A more recent issue involved the Company canal between Gheens and Lake Salvador. This canal was dug in the mid 1800's to provide a commercial waterway to connect Bayou Terrebonne with Lake Salvador and New Orleans. It has long since been abandoned as a commercial waterway but has been used for generations to access Lake Salvador camps and fishing by the people of Gheens and the central Lafourche area. When Golden Ranch Plantation in Gheens was sold the new land owner stated that due to poaching issues he was going to close the canal and it too was challenged, and again the courts said they had the right to block it off. Fortunately a compromise was reached where the use of the canal is still allowed but you are not allowed to stop anywhere in the private canal.

As a land owner with a canal running into our land I fully understand the landowner's side as far as liability and poaching issues and as a fisherman I understand the fisherman's side. We have never gated off the canal on our property although we do have an issue with people hunting on our land every year. We just didn't feel it was right to stop people from being able to fish. Obviously we are in the minority group of landowners.
Hey Stan, do like I do and bring a chain saw with a metal cutting blade with you... Wait till near dark, post a lookout 100 yards away and fire it up.
dam them up
i really dont have a problem with anyone digging anything on there property its there property.and i dont have a problem posting your property its your property.

however the fact that theses canals were dug has in fact hurt the very marsh that makes our state a sportsman paradise. i say make the land owners pay for the erosion done to public water ways were there private canals run into the public waters

they were dug by oil companys not the land owners.
and most if not all had to tie into public waters,so make the oil companys pay to.

then charge them by the flow rate into there canals by state water, because the fact is if it wernt for state water running into those canals there would be no canals

i have a pond on my property but i cant dig a canal to the tickfaw river by my pond and get fresh river water flowing into it. well what the heck maybe i can ill just change the flow of the river then put a gate across it.

the bottom line someone please tell me how you can tie into public water and use that water for free all to yourself

there were no speckled trout or red fish on the land owners dry land before the oil company dug the canal and i dont think the birds brought the fish in the canals.

im trying to understand, stan thomas holden la.

Gates, Why??????
I could not resist not jumping in here guys. I am impartial to the the gate situation that us sportsman have been hampered with. Even though our license plates bare the title "Sportsman Paradise", does not mean we can freely roam all over.

Just face the truth, the days of Daniel Boone are all gone. But I can't remember seeing posted sign on Bill Dance or Roland Martin fishing show either. I know ya'll have not forgot about the incident for the B.A.S.S. Classic in Venice. Enough though the storm did a lot of damage on the different areas. I don't think you will see the classic tour our region anymore. This was not a gated canal either. This what I am afraid will start to happen.

I to fish a lot of the same area's you guys are talking about. An for a while I could not understand the deal with blocking off a canal. But after I give some thought to it, I can clearly see the side that the law tends to be in favor of.

It's simple but I don't really fully agree with it. I have private property I deer hunt on and it's posted. It borders the highway and National Forest that has a creek between us. There are roads that intersect with the public roads. At the very end of the road is a gate that goes to a large tract of land that is owned by private owners. Their land is posted just like ours is. Being that we're at the very starting point where the roads starts. We have farmers that access the properties to plant beans. This is considered to be commerical use but it's legally posted. I know it sounds like a double negative or a double whammy. But we cannot legally gate off this road. It's a legal access route for the other folks to get to their property. I guess this is where the confusion comes in to play. But the only difference with this is that we have no gates on either side trapping game in. We do have some folks that has the high game fences in the area.

The deer, the turkeys, squirrals, and the fish all legally breathe and eat freely. An in some case they can roam like they wish to do as God wanted it to be. An by right folks are contesting this with the fact that nobody can post free flowing water or air that we all need to on live. Legally I don't know who is right here, I don't think the judges know either. But they had made several rulings. I guess somethings are not common for everybody to enjoy.

What we need to do is to stop an give this some thought. Ask yourself the question, Will a judge rule in favor of the public when he to falls in this catagory? It's usually the lawyers, doctors, and judges that have camps on these canals. These guys aren't going to pass no law that may infringe problems on their investments. Will you? Ask the camper owner on Blind River. But then again I fish Todelo Bend too.

I have never seen any posted signs at Sam Miguels. Even though the lake is surrounded by privately owned homes. I know I cannot go into anybody yard to fish. But if I launch my boat at a public area giving me access to waters borders these folks back yards. I can fish from my boat whereas I would be perfectly legal. This a makes me chuckle, there is a lady that tries to stop guys from fishing on the bank in front of her house that is across the street (state property is the bank). This is a state owned lake. Just because she mows the lawn. She thinks she has some kind of special rights. I know the city appreciates the kind gesture of cutting the grass, but she cannot claim anything here (LSU University Lake). This is when you have to know the law. Sorry, but batture rights does not apply here. You should always refer to you property deeds. View to see where your survey markers are. This is what is considered to be the "LAW"! If you guys really want to get technical the state owns that to!

It's all about big money. Hunting and fishing has become to be commerically fraternalize in this state.

Folks these days are paying top dollar for good clean fun that their families can enjoy. In a way I really can't blame them. So they dam off areas that was once open to that everybody enjoyed from one time or another. That's hard to deal with when you have a youngsters with you all bright eyed and ready to experience the beginning of something that some will never experience. It's tough to tell them that we can't go in that place anymore. But is this fair?

Soon the intracoastal waterway will be the only fishing ground we have. From Delacriox, to Gheens, to Bayou Black will be all memories for some of us. It's will have gotten to be where you will see the life of the rich and famous reign rule in the marsh and the hunting woods. Yep, I guess we will be considered to be the "have nots".

I often wondered how Bob's, Sommes, Dioron's, Bayside, Venice Marine, Campo's and Coco mariner boat launch owners feels about this when they stop seeing the cashing flowing. I don't think the boat stores will like it when they have to pick up stake to bring the business to MS or TX. Have you ever thought of the idea of folks not owning a boat or shotgun in LA. No pirgoues! That is frightening! I think this is why some are working so hard to rebuild their places. No money! Have you ever thought this is the reason why Cabela's is coming to Gonzales. Go an ask the guys a Bowie Outfitter's what would they think about being supported by a selected few. I think they would want want the whole pie other than settling for only a small wedge of it.

Then you will start to see how selfishness effects the business owners. Yep, no more big tournments guys! Nope, no more Redfish tournments will come here because the anglers access will be limited because of gated canals. An No! I am not being far fretched here! It can happen.

I think that the pressure has to come from the business owners to. When folks start not to see the rich flow of revenue not coming in. Then you will see some action. But then again we have the poachers and the trespassers who makes it hard to fight this issue. This puts the wind in these guys sails who block the canals.

An then on the other hand I cannot blame the guys for the fences and the gate either. Few sour apples alway ruin the
whole bushel.

So to you, Super Duck, I don't think times will get any better. You will continue to see the private golf country clubs, hunting clubs, schools, and etc. It's all right in according to the law that we all are suppose to abid by. People has the right to do what they want when they spend the hard earn money.

I having a saying, "We live in American, but we're not as free as we think we are.........."

Gates, Why??????f
I don't know Ray, to me the 2 are connected. Folks has tied the 2 together. That's what we don't want is another gun play on the bayou. I try very hard to avoid those types of issues.
Gates, Why??????f
I understand Ray, you're right if push comes to shove. I won't take no stuff either. I have a lot of patients, but when someone start talking monkey junk waving a gun is another story.
Stayed at Holiday Inn Express last night......
Louisiana Revised Statute Title 41ยง1701. Declaration of policy; public trust

The beds and bottoms of all navigable waters and the banks or shores of bays, arms of the sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and navigable lakes belong to the state of Louisiana, and the policy of this state is hereby declared to be that these lands and water bottoms, hereinafter referred to as "public lands", shall be protected, administered, and conserved to best ensure full public navigation, fishery, recreation, and other interests...

"Navigable" still defies precise definition but it has been held by the US Supreme Court to INCLUDE waters that a man in a canoe, pirogue, or kayak can access for the purpose of trapping (commerce) or commercial fishing except when the waterway is at or above flood levels. SC decisions always include limitations to the effect: "between the ordinary high water marks" which is usually the line of floatsom and debris deposited by the waterway during normal water levels. Additionally, in various cases they've held that portaging around natural obstacles while keeping ones intrusiveness to a minimum does not constitute trespassing.

Thompson Creek, the Amite and Comite Rivers are all examples of navigable waterways WITH PUBLIC SANDBARS and they remain public as far upstream as you can paddle as long as the water is below flood level.

These SC decisions have typically focused on rivers, streams, creeks, bayous etc... The HUGE grey area that STILL exists is tidal waters.

Private canals can absolutely be "Posted". It doesn't matter what private entity dug them, it only matters if public funds were used for their creation. Examples would be the Intracoastal Canal or the MRGO.

If I own a parcel of land and I let Texaco build a road to explore for oil on my land, it's still MY road and MY land.

In 99.9% of these situations you may as well forget the obvious canals as possibly "public". They never were.

One exception might be where a canal has re-directed the flow of water so that an adjacent natural waterway has become silted in and no longer navigable. In such a case the court could possibly order that the canal become public since its creation denied the public the use of what was once a navigable body of water.

No, I'm not a lawyer and I'll punch you in the nose if you call me any dirty word like "attorney", lawyer", "counsler". ;o)
Gate em up
I have the solution to the whole problem. The landowners should gate up all the manmade canals that they see fit. If the canal was dug personally or by oil companies and they want it to be private property again, then I say gate it up.

Now what we should do as fishermen is to help the landowners. If you see someone gating a canal, you ought to go over and help him finish the job. Get a bunch of buddies together with big commercial type flatboats and load them down with dirt. If the landowners want their property to be truly private, then lets block it off the right way. I'm sure a landowner would be pretty ticked off if he had gated a canal and launched his boat the next day only to find that he could not get out of it. Hey, what's fair is fair, right??

Someone stated in an earlier post that a person could put a bulkhead in and reclaim his land that was lost to erosion. Notice he said "bulkhead" and not "gate". The landowners seem to confuse the two words sometimes.

Remember.....bulkhead....gate. Do you see how they are spelled differently and sound differently????? They also have different meanings in case you did not know that either.
I agree with Pa-Low
I agree that things will get worse in this state. As long as politics plays a roll in this state, nothing good can ever take place for the majority of the people. The minority rich rules the land and that just the way it is. It just sad to see our sportsmen paradise go to crap. What these rich lawers, judges, and politicians need to be spending their money on is preserving what we have left. In my liftime I have watched some of my favorite fishing spots just vanish to coastal erosion. Since the canals are one of the major factors in the many problems with coastal erosion, the persons responsible for the canals should pay for the damage they cause. So you want to pay top dollar for the duck lease?? Just to have it wash away?? Spend your top dollar on a resolution that the entire state can benifit from. Your rich, you can middle and low class people cannot. We work hard and want to enjoy the outdoors just as much as you do, but will we be able to afford if this private crap continues?? And for the pauchers, ya'll do not help this matter at all. I can understand to a certain extent how these landers feel about this subject with all the sue happy people we have these days. If you want to pay big money for your hunting lease, then so be it. But as far as fishing grounds go, leave it be. Fishing is the only sport that one can still enjoy in this state because of our large fishery and endless waterways to escape the pressure. If the rich keep trying to take this right away from us, I think you would see some real angry cajuns down here who won't think twice about doing something crazy. The bottom line is, there are too many people trying to enjoy the few resources we have left and the man with the least amount of money always losses. We need the federal government to make a law that puts a cap on the amount of land that can be deemed private and let the remaining public land we have today, remain public. They also need to come down here and do some hard core work on fixing our coastal erosion problem.

Just my 2 cents.
gate em up the right way?
mlh, please don't try to put me down like I'm some kind of idiot. my post was intended for the man it was adressed to, not you.

You say you want to close the canals the right way, by blocking off the water right? what will that solve? you still won't be able to fish these canals like some say they have been doing thier entire lives. So, you will gain nothing but the satisfaction of sticking it to the landowners that have it gated off. and you wonder why they don't want you there. the only reason I can think of for someone to do this is jealousy of what another man has that you do not. afterall, you still won't be able to fish there if its blocked off. I agree that some of these canals probably shouldn't be blocked off, but it is the landowners right to do so. If I were to dig a boat slip in my back yard, that doesn't give anyone the right to pull there boat in it just because its attached to water that is affected by the tides. It is the landowners rights, and there is nothing anyone can do about that, but to ask permission to use it. Has anyone ever tried this? hopefully it was a better attempt than "you rich a holes can't block off that canal, thats BS". I'm not sure where you guys are from, but in my experience most of these people or very nice if approached properly. some will allow you access, and others will not, but never should you start an argument with them, that just fuels the fire, and proves that thier judgement was acurate.
no interest
I have no interest in a canal that has a gate across 30 years of rootin around in the coastal marshes I have always found my game or fish in the "next canal over" need to even bother with that one,never was an issue with me..........if the land owner wants his canal to be private ,he has that right.....if the lease holder wants his canal to be private,now thats a different story.....if a natural bayou crosses your land...sorry,cant do nuthin about that either...put your signs up on the shore lines and hope for the best..thats the rules we always played by down herein this part of cajun country.
Maybe you're right, I don't know. But it just seems crappy. If you build your driveway off of a public road, does that give "the public" the right to use your driveway as they please? Maybe it is legal, but it's just plain chicken s**t. I don't know.
I still say a chainsaw with a metal cutting blade will end all this garbage......
If you have a gate, you should have a levee instead. Lets call our lawmakers. A gate is for goats, a levee is to block
If you have a gate, be on the lookout for hog wire in the water at the entrance to your gate to block fish movement.
Bunch of greedy folks out there , aint they?
My two cents
To me, if this becomes a major conflict, what would keep a landowner from stretching cables or logs across the mouth of the canal and building a levee out of lower units?

Inciting vandalism won't get you anywhere. Don't start a pissing contest. A landowner can do more to make your life miserable than you can do to makes his miserable. Landowners didn't get to be landowners because they are poor. They have money and friends in high places. They can afford lawyers, and can grease politicians. Besides, cutting a gate with a chainsaw will only give the landowner more of a reason to say, "see, this is why I don't want people on my property". This "I'm gonna show you" attitude, is only hurting your cause. If you want a fight, then do it right. If you want to intimidate your way to your favorite fishing hole, you're going to fail miserably.
I was not trying to put you down in my post. I was agreeing with you but being a little sarcastic towards the landowners who put up gates. You are right, If a canal was dammed up, then no one would be able to fish it including me. I don't have a problem with that as long as the landowners obey the law. Apparently the law says that water that is influenced by tide is public. I am going by what people are saying on this site...I did not look it up. So, if you dam the canal then it effectively becomes a pond. The landowner has every right to have as many ponds as he wants and the public can not access them. As soon as he connects it to public water to let the tide flow in and out, then I gain a new fishing spot as far as I'm concerned. Apparently the law is on the books in this state, but it appears as if no one has the b***s to enforce it including our "great" governor.

As far as you digging a boat slip....If you had a canal with a slip that was connected to a public waterway, then I can pull up to your slip and fish all I want. I could not step onto your land around the slip nor could I launch my boat in your slip.
bad analogy
OK Ray, maybe that was a bad analogy. But if you think for one second that you can plop your arse in my slip, you are sadly mistaken, sorry but thats a fact. If you don't think so, try it at the next marina you go to that rents slips. find an empty one, pull in, anchor your boat, don't tie up to the dock, and start fishing. When the guy that rents this slip returns to store his boat, tell him the exact same thing you are saying now, and see what happens. Its public water, there is nothing they can do right? see how long you last. You guys are fighting a lossing battle. If its a natural waterway, you might have a fighting chance. Other than that you are pissing in the wind. Comments like "to hell with it, i'll cut it down" only proves the landowner is right. and can you really blame him for trying to keep people like you off his land? Since posted signs no longer deter people, like somehow those signs don't apply to you, gates are the only way. Again, has anyone of you contacted the landowners and asked permission to use the waterways? lack of respect for these people is probably the biggest reason for these gates going up. Like I have said before, we will abide by these rules by choice or by force. and in this case, force being restricted access by gates.
jealous sportsman
Stop whining about gates across canals. If any one of you owned some land, you would feel different and would be on the other side of the fence. Anyone cutting down a gate should have his ass whipped.
if anyone is interested i guess they could research a ruling in avoyelles parish a number of yrs. ago--grand lake was a lake off of the red river owned by a hunting club--the lake had a natural bayou that went to the river(public) In the spring high waters you were able to go by boat into this lake--of course the big boys did not like this so they started running off people--this went to court and was lost by the land owners--it was ruled that the public could fish this lake--not hunt it but fish it -- long as the river was high enough to travel by boat into this lake---

boat slip
question --if you cut a boat slip out of your land on a lake-river-etc--would you be able to stop someone from boating inside the slip--not anchor or anything like that--lets say you cut it 30 ft long --
I actually own property in the marsh of Cameron Parish. No my canals and mudboat trails are not gated. By law I can't keep anyone out of this canal, but I can keep them off of the land. Now on the other hand the big land company that has property next too mine does not gate their property but they have a couple of men hired to keep people out. Due to the fact that they have lawyers on the payroll all year and also have connections with the government they can do this. Another example of their power with money is they had the Corps of Engineers put a rock jetty up to keep their property from eroding. Now the money used was public money, but the jetties were only put along the property they own. When I contacted the Corps as to why they stopped the jetties short of my property, I was told that I had no erosion. I have only lost about 50 acres of 160 total. My point is, if you have the money to line the pockets of the government agencies you can do anything you want regardless of how it affects the public.
don't know?
Ray, funny you should mention my lack of knowledge and participation in the regs. I am up to date with the law you are talking about. It is also funny that you mentioned the crawfisherman. Keep a close eye on this issue for the next few years. this will also change. The crawfisherman will no longer have free access to private property. Take the atchafalaya basin for instance. With a water level fluctuation of 20 feet, are you telling me that a landowner forfiets his rights to his land when the water is high? He may have 10,000 acres that is high and dry one year, and underwater the next. The crawfisherman have access to thousands of acres of private land, with the same theory that you have, its connected to public waters so it is open to the public. BS. You will soon see leases for crawfishing rights. These private lands or not, nor should they be, open to the public. keep fighting your good fight, and let me know how it turns out.
Re: gated canals
[If you have the money to line the pockets of the government agencies you can do anything you want regardless of how it affects the public]. YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD! Down here in lower Terrebonne parish, I have friends with camps that cannot get permits from the corps to shore up their bulkheads thus protecting the property from erosion. Just a few miles away a rich guy gets permits to dredge an entire dead-end pocket to 15ft deep. That area has been fished by the public for over 25-30 yrs(maybe longer). After dredging was completed a large gate was constructed up the bayou to keep the public out. The rich guy has created himself his own private winter paradise. The floating gate stops the public from entering while thousands of trout & redfish are harvested all winter by the rich guy and his cronies. Yes these guys duck hunt too but their camp is located in another bayou that the public has access to. A guard is paid to stay on the camp 24-7. Three years ago Mr. rich guy claimed he needed the gate to protect his camp from thieves but he never moved the camp behind the gate. The gate opening is too small for the campbarge to fit through anyway. This land is LEASED from a big land company as Mr. rich guy does not own the land. This dead-end bayou was dredged and gated off from the public with no other intentions but to make a productive private fisheries for a select few. Is this fair? No it is not but things like this continue to go on every day in the "Sportsmens Paradise". It will only get worse as others will join in as they see that nothing is being done to put a stop to this. The State Land Office is a joke as they say just about everything in south La. is private. There are probably more illegal gates constructed in Terrebonne and Lafourche than anywhere on the coast! I know of no less than 14 fences/gates just in the areas I fish in Terrebonne with the majority of them erected on natural public bayous. I'm not talking about man-made oildfield canals but rather free flowing natural waterways thats been used by the public for 40-50 years! But thats another story..........

the crawfishing rights in the basin on private land as you state are those of the land owners but the water is public they cannot run u off as long as you are not crawfishing--you can still motor through there property--this is what i understand--
to driftwood
i can't wait until someone tells the wrong crawfisherman he cannot crawfish somewhere he has been going for his entire life. its going to get real ugly. how can you post swamp that is way below the high water mark.
pac poper--its happening right now in the basin but its beening done by the crawfishmen themselves--they get a fishing lease from the land owner and then keep the rest of the crawfishermen off--divide and conquer--again the green back dollar overcomes--their want be much of a problem this year no high water as of yet--
As far as I know the runway you are talking about is for the military. Supposedly they needed it because of Lake Charles not having a long enough runway for some of thier planes. I do know for a fact that the military was the one's that built the runway, all the rest is "hear say".

On another note, the basin and crawfishing. The state stands to lose license money if the land owners take control. According to a LDWF agent that I went to school with, these fishermen have to buy a crawfish license because they are fishing "public waters", if they prove these waters to be "private waters" then the crawfishermen with no longer have to buy the commercial license. The same goes for creel limits and recreational fishing licenses on these waters. Maybe we need everyone to gate up their waterways and then screw the LDWF out of all of the money they collect on fishing licenses each year.

Warren Price
Jennings, La
Not exactly right.
Marshrat said:
"The same goes for creel limits and recreational fishing licenses on these waters. Maybe we need everyone to gate up their waterways and then screw the LDWF out of all of the money they collect on fishing licenses each year."

Where there is ingress and egress of state owned organisms, you will need a fishing license plus follow the creel limits and regulations.

You can only fish a private pond without a license and not following the state creel limits and regulations.
I had this discussion with a LDWF agent and he told me that was the way he read the law. His exact words "If waters are private, we have no jurisdiction on the fisheries in said waters". I am just stating what I was told.

A question for Capt. Bill Lake
Most of the talk has been about canals but what about the big marsh areas being posted? Last week a friend of mine was run out of a marsh in Terribone parish. He got into the marsh through a natural bayou or tranause. He said the "ditch" was wide and deep and the area he was fishing was 3 to 4 feet deep. It was open marsh about 500 acres in size. He was told to leave and dont come back. Is this legal? If it is then I guess we wont have anywhere to redfish except along the banks of the big lakes. Capt. Bill Lake, everyone respects your opinion, what say you on the posting of marsh areas?
Ray, The area I was talking about isnt a canal(a man made canal) but a wide open marsh!! Although I dont agree with gating man made canals, I can see where there is room for argument, but not in a open marsh!!! Whats next, Posting of Sister Lake, Mechant etc, etc.
Catfish Lake
I just wanted to let everyone know that I just signed a lease agreement on Catfish Lake. I will be putting up posted signs this weekend. I don't want to catch any of you fishing there anymore.
I don't know exactly where your friend was fishing in the marsh. If he was fishing out of Dularge or Dulac he may have been on Harry Bourg property. They lay claim to acres and acres of wide open marsh and Nolan Bergeron polices the area. Nolan will run you out and he's not known to be pleasant about it. However, the HB Corp. will sell you a permit to fish those waters. On the other hand, your friend could have been almost anywhere in Terrebonne parish when he got run off the so called private property. Most fishermen unfamiliar with a certain area will leave when pressed to avoid a confrontation even though its public waterways. This trend has been shaping up for a while now as duck hunters lease marshland to hunt and have been running people out of near-by public waterways. To answer your question about the legality of posting marshlands, according to the old map the State Land Office uses to define state water bottoms almost everything is private. Most of our open marsh where we catch redfish nowdays used to be hard ground 200 years ago. These maps certainly need to be updated to reflect the years lost but who knows if that will ever be done. The law here in Louisiana is very vague to say the least in regards to marshland issues. The bottom line is that if you're wealthy and have connections you can do just about anything you want at the public's expense. Personally, I fish where I want to fish until someone tries to stop me. Just remember they have to prove you don't belong there and 90% of the time it can't be done!
Thanks Capt. Bill
Thanks for your quick response. I guess he will just have to get run out again and see what happens. By the way, he was NOT on H.B. property. Thanks again!!
The Key is the Key
As long as the right people have a KEY TO THE GATE the gates will stay. Do you thing the governor and her friends have a key to any gate they want?????
they own it.
You said it best captain bill. 200 years ago this property was high and dry. If the owner would have put up a fence and maintained it all these years, would it be any different? They have a written document filed at the courthouse that says they own this land. In order for it to become public, the state would have to buy it from the landowner at fair market value. When the state aquires property to build an overpass or highway, they have to purchase the properties at fair market value. When they built the atchafalaya basin levee system, they bought the property at fair market value. When they damed the river to create toledo bend, they bought the property at fair market value. They have to puchase the property when they want to dig diversion canals. This is the only way it can become public, if the state purchases the property. I don't agree with a lot of it, but that's the way it is. If the plat at the courthouse says they own it, then they do. All passages and right of ways are passed down from previous owners to current owners, but only for the intended purposes, not the general public. I know it sucks, but that's the way it is. until the state puchases the property or right of way for public use, it is considered private.
We arent talking about the land
Even if they own the land I dont think they own the water over the land. No one wants to go on their land, we just want to float a boat over the land on public water. I can see how they can keep you off of their land but thats not the question. The question is can they keep you off of the water over thsir land. Im talking about nava. water, not man made canals.
I guess I don't get it
Ray, thanks for your concern about my little rented piece of property, but I don't see it getting taken away any time soon. As for your comment about the water reaching 22 ft. in butte larose, and all the land that is underwater being public. You are in serious denial. By your own definition of navigable waters, if a barge, tug, rig etc. etc. Thousands and thousands of acres of privately owned lands in the basin are flooded when the water is at 22ft. That does not make it public. are you following me, because I fear that you are drifting away into this ferry land that your thoughts come from. Again, thousands and thousands of acres of flooded timber are not public lands or navigable waters. Try to push a tug or barge or rig through a flooded cypress swamp. It can't be done.

As for these marshes you talk about that used to be underwater. and these houses along La 1. Are you telling me that these people are living on public land? No, somewhere along the line, the state sold this property to its owners, therefor deeming it private. same as the marshes you talk about. If the state could sell the land, then that would make it private land. and again, If the plat at the courthouse says they own from point "A" to point "B" then they DO!!!! If not, then the plat will state that they own from point "A" to the west side of canal "X" then from the east side of canal "X" to point "B". canal "X" being open to the public. I can't put this any more simple. If the owners bought the land from the state, surely the state would agree that they own it, don't you think? If your still not convinced, than go ahead cut a gate and purposely get caught. Go to court and see what happens. Stick it to "the man". thier always trying to hold the little guy down. If your so involved in this issue, how much have you donated to the guys that have charges pressed against them for tresspassing. help them out, make a donation, help get them a better lawyer since its all about the big dollar bill. maybe cochran will take the case. Thats a good idea. All of you guys that feel you are being cheated, should get together a donate piles of money to the next guy that gets charges pressed against him while on these "public waters". take it all the way to the supreme court. If you ask me, its a waste of money.

To make these donations, send check or money order to driftwood at 123 Hwy 1, public land, LA. 12345
Do I still own the property that has eroded, or is this state property? According to what you posted, I do, but the state says different. Do I still have the right to keep people from traveling/fishing over the property that I talk about? Not according to the state.

Also according to the US definition of navagatable waters, the drainage ditch in your yard is probably navagatable, and yes that question did come up when we were on the subject. Here it is, "any water that has drainage to a natural river, stream, lake, etc. is navagatable".
marshrat, I'm not sure of your specific situation, but, yes you still own it. You will probably get some funny looks, or even some arguments, if you tell fisherman not to fish there. But, if your property line is surveyed accurately and approved by the state, nothing can stop you from reclaiming your land. You can pile logs up across your line, or rip rap, or even a fence as long as its not hazardous to the environment. Now, if it will affect the surrounding areas, they may not approve your permits. I am in the process of doing this now. my land is surveyed, my permits were approved, and the work is in progress. I will be reclaiming up to fifteen feet in some areas along the line. It was even suggested that I could dredge out past my line, into public waters, and use the dirt to backfill my property.

If you are willing to strecth the law, and go as far to say that a simple drainage ditch is navigable, why stop there? Anyone that has a sewerage treatment center that has a outlet into a ditch, that would mean that there toilet is public navaigable waterways. Afterall, the toilet drains into the sewerage treatment plant, and that drains into the ditch, and the ditch drains into the canal, and the canal drains into the river, and the river drains into the ocean. In otherwords, warm the seat up for me, I got something brewing up real bad. Light a match. seriously though, did the state disagree? and why?
i guess i still dont get it

i started this post and i have enjoyed the debate and i will not stoop to name calling or such.because i belive we are entitled to our openions.

i do agree with driftwood on a couple of matters. that we should be able to reclaim our land because of eroision and we should be able to keep tresspassers of our land.

and we should be able to dig a canal on our property if it will not effect someone elses property or state property
which in the case of louisiana the digging of canals has caused a large portion of costal eroision.

my problem and disagree with some of you all, is when people use state waters to provide the fish and water for a persons private canals

but ill try and keep a open mind about a few questions

Nr.1 before people allowed canals to be dug through there property was there water to drive a boat through or just marsh grass and mud. and if no water were did the salt or brackish water come from.we dont own rain water but we do own as a state the waters in rivers costal boundries etc.

Nr.2 were there trout and redfish and crabs shrimp and such
on the marsh land prior to a canal being dug. if not were did they come from.

Nr.3 do mine and your tax dollars we pay for lic. and such
go towards the conservation of the fisheries that live in the canals that didnt have have them in them before.

Nr.4 should our tax dollars be used to repair fix reclaim in anyway
the property that people claim is private property when it comes to fishing when in fact a large reason its melting away is there own fault for dredging thousands of canals through them and not rocking them up or something.

if everything but the coastline and some natural water ways are private land then why are my tax dollars going to fix there fact why arnt they held accountable for damage caused to state property caused by the eroision caused by the dreding of thousands of canals in the fraigle marshes

if you dam up your canals and stop the flow of state fisheries and state water ill be 100%on your side gate um up

again im not trying to be funny or slam anyone i just dont get it

stan thomas holden la.

red river
red river waterway commission state of la.--any land errosion or lost from natural occurance like a river changing courses on its own---lets say it cut through a point the orignal owner of said property loses it--this issue came up when the corp cut through curves in the river to straighten it out---since the corp made the cuts the properties involved stayed with the orginal owner--because it was not done by natural flow--this is info gotten from the commission--BUT just like everything esle they also claim the old river beds that used to be the orginal river before the man made cuts still belong to the state--again land owners are trying to claim it--so more legal questions---never ends --
stan even our coastline is being posted . look at fourchon beach from the parking area to the pilings at elmers island and at elmers island . now at elmers island you can say that they are just restricting access to the beach since you have to cross or drive on elmers property to get to the beach.
but at fourchon you can drive right up to the pilings that are at the edge of what they claim to be private land .
and yes our tax money is and was used to repair and restore this land. caluete land corp. claims to own all the way to the edge of the water (gulf) here.
they said they would let people use the other potion of their beach, ( between the parking area and the rocks at belle pass) so i'm sure that they dont mind that the marsh has washed through in 2 places in this stretch and it is no longer accessable to the public.
tight lines , Bob Lemings
glad to see your getting involved
I hope that works out for you Ray. Please post all replies you get to that letter if any. I would like to hear first hand responses from some of these people.

As for spending tax dollars to restore private lands. The way it was explained to me was that it is illegal for the parish to purchase materials to be used on private lands, unless it is related to some type of industry. However, they will supply equipment, labor, and designs for such projects to the private land owner. meaning, they will come to your property with the needed equipment and install anything you want. bulkheading, culverts, bridges etc. They can even supply dirt or rip rap when it is available. It is free of charge, but they will not purchase it from someone else and give it to you. If land that is used for agriculture is being eroded, they will help fund the restoration. If the land is used for livestock, they will help fund fences. and so on.

I agree, some of these canals probably shouldn't be blocked off, but some landowners have good reason for doing this, not just to create the rich mans playground.
last comment
well fellows tommorow mornings a big day for me takeing my eight yr old daughter emily on the youth turkey hunt her six yr old sister lori beth is going for the ride to.

i really think we will get one hopefully there will be a big ole picture tommorw

i think we all brought out some good points to ponder
but im through with this one enjoyed the discusion

got to get up early man i cant wait

stan thomas holden la.
driftwood ,
yes these LANDowners have a good reason for gating off these canals. so they can charge people 350$ a year plus to try to catch fish that belong to the public.
i still say if you own a canal ( or think you do ) put a dam at the edge of your property and keep the public out .but also keep the publics fish out of your waters
after all if i dig a pond on my property i have to pay to stock it why shouldn't the folks who say they own these waters have to do the same ???
tight lines , Bob
Lost property
Fishermac, you were entirely correct when you stated that you had "LOST" 50 of 160 acres. You now own approximately 110 acres if your assesment is correct. The coastal erosion reports always refers to "LOST" land due to erosion. When erosion occurs, and water replaces the land, it then becomes state waters, and the public is entitled to use these waters.
One thing for sure, this issue will have to be decided in federal court, and until a group is formed to take it there, all this talk is just talk.
If we were only born wealthy
When the land was purchased in 1812, the year that the state wants to use to mark public waters, all the tides ran through natural bayous. Most the oilfield canals dug have redirected the flow of the tide.This changes where specks migrate to in the winter. Any canal that has tidal flow should be public. All the shrimp, bait, and fish were in public waters in 1812 and all waters with tidal influence should be public. There is no comparison between land and water bottoms. It is simular to ducks migrating. We saw the last few years what controling the food source can do to our hunting. Closing canals is another way of controling the winter food supply and the fish.
Web Site
Go to & click on news....There is an article about a case that was heard in St.Martin Parish.....Two hunting clubs were trying to keep people out of a lake by Henderson or close to it.....The hunting clubs lost in court....Go check it out....There is also alot of other useful info in the news section.
What would be more effective...
As the law stands now, as interpreted by numerous courts, private canals through which running water flows are still private things. While the law does place restrictions on private owners regarding running water (they can't stop it or redirect it entirely), it does not restrict their right to keep others off their property.
The mere fact that a boat can navigate does not automatically lead to a waterway's being a public thing. Not only must it be navigable, but it must be naturally occurring. Although the "running water" argument seems to be the best bet for gaining public access, courts simply aren't willing to give it the interpretation we want.
Now, what this problem really brings to light is actually the most effective way to get this situation changed. Vote. In Louisiana, both legislators and judges are elected. However, the level of voting participation in the state is low. If all this attention were levied at a candidate during a political campaign, I predict the law would be changed very shortly to better reflect the concerns of Louisiana sportsmen.
Another option is to harass your existing state representatives. This is a representative democracy; if your officials are not doing what you want them to do, tell 'em. I doubt if any state legislator would turn a deaf ear the dozens of comments posted here. But... they have to hear 'em first.
Also, and I promise to end on this, landowners have the right to exclude people, but their rationale for so doing is probably disingenuous. The position that they're open to liability for allowing someone on their property to fish is simply wrong. La R.S. 9:2795 specifically limits liability to such land owners for negligent injury of those enjoying their property.
In any event, we should all direct our efforts toward the government, and argue less with each other.
lsu , you are right about the state law in La. but do a little research into federal law and if im not mistaken (wrong) the federal courts have ruled that if it's tidal it's public . i am not a lawyer or even want to be one in La. but i do know that the landowners and leasees in louisiana that are posting and gating this property or doing this knowing that no fisherman that is worried about this has enough $$$ to fight this all the way to the U.S. supreme court.
i sat in on the senate and legislature last year and none of the bills to open these waters made it past comitee hearings because the sen.and legs. that sit on these comitees are some of the landowners that are gating these canals. one even admited that he owned property on gated canal and there was no way he would let any of these bills get to the full house or senate.
when you send letters or e-mails to any of the politicians
you get no response or you get a generic response thet yes we need to repair the levees.
they are only worried about the landowners who contribute big $$ to their election or re-election funds.
when the atty. gen. was elected he stated that he would look into this and w/in a few months nothing else was heard of this . i have a contact there and it is louisiana politics at work as usual . leave it be if you want campaign
funds. good ole boy, azz backwards louisiana politics at work!!!
the same thing w/ the gov. office i talked to blank-o b4 the election and she told me that these waters should be open to all fishermen . but now ,even b4 the storms she wouldn't even answer e-mails or phone calls or discuss this issue in person.
bobby jindal said that he didnt think that these waters should be posted but since he is in washington now we will never know what he could have or would have done for La. fishermen.
we will NEVER be able to fish these waters untill this issue is taken to the U.S. supreme court. Because there is not a judge in this state that has the gonads to stand up to the big $$$ landowners or their leasees.
good fishing , in the few places we have left , Bob
Some things never change eman
Well, for the most part, state laws govern property rights; and although Louisiana has adopted several "tests" from federal law to determine what is navigable, federal law generally will not govern matters between land owners and the public (unless there's a consitutional or federal statutory question). But like you correctly pointed out, the problem is getting entrenched political officials to break ranks with their own interests and campaign contributors (no matter what law governs).
Dead End Canal Hypo
This hypothetical is limited to a few certain premises. That way the flow of debate doesn't get bungled up with different assumptions being made by each respondent. If you want to change the assumptions being made below, say so. Here is the scenario in its simplest form, The DeadEnd Canal Hypo:

1. There is a Public Navigable lake that ebbs and flows with the tide because it is connected to the Gulf by a long river.

2. But for that river, the Public Navigable lake is perfectly round; there are no other rivers off the lake.

3. The navigable water and water bottoms of the lake belong to the state up to the low water mark all around the lake.

4. The land surrounding the lake from the high water mark belongs to Private Corp, and forty years ago they paid for and dug a 40 foot wide canal off the lake that goes for one mile into their property before it dead ends on their property.

5. Yesterday, Private Corp put up a gate at the mouth of the canal, directly where the high water mark was and still is from forty years ago.

6. Despite the gate, the tide and fish still enter and leave that private canal, just like they do in the lake.

Now, if it weren't for the public river and lake, Private Corp's canal would have no water and no fish in it. They may have paid for the digging, but they are effectively using the public's water to get on and off their property and to harvest fish, which is state property.

For forty years, the public has been fishing that canal - OR - the public just started fishing it last week.

Query: Under either scnario, is the gate legal?

If I am fishing in said "Hypo" Canal do I need a state fishing license? Can I catch more than my limit of fish?
In louisiana, it would depend on what parish you were in and if you were related to the sherriff of this parish.
if you were related then no this would not be leagle but the sheriff would tell the landowner that he will keep folks out of the property if he and his people can fish this area. if the tide ebbs and flows the feds say its public but the state says it isnt.
now the next question : who is right ???
This was a few years ago
My cousin and myself made contact with the Corps of Engineers about private waters. The fellow that we contacted said the waters were public if it was open to a natural waterbody.
What about all these natural bayous that traverse private property? If the natural flow of water is diverted due to a man made canal and the natural bayou is no longer passable due to this canal, does this make said canal public or private?
gated canals
everyone interested should go to the web site provided by is apperant that federal law has already addressed these issues. i for one will no longer allow this to happen to me again. i promise when it does. i for one will invest in a fight over this.not only for me but for my two children who love nothing more than fishing with their father. the real problem is that we just take the crap and just complain about it. we should all agree to take one weekend off of fishing and make a trip to baton rouge. i would definetly be willing to invest some money in orginizing this if enough people were interested.
Tidal Waters & Natl' Rivers Website...
The Natl' Rivers website does a great job explaining Supreme Court decisions and the Public Trust Doctrine with regard to public access OF RIVERS AND CREEKS.

I've been reading their stuff for 3-4 years now though I admit that I haven't visited it in a while. Are their updates regarding tidal waters? New decisions?

Tidal waters are very different from rivers, streams and creeks.
Did you get the e-mail I sent you with the phone #?
Site not working
I am trying to access the site, but the address below is not working. What is the web addres again? I tried and it did not work.

Just a word of caution. You might reconsider before you assert the conclusions of the National Organization for Rivers. You could be setting yourself up for one heck of a lawsuit (and probably a loss).
Their website addresses issues dealing with the navigability of rivers, not man made canals. And as for federal law having resolved these issues, it hasn't done so at all. State laws govern property rights in the absence of pre-emptive federal legislation or federal consitutional provisions. As far as I know, there is no federal statute giving the right to float into a man made canal. And there certainly is no such right named in the U.S. Constitution.
is the name of the website
louisiana purchase
donald, the louisiana purchase was in 1803, not 1812.
I stand corrected. I got the year that we became a State mixed up,but this is the year the state is using to locate private property lines for coastal waters. Thanks
lawsuit, im sorry i must be in the wrong place i thought this was the opinions section of this web site. it is my opinion that the web site referenced what i said. mabe we dont understand each other, my opinion is that waterways are public unless it was privately dug on private property. not property bought with a natural waterway on it . that is my personal opinion. i did some research on the decision of the supreme court referenced on that site and was able to recieve a copy of that if you are interested. my opinoin of that document is as i have previously stated.
LSUlaw, you said there is no federal law, statutory or constitutional, to control who uses man made canals. Are you referring to a man made canal that dead ends on private property, or a man made canal that can be used to get from one public navigable waterway to another? Take the Erie Canal for instance, a man made canal specifically build for commerce. Obviously the constitutional commerce clause would prohibit its privatization, and no gates will be put there. I commented several days ago about this discussion and various waterway types to clarify the subject, and am still interested in your opinion on that hypothetical. It is my belief that we need to look to federal law when dealing with man made canals going from one public location to another, and state law on the issue of deadend canals through private property that harbor state water and wildlife. It seems the state and/or parish had to give the private land owner or lease holder a permit to dig a canal connected to a public body of water. Is there any law on exactly what those permits authorize or allow? Your opinion is appreciated, and I would like to start zoning in on the correct authority for different scenarios; different facts are subject to different laws.

Save the coast
You caught my wording error. I should have said I'm not aware of any federal law giving a right to the public to use any privately owned canal in Louisiana. You bring up an important point on the issue of ownership. Things can be owned privately or publicly. The state can own a thing in its private capacity or in its public capacity. When it owns a thing in its public capacity (like running waters, the beds of navigable rivers, etc.), the public has a right of use on it automatically by operation of law. otherwise, a privately owned thing may be dedicated to public use. I'm not sure, but I imagine the Erie Canal is owned by the U.S. government, was dug by the U.S., and has been dedicated to public use through some federal law (thus federal law controls it). But I don't think federal law will control just because a canal connects two public waterways. The U.S. constitution does give Congress power over commerce among the states and admiralty, but if Congress doesn't exercise that power then state law will usually govern.
All that means is... in the absence of federal law (which I don't THINK exists) on point state law will govern property rights to a man-made, privately owned canal, no matter what it connects.
This discussion has really peaked my interest in this facet of property law, so I'll keep researching to make sure I'm not completely wrong. Meanwhile, i'm reading your hypo to see if there's an answer. Thanks.

Well, I understand that this is the opinions section and that you're entitled to post your thoughts here. However, I did not say that you were wrong in your reading of the website material. I said (or meant to say) that you might be careful in taking what it says to the bank. This was just a bit of helpful advice from one sportsman to another. Also, I have already read the decisions cited by the web site, but thanks anyway for your offer. Good fishin'
The LCPA website has been updated....Go read some of the bills they trying to pass.....