Please Sign In

New To Sportsman Network?

Private Canals with NO Postings?

Recently was fishing in Calcasieu this past weekend and found a little canal that produced several fish. After about 30min, a boat came along and told us it was a private canal and we could not fish it. The guy was nice and was not rude about it but told us that if the owner caught us, that we would be in trouble. He told us the name of the 'club' that property belonged to, but my question is, how can you own a waterway that has NO POSTINGS of being private, gates or dams on it to keep the public out but tell them to leave as soon as they see you? I was told that as long as its free flowing water without a gate or some type of barrier, that it was a public canal just for use of waterway, not land. Any info on this would be appreciated!
This goes on all the time
Around Golden Meadows they have over 50K posted. Palmetto Bayou believe it or not is posted. No one seems to care about this. I think this is a lot more important than the diversions issue.
Open water
Just didnt think somebody can own open water. If its gated thats understandable, but there were no postings of any kind.
I am proud to be from Louisiana, but the phrase 'only in Lousisina' really applies here. That is the law and it is the law ONLY in Louisiana.

I say law, meaning the judges interpetation of the law which in a few cases, including this one, is wrong. The wording of the written law is fine, if only they would go by that!
'Ownership of Water Bottoms'
...the altenate past four or five Governors would'n touch this subject...for some reason it was dodged ?...cheers
Only in Lousy-ana
Louisiana is the only Gulf coast state that allows gating on the open marsh. Landowners claim that they allowed digging of canals on their property for oil and gas, and that it is still their land to do what they want, and they have enough stroke and money in the State Legislature to do what they please, as in the courts. If that is the way this is interpreted...then the Sate should have a law stating that once the oil and gas is extracted, then the canal will be damned off if the public is denied access. The state should not allow state resources, ( fish, crabs, shrimp ), to go into private gated canals for private entertainment. Also, landowners claim they close off the canals due to people filing law suits when they get hurt in these canals. The state should pass a law stating that if you enter these canals, you do so at your own risk....eliminating the modern lawsuit lottery effect.
The Pointe
Nothing new,... if you fish the back levee or a 1/4 mile into the marsh you are on private waters owned from the Miss. levee back forty acres at Pointe a la Hache. If you fish the majority of Black Bay or are remotely aware of its former name, you should also know that it is owned by the Delacroix Corp and could be run off, at any time they choose. La. law is what it is.
Louisiana Law= Joke
We are no longer a country 'of the people'...'by the people'-- and 'for the people. That goes for state and federal government. If anyone thinks our legislators or Congress people vote for their constituents concerns...they are in a fog. It's all about lobbyists and big money.....they rule the entire process. The lobbyists also promise the lawmakers that if something happens and they are voted out of office, don't worry...they have a lifetime job with them. Spent 3 years on Capital Hill, it was a who's who of former lawmakers working as lobbyists for all major corporations, including foreign governments. That's right, foreign governments have a bigger voice in Congress than you do.
Louisiana lands
A number of years ago, our politicians passed a law stating that if you don't own the land you don't belong there. You are TRESSPASING. Land no longer needs to be posted with signs because of this. It goes for the water areas also, unless it is a main passage. If canals are just drainages or manmade, they are included.
Dr spot
Didn't black bay used to be called 'knee-grow' lake?
Private Canals
Back in the late 70's in Vermilion parish a large land corporation who owns thousands of acres in the marsh brought this all the way to the Supreme Court.
What started it was people was catching shrimp using butterfly rigs (making good money) in these canals. The large corporation wanted some of that money.The Supreme court ruled that if a canal was dug on private land with private funds it is considered private property.Thus all of the oilfield canals are dug with private funds (Exxon ,BP,Amoco, Texaco, Chevron).After this ruling you had to have a permit and you paid a percentage of your catch to the large corporation.
worries me
This really worries me as I depend on those no trespassing signs to know that its private. Now that I know they don't have to have it posted, I also have to recognize what's man made waterways as well.

I've read a lot more on this since I was first made aware and I understand it somewhat. Its just foreign to think navigable waters could also private. I just don't like the idea I could be arrested and jailed because I stumble onto private owned areas.

Gonna fish the Dularge area launching from Pub's Seafood since its just south of Houma where I'm staying. Think I'll inquire about how much it is to hire a guide for a day so I can learn to navigate as well as finding the best route to the gulf shores and avoid mud flats ;)
Retired USAF
DO NOT! Depend on fishing w/ a guide to show you where you can fish legally. Lot's of the guides have made arrangements w/ land owners to fish private canals. That way they can take clients into uncrowded areas and have the area pretty much to them selves. ASK your guide before booking if you will be fishing private waterways? If he says yes book w/ someone else.
Thanks, I'll make note of that

Guides making deals with land owners around Dularge may be true?? The private properties that I know of won't sell a permit to guides, not even for personal use. My son has a permit for one of them and I tried to get one just to fish with him, they would not allow it, not even for more money.

Capt E
A lot of people who lease land and of coarse the owners will spout off that you are trespassing if you are not on your on land, but this state owns millions of acres that are open to the public, and a lot of this is being gated an the public kept out. Nobody is supposed to close off a natural waterway, bay, or lake....but it is being will not see this done in the other Gulf states.
You can not own a free flowing public waterway. We have many canals and creeks that run through our property owned and leased that anyone and everyone can enter as long as they are by water. Theses very same canals that are cleaned and cleared by our tax dollars by the police jury. Due to the fact that there property could not be the only property that that canal drains. This is what I was explained by a game warden when floating the bayou for ducks.
Shem - sorry but in Louisiana, free flowing waterway means jack! People in southeast LA do this all the time and the judge's back them. Law means nothing. The Crawford canal in Bayou Black is connectesd to the Intracoastal Canal and it is still private property. There is also a canal in Lake Verret that is posted. I talked to a LtCol with WL&F and was told that the land UNDER the water was privately owned and that gave to landowner permission to post the water running over/through his land. Private landowners have WAAAYYYYY deeper pockets than you and I and in this state, whoever has the cheddar makes the rules.....
...'Subdividing Gods' Property'
...'land' is terra-firma and terra firma you can walk on...there is no such thing as 'water-bottom land''s only a figment for self-appointed 'coonazz surveyers' in scuba outfits ???...cheers
Posted Land
Admiral - That was my point to the LtCol. I told him I was not touching the landowners LAND, I was on the public's water! He said he agreed with me but unfortunately, the judges agree with the landowners. He said the argument used was that their 'land' had eroded and washed into the canal bottom. I asked him since our yard at our camp had eroded into the lake, could I then post the entire lake? I did not get an answer on that BTW...
Louisiana Lands
It seems some of the users here are having a hard time understanding this. ALL LANDS AND WATERS IN THIS STATE BELONG TO SOMEONE. BE IT PRIVATE, FEDERAL AS IN THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER, AND LAKES AND MAJOR CANALS ARE STATE OWNED. There is some public lands such as our wildlife management areas that we are allowed to use only if we purchase the proper lisences. PERIOD
Louisiana Lands
And I think some people on here do not understand that you cannot block off certain waterways.....
Blocking waterways
You can't block off the mississippi river but if you OWN large or small tracts within this state you most certainly can block off drainages.
Another technicality/semantics type thing.

Nobody in Louisiana is allowed to own property. If you own something, it is your and nobody can take it away because you didn't pay the note on it. Every land owner must pay their note to keep their land that they supposedly OWN. I paid of the loan on my little piece of hunting land a long time ago. But every year I have to pay more money to the REAL owners or the state will take it away from me and sale MY land to someone else.
I agree
a hundred per cent.
Money talks
Like I said, we are no longer a country of the people, by the people, and for the people....especially in Louisiana. The large landowners and corporations can affect interpretations of our laws with the legislature and judges....the average citizen cannot. I predicted some time ago that we were going the way of some countries in Europe that have been that way for centuries. A person can be arrested for fishing in a boat on a river that flows through a private landowners estate. We are moving in that direction.
Utah ruling

When they say the great state of Utah, they really are.
2 Sides
There are 2 sides to this debate & I have compassion for both. There is a guy that pays a bunch of money to have those rights & the guy that believes anywhere his boat floats he can be there. I've been on both sides of this fence. It will never be settled till the Russian's or Chinese take over the land once called America.
that's the law
A group of fisherman in North Louisiana took their case to the supreme court over the fact they were being denied access to mississippi river oxbow lakes by the surrounding landowners. Unfortunately they lost. the judge ruled that even though it was a navigable waterway, when the water rose, the landowners still had the right to deny access.
Search Glascow lake decision, maybe mispelled.
That ruling was by the Louisiana State Supreme Court based on how Louisiana interpreted high and low waters from rivers.

This was the case ruled on.......only in Louisiana!!
I think the correct phrase here would be either:
A. misinterpeted
B. Payed off
The best way to understand private canals is by using a simple analogy. I think of private canals as being like private roads. If I or a company leasing my land constructs a road, that does not give everyone the automatic right to use it and I may prohibit usage by the public at my own whim. A private canal is nearly identical. Just because someone builds a canal, on their property, and it connects to some public waterway, should it be considered public? The answer is no because that would be tantamount to the stealing of private property by the public. The landowner should not lose property rights simply because they do such things absent express or tacit public dedication, thus he can keep you out if he chooses to do so. While I am not sure of some of these other cases that are being discussed but I am on the land owner's side. It seems that most are simply mad because they cannot fish where they want to. Well I would say just get over it. It is for the best interest of land owners. I for one have trust in our property laws and the Supreme Court that interprets them. If you have a problem with them, call your legislator, or simply inform yourself what the laws are beforehand.

However, if someone wishes to keep someone off their property, post it with signs or put a gate. Otherwise how would we know it is a private canal.
Two cents
It's unfortunate that the majority of the sportsman public have to suffer from the actions of the ignorant few that cause the landowners of the wetlands to have the attitude they do toward the public. If more people would respect the land nature has given us Instead of trashing it up with litter and trespassing over privately held areas more of it possibly would be available to us, not that thousands of acres of waterways are already available. We take these lands to much for granted thinking it will last forever. It might last forever in our lifetime but the future for coming generations will not see things we've seen or get to do things we did. It's probably best a lot of these wetlands are not accessible to the public for they would disappear even faster by the hands of the most destructive being on earth, man.
You say ' The answer is no because that would be tantamount to the stealing of private property by the public.'

I say it is the land owner who is stealing resources from the public.
If you build a private road that connects to a public road, it does not allow additional public resources to access that area. When you build a canal the public's resources are now able to access an area that they previously could not, thus stealing a resource. deer and other terrestrial animals are not limited to man made improvements and will venture from private to public property on their own. Fish are not the same. You have to give them access by building these water ways.
Just my two cents
'Private' canals
If I dug a canal on my property that was accessible by boat via public waterway, I would not care if someone fished in the canal except for one issue...liability. I could care less if someone goes into this canal to catch a public resource (fish), but if someone is fishing in this canal on their boat and gets injured, they can sue me. Therefore, it would be in my interest to post my property to try to keep anyone off of it.
If you build a house and public air enters it I coming in there and breath me some of it! LOL

Sorry I couldn't pass that one up. LOL
Only being stupid, no trying offend anyone but, I'm ducking anyway!
Private water ways
Cajundood, the first thing the land owner will say is that he owns the land under that water, the state owns the water way. Its a double standerd, The big land owner's own our Politician's and our State Capitol is just one big Whore House and the land owner's are the Pimp's.
Coastal Marsh Fishing
I have a camp in Lafourche Parish near Catfish Lake and the issue of privately owned vs. publicly state waters is very controversial with many sportsman.

I admit that I would like to fish anywhere in the coastal marshes, but I cannot legally. A few comments follows:
*Canals dug with private funds are considered to be private.
*LA law does not require private property to be posted.
*As marshes erode adjacent to public lakes or bayous, the water bottoms are supposed to revert to the State (but good luck with that).
*The Office of State Lands has maps which depict private and public water bottoms in Louisiana. However, they are very elusive about eroding marshes adjacent to public waterbodies. [I once attended a meeting with State Lands personnel, and I asked when does such eroding marsh adjacent to a public water body become public property, and all I heard was silence.]
Public water
I look at it this way, if a private canal uses public water (ebb and flow of tide) then it should be able to be accessed and fished. If public fish swim in it then with my $15 fishing license that should give me the right to fish it.
If people want private canals, ponds and lakes then they should make them 100% private and cut the flow of public water to them.
public vs. private
Many years ago I owned some property that had a large pond on it. I was looking at stocking options for bass and bull bream. I conacted the LDWF and they explained to me that they would stock the pond for free; however if they stocked it I would have to allow the public to fish it. If I did not allow the public to fish it, I would have to purchase the fih from a hatchery and have them place them in my pond.
Again if a land owner is tied into a PUBLIC waterway and allows PUBLIC fish to access that canal we as he PUBLIC should have right to fish for them.
Fish, mammals, birds, etc. in Louisiana are not Public owned. They are the property of the State of Louisiana from the time they are born till the time of their death. Once caught or harvested Legally they become the property of whomever catches or harvests them.
I do not have a problem with private ownership of laws. I would prefer some of those laws to be revised but that is just me.

What I do want and get upset about is this. I wish the enforced law would follow the WRITTEN law. Not follow the actions of a previous judge. What has happened is one judge makes an incorrect ruling and that sets a presidency and usually the following judges follow that example even though it is wrong in accordance with what the laws stated in writing.

Oh I guess the change I would make would be that unlike private land private waters connected to public waters would have to be gated or posted for the landowner to exercise that right.

I find it crazy to believe that I can be driving down the road and get a ticket for trespassing when I never left the road... no sign! It isn't that way on the road and it shouldn't be that way on the water.
I can see the reasoning
I once wondered how anyone could post navigable waterways, but then I realized that much of this water now was once land. That water bottom was once terra firma. If I owned that, I would not want people on it either

Also, a posted sign doesn't last very long in South Louisiana. They seem to 'walk off' and it was a full time job keeping properties legally posted. All someone had to say when they were trespassing is that there wasn't a sign, and that fell onto the landowners. Now it is the responsibility of the fisherman, hunter, trapper, etc. to know the boundaries. There are millions of acres of public water for me to fish.

As far as navigable waters, that is for navigation only, not for hunting/fishing. The court case up in N La (it was Gassoway Lake), was that navigable waters means you are allowed to navigate it and you can moor there to dry nets, etc. but have no business fishing/hunting there. If this wasn't the case, when the MS River floods islands like Davis Island, Giles Island, etc. I would be able to duck hunt on top of that island. Doesn't work that way.
Just to Make It Easier For All
I understand both sides of this issue but really, if the land owners don't want the public on these private canals, put POSTED signs up. It just saves everyone a whole lot of trouble and keeps fishermen with no intent to trespass on private land out of legal troubles.
I have a friend who got charged with Trespassing during Duck season and really didn't know he was. He had to pay a fine and it's now on his record. It's really a little messed up that a person can be found guilty of that.
Posted signs
Posted signs are very hard to keep there, its easy...if you aren't sure if you are unsure about it, don't go in there
It is sad to see so many of yall try and get away with trespassing on someone else's property!!If you don't own it stay out!
I have no problem staying out of dug canals...but people being people, they get greedy and start gating state owned property. Also, any dug canal open to a state owned waterbody should be dammed off.....that will keep the public as well as the fish out.
So much has happened since the last time I checked this topic. Apparently because some 'public resource' etc. has some contact with private property, the public should then be allowed to enter the PRIVATE property to enjoy the resource. This is an interesting concept to me. My last comment was responded to with the contention that deer are not the same as fish, which I do not believe is the case. State law and La. C.C. art. 3413 treats them all the same, that is wild animals either belong to the state or no one, and captured wildlife belongs to the captor. Deer can roam just as easy as fish can roam from one canal to the next etc. Absent a dam or other structure fish can very well do as they please. So when those fish, like deer move onto private property, get over it for they are WILD that is exactly what they do. Most of this post sounds like a guy I know that was mad that his big deer wandered to the neighboring property and stayed where he could not be hunted by him for the rest of the season. All he could do was cry about it. Yea that sucks but what are you going to do, go hunt the 'public resource' via trespassing on private property? I certainly would not suggest that.

Are we really going to complain about our laws being in favor of the private landowner as opposed to the public. My opinion, but if you go the other way your one step towards the state owning everything. Is there really that little water to fish?

I am currently trying to go through the cases cited earlier in this post to determine what happened there, you know the federal courts are not always the best at interpreting state law. In the mean time y'all please keep in mind there is a lot of water to fish so fish all that you legally can, and in the spirit of the original post, if you own it post it, if you don't enter at your own peril. But hey at least under La Law the fish will be yours to keep! Ha ha ha ha ha hah ah ha
Few things different between your deer and fish analogy. First YES the deer are ON your private property. Fish on the other hand (except for flounders,etc.) are not 'on your land.' They are in the public water which flows thru your land. Again ebb and flow = public water. Until those fish grow legs and walk onto your property in my opinion if they swim in waters which are affected by ebb and flow of tide then with my fishing license I should be allowed to fish them as long as I don't touch your private property.
ok I get it
I understand that fish don't really touch the private property per se. So lets use birds instead that fly over the property not really touching the actual property. Should you with your valid license be able to enter and shoot them? Why not they are in the air? Whether fish birds or deer you'll have to trespass to take them. So does the fact that fish are wild things that do not exactly touch the land owned by another give amother the right to trespass to take them? Most all people that block access to or post private waterways are not trying to hoard fish to keep all to themselves like some greedy little lepreahaun, they are protecting their rights as well as themselves from liability. At the end of the day I'd rather keep someone from accessing my property, for when they get hurt they will most likely come after you.
To me it is simple: If the good Lord made it-open
If man made it -private. It should be manditory to post/gate it though.
To Lordbud. I think you miss the point. There is no such thing as public waters, or public lands. All lands and waters in louisiana fall onto two categories. It is private or owned by some government agency, federal, state, parish. The gov. allows us the public to use these resources if we pay for proper fees or licences. The public owns nothing.
SBLedHed, I agree with you. The ruling you are looking for is the one that involved a Lake Providence man trespassing on Lake Gassoway in NE La. Judge James presided over that. It was a big deal I remember. Basically Gassoway Lake is a lake off the MS River that is completely landlocked except when the MS River reaches a certain stage. At that point, you can get into the lake by taking a long boat ride (through private property also but navigable by water). The guy kept going in the lake ans he was arrested by the sheriff multiple times. Guy arrested to it to court and it was ruled that navigable waterways are just that - navigable at the normal high water mark (there is more to it, just summarazing). You can navigate the waters but you have no right to hunt/fish there, but you can moor there and the law was written so that fishermen in the old days could moor and dry their nets, sleep, etc, but they have no right to hunt/fish there. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to 'need' to navigate to Gassoway Lake during high waters except to fish, and this is where he was in the wrong.

In S La, most of the 'private water' was once land. I wouldn't want people on it either because everyone is so sue happy nowadays and if someone got hurt, its coming down on the landowner. I also think we as sportsmen should thoroughly research the private properties before we enter an area. I know the boundaries of all the WMAs and NWRs where I hunt and know not to go over to the private land, same when fishing, there are millions and millions of acres of public water to fish in Louisiana no need to try and fish behind a gated waterway, the grass isn't any greener back there
'Shame On It All'
...wonder what would happen if 'man' dropped the liability on private property in un-incorporated wetlands...'one' would think gates and cables would come down ?...remember the laws in Louisiana were designed by hungry attorneys that turned tail after elections...

I knew a repo man said the most fun he ever had was repo'n a new Buick that was used as a retainer for a Baton Rouge oil/land attorney (the Peacock type)...cheer/cheers
So depressing
After reading this post, I'm so depressed I'm going to sell my boat. Maybe I'll take up flying?? Hopefully there is no private air owners.
Load of Bull
Using the 'my land eroded and is now at the bottom of the waterway' excuse is a load of GARBAGE! We had a camp on Lake Verret. After Gustav, our seawall was gone and 5+ feet of our front yard had eroded into the lake. By using that excuse, could I claim the entire lake as Private Property? I'm pretty sure some of my land was swept into the middle of the lake....

If you dig a canal and that canal is connected to a public waterway you should have 2 choices. Either dam it off completely or deal with people fishing in public water, WHICH IS WHAT WILL BE IN YOUR CANAL!
There is no such thing as PUBLIC water. It does not exist. Nor does public fish or birds, etc. It is a mythical being. The PUBLIC owns NOTHING. We are only allowed to use certain resources out of the goodness of our states heart. Please tell me if u can name one thing the public actually owns?
Tax Dollars
Those are our public resources that our (public) tax dollars pay for. We the people pay the wlf and our state government to manage our resources for us.
The mindset that the government owns everythng and they just allow us to utilize it is why our country is in the state that is.
The government doesn't own anything out right it is only through the public taxes that they are able to do anything.
Yes they manage our resources through laws; however our taxes pay salaries and conservation efforts.
Again SB
If you use birds as an example then I WOULD have to go on your land and trespass. With fish and water it's apples and oranges. I could use my boat on public (or as some claim government owned) water and catch fish without ever being on your private property.
People are there any boat launches called 'government Launches or State launches?' There usually called Public boat launches. Regardless of who owns them or what you call them I refer to them as public. 'Public' meaning NOT PRIVATE.
BOTTOM LINE is if you want to use water that is tidal (public, federal, state, whatever you want to call it) then I have just as much right to use that water as you do. Do the landowners get a special privelage to 'public' water? If I own land on the bank of lake pontchartrain then can I post it private a mile out?? When is this going to end?
Just like someone stated about LDWF and ponds. If you own a private pond but use public (state owned. Again it's bought with tax dollars so technically it IS public and we all own it) resources to stock it then you must let the public fish it. Same thing with digging a canal. If you use public ( there's that word again. Fill in win whatever agency you like) water that's tidal to fill the canal then as long as I do not go on your property and I stay in my boat in the water and have a valid license I should legally be allowed to fish it.
Again people this is a great debate. Lots of civil and good answers/points here and no name calling (as of yet). Fortunate for me I don't fish Leeville and don't have to really worry about this.
Someone else brought up a great point. Using the roadway/waterway analogy. If you are driving along a highway (just as in running down a bayou) and you make a left turn onto another road that looks to be same material (both paved) with no gate or signs should you be arrested for trespassing if it was in fact a private road? How are you to tell? (Of course the old 'negligence of the law/road/water' can be thrown in there).
Again great debate guys and glad it's staying civil.
Industrial Canal
We have a large canal here in the New Orleans area called the Industrial Canal. It was dug many years ago by the city of New orleans as a short cut to the locks going to the Mississippi. Many, many,Boats go to and thro daily . Its a great place to fish. If u get caught fishing there you will be arrested or at least cited for tresspassing and have to pay the city a lot of money. The water there looks the same as Lake Ponchatrain on the one end and the intercoastal waterway on the other but it isn't.
Industrial canal
I fish the industrial canal. There are only certain areas that say NO FISHING. Reasoning there is different for the no fishing. It's due to boat traffic in area and smaller fishing vessels getting in the way of larger work vessels/barges causing safety issues.
Industrial Canal
Regardless, it is a private canal owned by the city of new orleans or harber commission. I know a few people who have been caught and had to pay the fines to the n.o. courts. There used to be a section in the Louisiana fishing guide outlining this. It is probable still there. It gives the cordinates of Seabrook Bridge on one end and the powerline over the turning basin on the other. I will investigate and let u know.
Industrial Canal
Regardless, it is a private canal owned by the city of new orleans or harber commission. I know a few people who have been caught and had to pay the fines to the n.o. courts. There used to be a section in the Louisiana fishing guide outlining this. It is probable still there. It gives the cordinates of Seabrook Bridge on one end and the powerline over the turning basin on the other. I will investigate and let u know.
'Just Ain't 'da Same'
...we got run out many times in ICC between Paris Rd bridge and Indust.C just for parking the boat on the St.Bernard was good fishing plus loaded w/pigs and rabbits...seems the Harbor Police wanted it just for themselves ???

...can remember before the bridge was built they had swinging barges on cables...and with a good East wind maybe a foot of water all the way to 'Good Children St'....cheers
Big Alabama
i ran into a area once in Big Alabama in Sherburne WLF , towards the front there is a cut runs off to the left , i went to stop my boat right towards the mouth of it and i heard a WAM and my motor stopped , tileld the motor up and here is a 1 inch steel cable wraped around the tree going across the canal in WLF waters , i was told the hunting club puts that there to keep people out , the WLF officer said they have cut them a few times . public or private ?
Birds, Fish, whatever. Any way you look at it you have to cross the property line is what I was getting at, and of course when you cross that line whether it be by water or land it is still trespassing. You reference 'ebb, flow, and tidal' a lot. Aren't those terms used to describe waters near the ocean etc. What about a lake? No real tidal flow there right? And NO if you own property adjacent to Lake Ponchatrain you certainly cannot post the lake a mile out. That is completely ridiculous. Are you trying to make me look like some sort of a fool. Are you even understanding what I have been saying at all? You seem to think this is some sort of new phenomena when it is essentially well settled law for quite some time, a long time. Most all of our property laws stem from Louisiana's former owners, France and Spain.

The stocking of ponds is a different issue. The state stocking your pond seems kind of like the state digging your canal, whereby they would likely get some sort of servitude granting certain rights to the state, which would most likely include public usage (considering the state used its funds/resources for its creation (not talking about the dang water)). Interesting issues though hope I get to the bottom eventually.

I also like the road/waterway analogy, which is why I keep saying if you own it post it at the least. One thing about these cases of people being cited for trespassing, the common denominator was repeated trespassing coupled with being noticed repeatedly by property owners of said trespassing. So unless you are sure of where you are and your right to be there, I'd say don't go there for you could be on the end of a expensive losing battle for what? A few fish? Just be careful guys.
Property line
Ah the 'Property Line.' Again I am not on 'your property.' I would be floating in the 'public waters'. If you wanted it private then cut off the water from public water. If I fly over your land am I trespassing? Just like on the water I am not touching your land.
I use the term 'Ebb and Flow of Tide' because some years ago I had to do research on this exact topic and that term is used referring to 'public waters.' Any waters that ebbs and flows with the tide was considered (here's the technical term for you guys) Public Trust.
As far as the pond thing and the state digging your canal I feel you missed the mark. You dug your own pond (per se) then it's private. If you dig a canal that uses Public Trust Water then the public has a right to use that canal. Especially if our natural resources (aka fish) are using your canal. I mean lets be honest here if you don't want the public to use your canals (note I never said anything about your land or your banks unless under emergency use only) then you shouldn't use the Public Trusts water to fill your canal and you shouldn't allow the Public Trusts fish to be in said canal. Dam it up then you can enjoy it privately all you want.
Lake pontchartrain, even tho the tides are affected heavily by the wind, is still considered a tidal body of water. The water ebbs and flows with the tidal movement.
Here is an interesting read. I read it some years ago.
Again I'm not here trying to get feathers riled cause in all honesty I don't have a dog in this hunt. I think it's a great topic to debate. I think the judge who ruled in north La was wrong and/or paid off. According to the Law the public trust water cannot be privately owned and as long as I'm on public trust water I cannot be trespassing.
Page 19
Page 19 of the doctrine clearly states lake pontchartrain is considered under law to be an arm of the sea.
Assessors office
If anyone has any doubts after all this a simple trip to any assessors office will clarify it. You will see maps of here or anywhere in the United States, that every square inch of land is owned by someone or some gov. entity. You can search for days and days and you will not find one square inch of land that is PUBLIC. And of all these lands and waters someone is paying taxes to some gov. entity. I, personnally own land that some years ago erroded and washed away into Lake Ponchatrain, but I still have to pay the taxes even on the land that is no longer there or lose everything.
I take it you failed to read my link. Anything that is not privately owned is called 'Public trust.' It belongs to the public but we trust the state, Feds or other government agency with its welfare. Maybe we should reclaim some of this power back if we think its mismanaged. Personally I think we should.
As Far as the industrial canal it's considered a shipping zone. When I took my captains license course I learned there are some places although we are allowed to pass thru we can not stop and fish because we may be putting ourselves or other larger vessels in harms way. I know the industrial canal doesn't get used as much as it did and it holds some monster trout but its still classified as a shipping zone.
Now to get back on topic, if someone has a duck lease and they want to make it private so nobody csn fish it then it should be dammed off. If its open and fish can swim thru it then we should be able to fish it. If it is dammed off where fish can not get thru then it should be used exclusively for what the land owner wishes. How is it fair that 'public trust' fish can swim in but the public not allowed to fish it. That would be the same as LDWF (an entity of the public trust along with many others) stocking your pond but you keeping the public out. Would that be fair?
Again great debate here guys. Also I'm not trying to ruffle feathers here. I'm just trying to give a different perspective and my own point of view.
I feel compelled to voice my opinion on this subject because if something's not done soon then we the public will lose our rights as Americans to utilize our natural resources due to corruption and closed door deals. It seems in this day and age money can buy anything including judges and our rights to fish and use public trust waterways.
If you have time please read the link I posted. It's 43 pages long and explains a great deal on this subject. It seems that if the judge up north would've read it then he may have ruled differently. It goes Ll the way back to 1812 and how some of our laws regarding land and sea came about. It really is a good read if you can get thru the legal/technical/lawyer Mumbo Jumbo.
Floatable is not Navagable
Where many are getting this wrong is that they are equating the word 'Navigable' as meaning 'Floatable'. Because there's water on it, across which you could float from one point (in public) to another point (in public) does not make it 'Navigable' in the eyes of the law.

Navigable waterways were originally recognized as a waterway (or lake) that was, in the early 1800's when the State was officially surveyed by the Federal government, where said stream or lake was capable of CONDUCING COMMERCE ON IT. Commerce on 'public' water is something such as one returning his catch of shrimp to town. Or, one floating his timber from his property to a sawmill.

NOW, because one builds a canal across his private property with private funds from one publicly 'navigable' stream to another, one has NO ARGUMENT that they can FLOAT across the private land from point 'A' to 'B'.

If someone builds a driveway across his lot from the street in front of his house to the street behind his house, Bubba cannot use it as passage between the two streets (upon which Bubba has the right to drive upon either of them).

By the way, A LAKE is STILL A LAKE (and public) if it existed and was MAPPED when it was first surveyed in the early 1800's. Should the lake have dried up, the surveyed 'lake' is still public lands.

For those wondering about these areas, they merely have to visit the State Land Office in Baton Rouge, or even your local courthouse, where the survey maps from the 1800's are available to the public.

A private canal could be made a public canal by the owner writing an official document called a 'Dedication for Public Use', and filing it in the courthouse in the parish where the canal is located. That's telling 'the public' that it can be traveled (and 'used).

If one cannot find such a dedication, it's probably private, and you can't float it (or fish it or navigate it for commerce) without being contrary to the law.
In the public trust doctrine it described some navagable waters from as shallow as 2 1/2 ft deep.
As far as making a driveway from one street to another and 'bubba not being allowed on it' is a little different than talking about water. In your case YES Bubba would be trespassing. Now change that over to a canal. What's different there? The canal has water in it. If the water ebbs and flows with the tide then it would be considered public trust water. Now if the water adjoining the 2 ponds/lakes does not ebb and flow and is blocked off 100% from the public trust water then yes it it is 100% private
It all depends if the waters in the canal you dug ebb and flow whether it will be public trust water or private. If it ebbs and flows then fish can swim in and out therefore fisherman should be able to float thru and fish it as long as they don't go onto the land.
Atchafslays man
If your neighbor has a pond and you dig a canal from your pond to your neighbors pond (basically the analogy of 'Bubba using the street' that you wrote) then it would be 100% private so long as it is not connected to any tidal waters.
Here's really one to ponder. What if you dug said canal to adjoin you and your neighbors ponds and your neighbor had it stocked by LDWF? Hmmm...
Private BS
I like the airplane analogy. What is the difference in digging a canal that connects to an open-to-the-public body of water and you claiming that the water becomes yours at the start of your canal and an airplane flying over your land? Do you claim that the planes are trespassing when they fly over your land? I bet you do not because the air is not yours. Just like that water is not yours. If you own the land, the land is yours and NOBODY should be on your land without your permission. When I am in MY boat on water that is open to the public, I am not trespassing. The moment I exit my boat and place my feet on terra firma, THEN I am trespassing.
That's it? Everyone is done?
Amen JB
Right you are sir!!
Sorry got sidetracked. Saints were on. WHO DAT!!
cutting to the chase
I think everyone has made their case. Let's cut to the cahse. All it takes is for a few more large property owners to make their land off limits, and general public fishing access is over. Even some of the WMAs are at the whim of the property owners.

Everyone should read Lordbud's comments carefully.
Praise the lord
Apparently there are some good sportsman out there. Over the weekend I received a very nice e-mail from LORDBUD. Just wanted to say he's a friendly in my book. Besides when is the last time you didn't argue with a friend? Had a lot of fun guys but I think this topic has been beaten into the ground. Over and Out
Interesting reading though
I appreciate everyone chipping in. Me I just wanted to learn as I don't have a problem obeying signs or scat when told to if I didn't know. I had almost gotten to learn a small portion of Port Fourchon area marshes and was feeling fairly safe where to fish and what to avoid.

Its just now I'm coming down tomorrow to explore Dulac/Pub's Seafood - Dularge area and now I know I REALLY got to be careful where I go since I'll be by myself for a few days.

Just hoping to catch some nice eating reds and a few larger trout. Rest I'm turning loose even if they are keepers or I find somebody that wants a few to cook down there. This thread sure has been an eye opener ;)