Friday, February 5, 2010

2010 Legislature: New Stream Access Bill

Representative Curt Webb has introduced a new stream access bill. The bill has been numbered House Bill 290 (HB 290), and is very similar to the House Bill 80, sponsored by Representative Lorie Fowlke.

The major difference between the two bills is the definition of stream bed. Under Representative Fowlke's bill, the bed is defined as the area within the "ordinary high water mark." Under Representative Webb's bill, the bed is defined as the area "below a public water in the area actually wetted by the public water." Thus, it appears that Representative Webb's bill is a "wet foot" bill; i.e., a person fishing in a stream that crosses private property must actually be in the water to avoid trespassing.

A second difference between the two bills is that Representative Webb's bill does not require a person to get a public access certificate from the Division of Wildlife Services before accessing public streams that cross private property.

Click here to read the full text of Representative Webb's bill.

(For an update on this bill, click here.)

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