Shoreline property ownership?

TooManyHobbies

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Does anyone know what the rules/regs/laws are regarding hunting shorelines? There's a local lake close to me that I hunt a few times a year at the public beach. During the winter they open a dam and lower the water a couple feet, which exposes the shoreline about 10-15' from water to mean high water mark all the way around the lake. Does a home/cottage owner own the shore to (or past) the water regardless of where the water is, or do they own to the high water mark?
This is in CT and I realize states may vary, but there's so much exposed shore it would be great to just walk around the lake without asking permission every 30 feet.
I've also had people b*tch at me while fishing too close to a dock, I'd imagine it would probably be the same while detecting.
 

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OBN

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Lakes can be so different than Ocean shore lines or even bays. Tough one to answer even in Maryland, one thing for sure most land owners think they own everything. I've been down that road many times, and as far as there dock and piers, some "think" they own the water out to the end of them. Here, if I had any questions I would call the DNR. Department of Natural Resources. Occasionally I run into them here, all are very professional.
Good Luck
 

cudamark

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Looking at a plat map from tax records will usually show the boundaries of a certain property. In many places, lakes that are surrounded by private land are usually part of, and divided by, those surrounding land owners. Check with your state laws on that one, or, like I mentioned, look at the tax maps to see who's paying the land tax which will tell you who owns it. On ocean beaches, it's generally the mean high tide line that is the property line. The fly in that ointment is when the property has been altered. If there has been work done to prevent erosion, or, just decorative walls/walkways/planter boxes, etc, that can change where the legal property line is, because the natural ingress and egress has been altered or prevented, making the mean high tide line location questionable.
 

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TooManyHobbies

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Thanks for the replies. A little internet search says:
Littoral rights refer to the use of land that borders a still body of water, such as a pond, lake, or ocean. The land that borders the water is referred to as littoral land. Examples of littoral land are beachfront or lakefront property. Landowners who border water affected by high and low tides own everything up to the median watermark. On the other hand, property owners who border water not affected by tides own everything up to the middle of the body of water. This allows owners to add home improvements such as docks or buoys.
So, looks like I'm out of luck unless I knock doors.
 

Robot

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Hi TooManyHobbies,
I have my house on a lake in northern BC Canada.
The lake is owned by the Government of Canada
"the Province owns nearly all freshwater and saltwater foreshore. Land adjacent to foreshore may be privately owned, but in common law the public retains the privilege or "bare licence" to access the foreshore."

The foreshore is the high water mark around the lake.
My property starts 10 feet up from the lake and is marked in our survey of the property.

This also means my Dock in the lake is not on my property along with my boat attached.
I take out extra insurance for any liability of public hurting themselves on it.
 

unclemac

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where i am in WA state it also depends on when the lot was platted. Some folks OWN the beach, others don't right next door.
 

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Some lakefront and riverfront properties in BC like those with resorts/hotels and even privately non comercial properties have fences built to the waters edge with signs stating property is private. Many small lake front communities also have "private" beaches set aside for boat club members along with mooring rights. As far as i understand All shorelines on rivers or lakes, unless on native reserve land, are and should be accessible by any member of the public who wishes or needs to travell across to enjoy recreationally. Will warn that some people believe they own the shore though..and may attempt physical removal of you from said shoreline after they have told you/harassed you to leave via attack dogs or threats of being removed at gunpoint or by a Bylaw officer..Generally just avoid said properties for sake of not wanting to deal with that kind of situation. If metal detecting is always a good idea in BC to be sure you are not within a protected reserve, heritage designated property or provincial park boundary without permission, alot of the time the outlined areas will extend past the shore/highwater mark well into water body. Not sure if naturally accreated material rights include relics ie coins, bottles, jewelry and such left/dropped by earlier inhabitants after 1846 that have been washed from banks either, but imagine if in a heritage designated boundary said items would be included.
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/...es/residential-uses/private-moorage#Foreshore
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LawrencetheMDer

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WOW, As a water hunter I think I'll stick to Florida coastal waters; mostly wide open hunting except for the Treasure coast, some parts of St Augustine, National (at Ft Desoto ask Ranger) and State parks , spoiler islands, come to mind. Sure there are other exceptions. But I have hunted both coasts for about 17 yrs now and have run into very few problems, well, sharks but those are a different issue.
 

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State of Mi says the waterfront land owner owns to the center of the lake, classified as bottomlands. Actual area depends on the shape of the lake so it may not be a standard piece of pie shaped land.. Riparian rules.
 

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Hi TooManyHobbies,
I have my house on a lake in northern BC Canada.
The lake is owned by the Government of Canada
"the Province owns nearly all freshwater and saltwater foreshore. Land adjacent to foreshore may be privately owned, but in common law the public retains the privilege or "bare licence" to access the foreshore."

The foreshore is the high water mark around the lake.
My property starts 10 feet up from the lake and is marked in our survey of the property.

This also means my Dock in the lake is not on my property along with my boat attached.
I take out extra insurance for any liability of public hurting themselves on it.
There was 2 homesteads in BC that actually were under a grant from Queen Victoria that the ownership of the land extended under the water as well.
The one property is now a provincial park.
 

dognose

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I suggest checking the local GIS web site.

Here in my area of Indiana, there is a law that dictates what water is private and what is public, through the Navigatable water ways law.

“Navigable” rivers and their river beds are held in trust by the State of Indiana and can be used by the public.
streams that don't have a navigable designation, the bed remains in private ownership, but the public may use the surface of the stream. Read about this here

If the property is a private lake, property lines and associated taxes could be based on the lot, which could be in the water. Here is a such a lake showing property lines in the water
1709739474137.png


If the water is controlled by the corps of engineers, a complete new set of rules and regulations come into play. Too much to go into here, but its interesting reading.

It sounds like from what you said about lowering the water level, it may be similar to the corps of engineers which drops their lakes to "winter pool." which exposes much shoreline up to what the "summer pool" level would be.
 

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