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Recently had a run in from an miserable @#$% when I was detecting along some shoreline as he has water front access and is blocking people from passing by. Normally I would have made a stink and told him to pound sand but the area he has is garbage. Anyways here is a good read on water access for the public for those interested.

https://www.theinertia.com/environment/what-are-your-real-rights-to-access-of-beaches-and-public-waterways/

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Hey kac,

  I've had my share of run-in's with several "people" and "authorities" over the years here in South Florida! Generally i just let them vent, and continue what i was doing! If they insist, and threaten to call the police, i tell them to "go right ahead" I'll be around if they need me! That usually shuts them down! Nothing's ever come of it so far! But i keep well within my rights, and have a lawyer on speed dial, if all else fails!😂👍👍

(Good read, by the way!)

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Used to be a land surveyor so I’ve seen both ends. If you do have genuine property rights, and do not enforce them, you can lose those property rights. Being a nice person and allowing public access across your private property can result in a chunk of your property being deemed public access based on historical use. We see it as people who want access. If you own the property you see it differently. So while I’m on the access side, I certainly respect the rights of property owners. It’s those dick heads who do not have genuine property rights and are attempting to block access on one side, or trespassers on the other, that are a problem. As usual the bad apples cause problems for the rest of us.

Something I have to be mindful of as I get more aggressive seeking out locations to hunt up at Tahoe. Lots of private property up there.

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In Michigan the law is you can walk by a house in the water. You can't stay around detecting or fishing in front of private property. They own the ground to the center of the lake. So in Michigan anyway if I want to detect in front of private property I need to get permission from the land owner.

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3 hours ago, Rick N. MI said:

In Michigan the law is you can walk by a house in the water. You can't stay around detecting or fishing in front of private property. They own the ground to the center of the lake. So in Michigan anyway if I want to detect in front of private property I need to get permission from the land owner.

That is common with lakes in many states as far as property lines. If the lake gets lower your property gets bigger. But usually once in the water there is more free play. People normally can anchor a boat offshore and you can’t yell at them for being on your property. Wading and such probably varies by jurisdiction and local practice.

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This happened to be on a river and we were well within the tide lines. There has been a housing boom and big mansions stuffed along the river to the point the entire river is loaded with docks. I can understand they don't want people in front of their houses but this is still public land and they cannot stop them. It is the same on the edge of my property the city owns the first 3 ft along the road way so if someone wants to park their butts there they can. Of course I have let the poison ivy grow along there :)

What really frosts me is at the end of the river are huge mansions build on dunes. They are constantly being washed into the ocean when storms hit. These same people want the beaches to themselves. Block ALL Public access but want the Tax Payers to pay for their houses to be rebuilt.

Can't have it both ways.

I can understand they don't want the trash and can sympathize in that respect. On the other hand it isn't their property.

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Unfortunately, all people who visit; and live near the beaches in Florida, and  some other State's, are increasingly suffering this problem!  There are two sides! Owners have rights as well!  But my view, and many other's, is if beach renurshment is paid for by All Taxpayer's and the State, than they (the visitors) are overwhelmingly paying the majority of this burden! And are entitled to access these same areas!  Not just the beachfront owners who are getting basically "free" sand in front of their houses and condos, and then excluding those who paid for it to be placed there!

 A perfect example of this is a condo just North of Lake Worth Beach, in Palm Beach County,  which had been fighting over this for years, and got their way! "Their Beach" is roped off down to the High Tide line! And now, with Covid 19, nearly every condo and hotel nearby has done the same thing! Legal or not, who knows! But it's been done in any case!😞  👍👍

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've had to survey fences/structures built into the water along lakeshores for court cases over access... in Idaho it's often determined by mean summer pool level.  Can also depend upon type of deeded right.  As Steve mentioned, prescriptive rights to use can also be valid for access based on history, although difficult claim to back and often weak in court. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've had many encounters,  some good, some police were called...All were in my favor since I came in by water...First few times were a jolt but experience is the great teacher....These are the best words here...

Now, have you been harassed while heading out on the water in a public space? My best advice is to keep your cool and to explain the situation to the harassing individual. Law enforcement professionals advise that you do not confront the individuals(s), suggesting that it is best to remove yourself from the situation and then contact the authorities. Make sure that you have a camera ready to document the confrontation, if there is one, as you have the right to take video and photos on public lands and waters. The video/photo material that you gather can be used as evidence, as any harassment on public lands and waters is a possible criminal offense depending on your location. Any interference, including the attempted confiscation of your camera is a serious offense, depending on your state. Be sure to file a criminal complaint with your regional conservation enforcement agency, as they are equipped best to handle and respond to these situations.

Seems there as many good people as there are those that think they own the water. I have made several new friends, .........and then those who dislike the site of someone metal detecting "In the water near there homes". You know your good when the (DNR) Maryland Department of Natural Resources knows you on a first name bases. One telephone number that will settle all questions. 

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  • 10 months later...

   I just wanted to revisit this subject again, and see if anyone had something new to add! I'm not familiar with lakes too much here! (All private or county property!) But intercostal waterways, and beaches in front of residences, up to at least the high water mark, should be fair game! (Historic areas excluded)!  Under docks is still state property! The docks are built and/or owned by the property owner for the most part! But the "land" they are built on with permit, is state controlled, and taxpayer owned! Like anything else, there are always exceptions, getting a clear answer is near impossible, and the "law of the day" seems to rule! 

   Back to the risk/reward factor I try to always use! Generally not worth the fight! Legal or otherwise! Always somewhere else to detect without the hassle, or bad press!👍👍

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