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dbrake40

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Has anyone had any personal experiences with river hunting and what the legal restrictions are with removing objects on public navigable waterways in Minnesota? I've heard differing things in MN regarding what part of a waterway is considered state land and what parts is navigable - high water line vs. low waterline (owned by the state). What's considered navigable and what is not. Any good resources.

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Fossildude19

Best to contact Minnesota DNR to find out what the legality is. 

Advice from random people on the interenet cannot be nearly as accurate at the source of the laws.  :unsure: 

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4 hours ago, DeepTimeIsotopes said:

Here's a page where you can contact them and their rules on rock hounding. 

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/geologyrec/index.html

Thank you. I did send a note to the state Minnesota Geological Survey earlier today. What I'm really looking for here is any advice from those who have hunted, outside of parks, on state waterways in Minnesota.

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1 hour ago, Fossildude19 said:

Best to contact Minnesota DNR to find out what the legality is. 

Advice from random people on the interenet cannot be nearly as accurate at the source of the laws.  :unsure: 

I don't disagree.

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minnbuckeye

When a water basin or watercourse is "navigable" under the federal test, the State of Minnesota owns the bed below the natural ordinary low water level (see: Lamprey v. State  PDF, 52 Minn. 1981, 53 NW 1139 [1893]; and United States v. Holt State Bank  PDF, 270 U.S. 49 [1926]). 

 

From my understanding, if a waterway in Minnesota is "navigable", then a person can walk in the lake or stream since the bed is state owned. With that said, law enforcement often does NOT know the intricacies of these rules. I know this from unfortunate experience. My property has a trout stream running through it and the easements to fish have NOT been sold to the state. At the edge of our property there is an old bridge abutment that keeps the depth to shore's edge over 4 ft deep. So it is very tough to access our stream by staying in the water legally without getting wet. Many, if not most fishermen have an opinion that the banks are also owned by the state and on occasion it has been necessary  to call law enforcement when a confrontation is wanted by the fisherman. Unfortunately, each time someone from law enforcement has shown up, a different interpretation to a pretty specific law is given. (As a side note, we do allow and actually encourage fishermen that ask permission to use our property, banks included. And we prevent over fishing by insisting on catch and release and allowing one group a day to have access.)  But since there are no fossils in the stream, I am not versed on the second part of your questioning. Hope this helps a little.

 

Mike

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