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Don't Trespass

by: David Coulson 4/7/2013

Friday after work I headed over to Island Lake Marina to check on the status of my boat order and order the trolling motor, depth finder/gps/charter unit, and the power anchor.  The Marina has its own private water they use to test boats and host a variety of private activities.  Needless to say, Iíve drooled over the thought of fishing it someday, especially as Iíve seen a few fishing it during parties. 

I mention this because in all the times Iíve seen folks using this small water they have done so with permission.  Obvious in that the gates were open, and cars parked on the property, never have I seen anyone parked on the road.  That is until Friday.

There was a small blue car parked in front of the locked gate, and an angler a couple hundred yards away tossing lures.  I almost stopped and queried, but as I was headed to the marina anyway I figured I just talk with them.  Sure enough the fellow (not the first name that comes to mind) was trespassing.  So they put a call into the sheriff and I donít know the outcome.

This type of crap really irritates me, fishing and hunting on private property without permission.  Over the years Iíve seen this topic come up a number of times and, in my book, no matter how you dice it, trespass is NEVER OK, period.  Donít do it.  Hell, donít even think about it, especially if I live in the area.  If I spot you, and I will report it.

This might seem strange coming from one who believes that if the riverís waters and the fish in them belong to the public, than bed the river flows over also belongs to the public.  However, that is not Colorado law.  So agree or not, I abide by the law and will report anyone I see trespassing.

Now if youíre wondering why I get so irritated with trespass, itís simple, those who trespass make it harder for those of us who ask for permission to hunt and fish to get it.  Trespass, and youíre screwing with my ability to get permission to fish private waters.  Take away my ability to fish a water, and I get more than a little irritated, actually I get downright angry.

So to the bozo fishing at Island Lake Marina in trespass, the next time I will take pictures (I always carry a camera or two) and I will call it in to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (trespass is enough to lose your license assuming you have one), and/or the sheriff.  I hope everyone else out there will do the same. Besides giving honest anglers a bad name, trespassers make it harder for the rest of us to gain access to private fisheries.

Blog content © David Coulson
Member comments
CYObrad, CO   4/7/2013 11:32:41 AM
I manage the ponds across the interstate from Lake Island Marina and will have to call the sheriff department 12-18 times over the spring/summer for the same reason. The area DWM will not hesitate to write a ticket.
Catcherman, CO   4/7/2013 12:36:11 PM
My first year hunting in this area (last season) my brother and I asked numerous people if we could use their property to access the BLM that was private land locked. Almost every response we got was along the lines of, " I appreciate you asking, BUT, we have had several people not ask and trespass every year so we aren't letting anyone access it this year." We did eventually find one guy that said we were the first people to ask him ever and because of that he let us use his property to access it. To me I think it should be the other way around... People that ask and do the right thing should be rewarded, but I do understand where they're coming from when they say no. I do think some people just make that excuse because its easy. Either way its their decision like it or not.
OldMikkDale, CO   4/8/2013 12:00:47 PM
Dave writes great blogs and gives us a lot of good info but I disagree with the statement about the public owning the water, fish and bed under the water. In this case it is up to the state if the waters are open to public fishing. The state owns all of Colo. water and the users have the right to use it one time with a few exceptions. Most of the reservoirs are owned by cities or irrigation companies and they have the right how they are used if at all. There have been so many lawsuits on the use of streams and rivers that go through private property, it is hard to know what is going on. There is state law and federal law and the latest case I read, the federal lawsuit favored the land owner while some of the earlier cases have favored the sportsman. Water history and water law are so interesting in Colo., Dave should write some blogs on it.
the fishing dj, CO   4/9/2013 2:06:37 PM
I agree with Dave on the whole subject. Trespassing is wrong no mater what. CYObrad, are the ponds you own swift ponds? I have been out there numerous times with boy scouts and the local jr. bass club, and love the area. It is always clean, beautiful, and full of fish. I commend you on what you are doing. Tight lines, Rob
TroutByFly, CO   4/9/2013 3:24:10 PM
Interesting blog. In Montana, I know that water, bed, and flood lines of rivers are all public property. It's an anglers paradise!! MT though only has about 1,000,000 people statewide making wear and tear much less than here in CO ~5million.. It is frustrating though to have miles of river blocked off by private landowners and clubs knowing that myself and the majority of anglers would treat the land with the utmost respect (C&R and leave no trace). The CO laws also seem to create hostility between the land owner and angler. It is too bad that there are the few miscreants that have to ruin it for the many. Great topic of discussion!!!
JKaboom, CO   4/10/2013 8:36:07 PM
I totally agree and unfortunately (at least I would hope) this blog is a case of "Preaching to the choir" as I would think most members of the site feel the same....
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO   4/11/2013 8:40:27 AM
There's no doubt I'm preaching to the choir here. But my aim was to remind the choir that looking the other way only hurts our chances of gaining access to private waters. I strongly feel that it's our responsibilty to speak up when we see the rules being broken.
David Coulson
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