Got this off another site. Mississippi River fishermen may want to read

Discussion in 'LOCAL MISSISSIPPI TALK' started by missed mallards, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. missed mallards

    missed mallards New Member

    Messages:
    27
    State:
    Leland, MS
    Judge rules much of Mississippi River off-limits to anglers

    By Andy Crawford
    August 31, 2006
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    The right of outdoorsmen to fish and hunt on navigable waters was issued a stunning defeat Aug. 29 when a federal judge ruled that the public has no “right to fish and hunt on the Mississippi River.”

    U.S. District Court Judge Robert G. James ignored recommendations from his own magistrate in ruling in a case pitting a group of anglers against East Carroll Parish Sheriff Mark Shumate over the legality of trespassing arrests stemming from their fishing on Mississippi River flood waters in Northeast Louisiana.

    “This is gigantic,” said Mark Hilzim, president of Restore Our Waterway Access, Inc. “He has opened up Pandora’s box. If I read that (ruling) right, does that mean nobody has the right to fish above the low-water mark?

    “Every fisherman in the country needs to pay attention to this.”

    U.S. Magistrate James Kirk had earlier this year recommended that the arrests of the anglers involved in the case be thrown out. James requested the recommendation.

    “(T)he sheriff did not have probable cause to arrest the plaintiffs because the sheriff should have known that the plaintiffs were legally authorized to be upon the waters,” Kirk wrote in April. “The sheriff was required to know that the Mississippi River is a navigable river and that federal and state law … has long recognized that the public has a right to use those waters to their full extent.

    “Because the arrests were without probable cause to believe an offense had been committed, the sheriff violated the Fourth Amendment rights of the plaintiffs and is answerable to them for any damages they have sustained.”

    Kirk admitted in his ruling that federal law (U.S. Code 33, Chapter 10) doesn’t explicitly provide for the right to recreationally hunt and fish, but cited Congressional acts in 1811 and 1812 to back up his final recommendation.

    “A condition of its admission (to the Union) was that the Mississippi River and all navigable rivers and waters leading into it ‘shall be common highways and forever free,’” he wrote. “This court takes judicial notice that the Mississippi River was navigable in 1812 and remains so today.”

    However, James came to the opposite conclusion, hanging his hat on Kirk’s admission that U.S. Code 33 doesn’t actually mention hunting or fishing.

    “(T)he court adopts (Kirk’s) recommendation to the extent that 33 U.S.C. (Chapter) 10 and the federal navigational servitude do not provide the plaintiffs with the right to fish and hunt on the Mississippi River,” James wrote in his ruling. “However, … the court denies to adopt Magistrate Judge Kirk’s recommendation that the plaintiffs have a federal common-law right to fish and hunt on the Mississippi River, up to the high-water mark, when it floods privately owned land.”

    In seeming contradiction, however, James also ruled that the “Walker Cottonwood Farms’ property (where the arrests were made) is a bank of the Mississippi River and subject to public use to the ordinary high-water mark, as defined by Louisiana law.”

    But he then reversed course, ruling that the group of anglers did not “have a right to fish and hunt on the Mississippi River up to the ordinary high-water mark when it periodically floods Walker Cottonwood Farms’ property.”

    Hilzim said it appears that James issued a very narrow interpretation of the law.

    “I’m not a lawyer … but the judge seems to be saying that the public has the right to navigate up to the high-water mark but not to fish,” Hilzim said. “The judge has basically said you can take your fast boat to the high-water mark, but you can’t fish.

    “You and I can take our speed boat or pontoon boat and drive around all we want, but we can’t fish.”

    Hilzim said the case is so sweeping that it could prohibit hunting and fishing on navigable waters across the country.

    “This ruling has the potential to end fishing,” he said. “It can apply to rivers, streams, bayous. Is that what this guy is saying?

    “This has a potentially profound effect on fishing.”

    Hilzim had yet to speak with ROWA’s board, but he expected the case to continue.

    “My gauge of the organization is that we will do whatever it takes to see this litigation to its conclusion, and if that fails, work with any interested parties to get the law changed,” Hilzim said.

    To donate to ROWA’s efforts, contributions can be mailed to the organization at P.O. 1199, Boutte, LA 70039.



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  2. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    Has that judge lost his mind? Not being able to fish the Mississippi, How many people will be out of work now? How much money is the state going to loose from revenue's on no fishing? I don't live there nor do I fish the Mighty M, but this just sounds like true stupidity to me. Are am I the only one?
     

  3. crane

    crane New Member

    Messages:
    368
    State:
    Paragould, AR
    Unbelievable!!!!!:sad2: :sad2: :angry:
     
  4. rodpod

    rodpod New Member

    Messages:
    518
    State:
    Evansville, Ind
    Wow, that really sucks. What about all the fishing license revenue they are going to lose? I wonder if commercial fishing will be allowed? That judge is a dumbass, or the editor of that article is a dumbass for misinterpreting his interpretation of the law.
     
  5. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    Yeah somebody has lost their mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I bet that gets over turned quick like a bunny.
     
  6. three_rivers

    three_rivers New Member

    Messages:
    688
    State:
    Tupelo Ar
    If that ruling can be upheld there. It can be upheld anywhere so this is important to ALL fisherman on any river.
     
  7. brad kilpatrick

    brad kilpatrick New Member

    Messages:
    2,666
    State:
    Kansas City
    Brent I think they are ALL dumbasses, the judge, the Sheriff, the prosecution, the landowner, ETC

    The whole thing is crazy, Hope it doesn't spread.
     
  8. arky

    arky Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,766
    State:
    kansas
    Is this not the land of the free. Every time we allow idiots like this to change the laws we are allowing generations of people to be robbed of freedoms. I think our fore fathers would roll over in the grave if they knew how the constitution and our rights have been butchered. BY sharp tongue lawyers and judges. UNBELEIVEABLE
     
  9. gcarlin

    gcarlin New Member

    Messages:
    1,353
    State:
    Richmond ,Indiana
    Laidback,i'm Complete Agreement With You ,this Judge Has Lost His Mind. Thats Saying That Any Water Way Can Be Off Limits And Thats Just A Crime In It's Self !!!!
     
  10. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    I guess everybody can come visit me behind bars.:crazy:
     
  11. Pastor E

    Pastor E New Member

    Messages:
    3,194
    State:
    Beebe AR
    Has that judge lost his mind looks to me like some one was paid under the table:crazy:
     
  12. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    Visit, lmao, we'll most likely be cell mates,lol
     
  13. Little Mac

    Little Mac Active Member

    Messages:
    1,828
    State:
    NW Arkansa
    They just gave PETA some more ammo. Man that really sucks. I hope this gets straightened out and fast.
     
  14. TonyJr

    TonyJr New Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    Mississippi
    They'd just have to call me a outlaw if that was where I fished!:angry:
     
  15. thomcat

    thomcat New Member

    Messages:
    375
    State:
    pennsylvania 17745
    that ruleing will NEVER stand.. that judge should be dis-barred
     
  16. heavyduty

    heavyduty New Member

    Messages:
    450
    State:
    Grand Gulf,MS
    they better build a new prison to hold all of us !!!!!
     
  17. TonyJr

    TonyJr New Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    Mississippi
    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

    and I'm a big guy too!!!! :embarassed::embarassed:
     
  18. Finesse

    Finesse New Member

    Messages:
    37
    State:
    Sacramento,Ca
    i cannot believe that:sad2: its sad that it has to come to this, i mean the Miss is one of the most known catfish rivers in the states in my opinion.im here in Cali and i know and have seen alot of this river and its always been on my wish list of places i want to fish.


    Sean
     
  19. heavyduty

    heavyduty New Member

    Messages:
    450
    State:
    Grand Gulf,MS
    Has anybody heard any more about this issue ?
     
  20. gadzooks

    gadzooks New Member

    Messages:
    1,532
    State:
    Kingwood, Tx (Houston)
    The case is in appeal. Its a narrower ruling than the article implies. What the judge said is that fishermen and hunters have no right to fish flooded private property adjacent to the river. Nothing in the ruling prevents fishing within the normal high water boundaries of the river. Some states already have this type of rule in place. In Texas, you can't use flood waters to fish and hunt private property just because its under water. A number of sportsman organizations are fighting the ruling. I've seen one letter from the American Canoe Association lead attorney who says at the present, there is noting to worry about, that the decision is limited to the judge's district in Louisiana, is not enforceable while on appeal, and most likely will not stand. Still, one has to wonder why it got this far. Also, what will be the fate of the sheriff that started the wheels in motion by making arrests? If it were farther south in cajun country, he'd get lost on a hunting or fishing expedition, be gator food now.