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When are waterways private or public?

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  • my opinion:
    Whether one agrees with it or not, fishing is a revenus activity in the state of michigan. Fishing provides much more revenue than paddling.

    State regulatory agencies regulate with this in mind. Building fishing and fish habitat structures is seen much differently than building whitewater features, for example. If you do not believe me, keep an eye on the City of Ann Arbor and the battle they will face to create whitewater features in an urban section of the Huron River.

    I'm not saying I agree with any of this, but I am saying it's reality.

    One can swim upstream and force adversarial relationships between user groups, roll the dice as the underdog, and see what happens. Or, one can form cooperative stewardships with different user groups, accept a certain amount of compromise, and work toward the goals of each group. guess which option will be the most successful in realizing the underdog's goals?

  • I'd debate USACE mgm't plans!
    -- Last Updated: Apr-25-13 11:58 AM EST --

    I can give you numerous examples of where and how those management plans have failed all or parts of a community. The USACE is in large part responsible for why the upper great lakes are low presently. I'm particularly skeptical when it comes to the USACE. The USACE is like a DOT in that they have a limited scope and concerns.

    In my state where streams and rivers have significant gradient, I have to side with gbg - deadfall presents little if any flood danger. On the other hand, watershed organizations across my state who help manage streams from a habitat standpoint - blue ribbon trout streams, for example - advocate leaving deadfall in place. They get support from state agencies. If flooding is an issue, state agencies obviously take that into consideration.

    I'd also reference my conversation with Willi that paddlers in my state face a tough uphill battle if they think their use should get equal or greater consideration than habitat issues relating to fishing. Better to work toward compromise and common goals and apply them where appropriate.

    Probably where we all agree is that the approach to woody debris removal is context dependent.

    Anyway, this is a really good thread because it makes us think about these issues from many perspectives and contexts (plus, I think Glen's post and research re: the history of navigable waters is pretty interesting).

  • Options
    That's fair enough
    I wasn't really dealing with whether or not cremoving a felled tree or even any of these agency management practices are appropriate, just that at least in some places they do exist and PJC could attempt to avail himself of them if he so desired.
  • I paddle all the places PJC does ...
    ... and no, there is no government agency here that can, or wants to, remove fallen trees. In fact, the agency most closely in charge of such things will instruct you to leave them be, as much as possible.
  • The thing...
    that anglers complain about is that they pay a more for their recreation than paddlers who don't fish pay. There are excise taxes on fishing equipment that raise the cost of it by something like 10%. There are fishing licenses to buy. That money goes to the state fish and game departments, and in many states the fish and game departments buy up the land and maintain public accesses with it that non-fishing paddlers happily use without paying anything for it.

    As a paddling angler, I think it's absolutely stupid to have adversarial relationships between paddlers and anglers.
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