Who owns the river bed?

Don’t know about other states but…
Here in New York State you HAVE to get permission to remove anything from a public stream or waterway. That includes stuff like creek stones and plants.

If Va is like NY in that respect, not only are you going to wind up in violation with property owners rights but in violation of state laws as well.

Most states have laws governing mineral rights and your son might very well wind up in violation of those as well.

This is definitely a situation where I’d check with authorities BEFORE giving the green light to your son. Last thing you or he needs is to have him arrested.

I think you and I mostly agree.
I do disagree that streams should be treated the same way as streets. Streets are tax dollar built amd maintained. I wouldn’t consider that the same as a smaller stream that technically, may be navigable some of the time. I also am certainly not saying the public shouldn’t have access to larger streams either. Heck, I am a paddler too and want to have as much access as possible. I would never restrict my own river access, even if I legally could. I guess the problem is determining the landowners rights vs the public.

I agree with you that one of the big problems in VA (and some other states) is the vague definition of what navigable is. On my property, it is mostly a non issue as the river is non navigable or partially navigable most of the year. Other streams may be a little tougher to categorize. I also agree a little common sense goes a long way. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much of that these days.

The leprechauns
but Barb’s son is always after their lucky charms.

The worst that would happen is
they’d tell him to stop, and to go away. Now here in Texas, they might shoot at him.

in VA?
Look what happened to these guys when panning for gold in VA: