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US federal judge declares boating illegal in all US navigable waters

By IBI Magazine

In a rather bizarre ruling that has marine industry officials worried, Judge Robert G. James of the United States District Court, Western Division of Louisiana, has said that it is criminal trespass for the American boating public to boat, fish, or hunt on the Mississippi River and other navigable waters in the US.

In the case of Normal Parm v. Sheriff Mark Shumate, James ruled that federal law grants exclusive and private control over the waters of the river, outside the main shipping channel, to riparian landowners. The shallows of the navigable waters are no longer open to the public. That, in effect, makes boating illegal across most of the country.

"Even though this action seems like a horrible pre-April fools joke, it is very serious," said Phil Keeter, MRAA president, in a statement. "Because essentially all the waters and waterways of our country are considered navigable in the US law, this ruling declares recreational boating, water skiing, fishing, waterfowl hunting, and fishing tournaments to be illegal and the public subject to jail sentences for recreating with their families."

Last month, James rejected the findings of the Magistrate judge who found earlier that the American public had the right under federal law and Louisiana law to navigate, boat, fish, and hunt on the waters of the Mississippi river up to the normal high water line of the river. Judge James Kirk relied on the long established federal principles of navigation that recognized the public navigational rights "…entitles the public to the reasonable use of navigable waters for all legitimate purposes of travel or transportation, for boating, sailing for pleasure, as well as for carrying persons or property for hire, and in any kind of watercraft the use of which is consistent with others also enjoying the right possessed in common."

"MRAA is working with the Coast Guard, state boating law administrators, and NMMA to fight this onerous ruling," said Glen Mazzella, MRAA chairman, in the statement.


(14 September 2006)

http://www.ybw.com/ibinews/newsdesk/20060814154923ibinews.html
 

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WOW!

That judge is totally crazy if he thinks thats gonna stand up or if he thinks that people (Me for one) are going to pay any heed to that judgement.
 

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Re: Fishing, Boating, OUTLAWED in the US?!?!

Seems some judge is off his rocker big time. This will never be upheld. It just cant !! ( hope not anywyas )
 

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Re: Fishing, Boating, OUTLAWED in the US?!?!

oh well, guess i broke the law when i took 1ST ON ONEIDA yesterday ...


OOPS!!!

maybe ill give back the 1200 dollars...

thenagain, maybe not
 

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Re: Fishing, Boating, OUTLAWED in the US?!?!

Congrats Mike :goldcup:
 

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Re: Fishing, Boating, OUTLAWED in the US?!?!

Mike McKay said:
i took 1ST ON ONEIDA yesterday ...
Did you really? Too cool! :cheers:

How bout giving us the details? ;)
 

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Re: Fishing, Boating, OUTLAWED in the US?!?!

It's very true and binding at least along the Mississippi River shallows between private land banks and the navigation buoys. The Federal Judge has made it illegal to fish outside the navigable parts where barges travel, without the adjacent landowner permitting. With no permit he can call the Sheriff and get you arrested and fined.
The decision will be binding until successfully appealed in a higher court, at great expense. By the time it goes to the US Supreme Court, multiple millions of angler dollars will be required. If the ruling is not successfully appealed, it's possible other tree hugger type Fed Judges could make all the rest of the nation's river shallows off limits.

I suspect a two pronged deal going on. Tree hugger environmentalists want all hunters and fishermen staying off the lakes and out opf the forests. Plenty of magistrates support the Sierra Club ideals, as  well as most other tree hugging organizations. Those supported Democrat Presidents who would appoint key people on the fed benches to legislate from their benches. It worked. MANY key laws now restrict outdoor sports already in many key places.

On the other front is greed of the adjacent landowners who are in position to charge the public for hunting/fishing rights, or form clubs with exclusive use rights, and leasing to clubs for the highest dollar. That would be somewhat acceptable to tree huggers, seen as a drastic reduction of hunters and fishermen.

It needs to be killed very soon before the decision settles in and draws other districts in with similar rulings. Once that happens it could require billions instead of millions to fight the trend. It could spread to lakes and non-navigable rivers with adjacent private lands once let out of control.

Jim
 
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What is that judge smoking?  That must be some good stuff if he honestly thinks that the millions of anglers, water recreational users, and water fowl hunters are going to just let this crap fly by.

Where's the petition to have this fellow removed from the judge's seat?  I will sign it ASAP.

Also, this means that "any navigable waters" would include any ocean water the US claims as it's own, and thusly means that the Navy and any vessel it uses within that water is committing a crime. Same goes for the Coast Guard, etc.

What a bonehead.
 
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