As I mentioned in a note in my column in The Roanoke Times this morning, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has released an updated access map for the Jackson River tailwater.
If you don’t know the history of this story, you can find updates (and LOTS of discussion) in several previous blog posts, including this one from July of 2011, THIS ONE from this past July and THIS ONE from this past October.
You can find the map HERE on the DGIF website. The top of the page includes this note:
“Note: Pursuant to Va. Code § 28.2-1200, the riverbeds in the Commonwealth that have not been conveyed by special grant are the property of the Commonwealth, and may be used for fishing by all the people of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is presumed to own the bottom of rivers unless someone can prove ownership obtained by a valid grant. The courts have not addressed fee simple ownership of the Jackson River bed, but have addressed the rights of riverfront property owners against members of the general public and have found in favor of the riverfront property owners. Riverfront land owners have brought successful civil trespass claims against anglers fishing in the two portions of the river highlighted on the map (locations are approximate). In light of these court actions, anglers may find it advisable to seek the permission of the riverfront property owners.”
My favorite phrase is “anglers may find it advisable…”
Some may knock on doors for a chance to fish for trout like this beautiful rainbow collected during DGIF sampling, but I suspect that most anglers will likely find it more appealing to fish elsewhere.