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By slavetotheflyrod
Okay, this one's really got me pissed off. This should be of major concern to anyone who fishes let alone anyone who's ever fished the Blue river in Summit county Colorado. For those who don't know the Blue is a blue ribbon tailwater that holds some of the chunkiest bows and browns in the state. Some of the sweetest water is in the section below Green Mt resevoir in Heeney. Most of that water is private save a few public tracts directly below the dam and one small BLM tract near the confluence with the colorado river. Of that mostly private water I'd guess two thirds is owned by the Jonses. The Jonses are this big time media and telecom empire in the western states. The Jonses, I'd guess Jonsing for more miles of water to themselves have over the years erected a series of weirs in "their" streatch of river aimed at doing two things as far as I can tell. First of all these pricks built these weirs out of the most jagged rocks they could find, clearly intended to do damage to any craft that dare float "their" water. Second the built these weirs in locations chosen for their already bony atributes, with the intention being as far as i can tell to provoke tresspass. As if all that isn't enough, now these assholes are trying to ramrod a land swap with the BLM. It seems the Jonses are Jonsing for more of the best water on the lower Blue. According to their proposal they want to trade the three acres or so of public acess which is the prime put in for the lower Blue for a few acres of sagebrush and frogwater adjoining the existing Blm acess downstream which serves only as a makeshift takeout. Over the years there have been some legendary confrontations with the security staff of the Jones ranch with not only floating fisherman, but also recreational rafters and kyakers. It should also be noted that the jonses themselves are almost never on the ranch, don't flyfish, and lease acess to "their" water to a couple of real shithead outfitters who also think of this stretch as "their" water. I have some ideas as to how to deal with this problem, most of which would invite a knock on the door byu two guys in dark blue suits if I aired them online. I was wondering if any of u guys had any creative thoughts on the matter.
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By flyfisheraa573
First off I am a Jones, I wonder if I am related, maybe I can get a shot on that private water. :( As far as private waters go, I have thought a lot about it over the past several years. Not that my thoughts are organized, but here they are. I would love to own a private stretch of Blue Ribbon water, or even "3rd place" ribbon water, but there are two problems that come to mind. First off as a public fishery fisherman I would be pissed off because some body owns this huge expanse of river and one can't fish it. Also some private landholdings on great rivers, or any river can help the river. Think about it from a stand point of this. Say there is this beautiful river that you love to fish. Say it is getting pounded or maybe not, but you can tell the signs of people going in and fishing it, and it is no longer retains the natural beauty. Say you had enough money to buy up a good tract of land on this river and "preserve" it. Would you? I would. Maybe I would try to work out a private fishing club or something for some small fee to offset the financial cost of trying to preserve a stream. Maybe I would keep it to myself for the mostpart, inviting some local fishermen out if they approached in the right way. Hopefully they haven't purchased this land for development. As far as the security guards, that is kind of extreme, but I guess if you have a lot of money, sometimes you can become paranoid. Look at David Letterman and what happened at his house. I sure the house/ranch is nice and if they are never there, then maybe they are afraid that someone is going to break in. As far as the river, the Blue River that is, I have fished it before, and it is beautiful. It is a shame that they won't atleast allow you to float, or wade through the property. There are a few places in the SE where the river is stiched up by private land-holders but they will let you "fish-thru" as long as you don't get out.Those are my thoughts, as off track and meandering as they may be. Basically this, I understand your feelings, but I can also begin to understand the land owners feelings. But I do have one questions for you. What is a "weir?"

<small>[ November 21, 2005, 07:28 AM: Message edited by: flyfisheraa573 ]</small>
By Rooster
A weir, besides being a word that is probably in your dictionary, is a small dam. :( I have mixed emotions about river access on private land. First off, if the owners of the land expect others to follow the law, then they must follow it themselves. Floating a river on private land is legal in Colorado as long as the floater doesnt exit the highwater marks. I am not a legal expert, so if I am wrong about this, please let me know. Also, harassment isnt legal anywhere, except FAOL forums of course. All incidents should be reported to make a record of them and show a pattern of abuse. I would imagine that if it could be proven that the owner or a proxy was intentionally altering the river to force a trespass, that would be illegal also. But getting courts to act on these things requires alot of lawyers, and if you can afford the lawyers, then you dont need them, as you probably already have your own private river.Do you have more info on the BLM swap? All the articles I found are from the spring of this year.
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By Nemo
As a whitewater boater, I hit that first weir the Jones' put up below the dam less than two weeks after they built it. This was about five years ago I guess and it was really scary because I had just paddled it a few weeks before and it was fine, and then--boom--all of a sudden there's a river-wide obstacle there that you couldn't even see from water level and so it caught me totally off gaurd. It was complete bullshit.n As for river access issues... wow it's a huge can of worms. so much so that I have assigned a writer to do a story in the next Drake that outlines the rules for each of the 12 Western States (all but Hawaii) because all of them are different. Rooster--you are mostly right--you are legal to floatpast private water in Colorado as lonbg as you don't get out. But that law has been challenged and reversed in Colorado a half a dozen times since the '70 and there are at least two major cases that I know of pending in Colorado right now that could result in granting the SURFACE of the water to Colorado property owners.
By Brookwookie
Here's some stuffis re: river access and use in New York state that's come down in the last decade or so.<a href=" ... .html">The Douglaston Run</a> on the Salmon River.<a href=" ... .html">The Moose River</a> in the Adirondacks.
By Salty
You definitely need to check on the current state law- in Florida building a weir like that in a navigable waterway is patently illegal, especially if the property owners do not have Army Corps of Engineers, EPA, DNR, Fish and Wildlife and normal zoning approvals. The fact, according to Nemo, you can't even see the weir from a vessel in the water, makes them open to a "shipwrecking" charge- a federal beef meant to punish 17th century pirates who built false navigation lights to wreck ships on rocks, but it could apply here since the purpose appears to be for you to wreck on them and the law in still in force. You might want to check with the county permiting office and the local Army Corps of Engineers office to see if these pole smokers have the correct permits. I'm kinda feeling like a crap-house lawyer here, but you could screw them over big time if they did this illegally, but I don't know the specifics of Colorado's law
By fyshnutz
Last September while I was home I decided to go to the Ruby River since I hadn’t been there in a long time. The fishing was wonderful, the weather perfect. And then I saw something I never saw in eleven years of living there.Here is a nice picture of the area where I was fishing:
Image n Notice the sign to the left of the picture. Here is a close up:
Image n Notice the post to the right and below the sign, then look at the upper picture and you will notice a similar post. This "land owner" has strung barbed wire across the river.from MADISON v. GRAHAM,UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT, November 2002n In 1985, the Montana Legislature enacted the Montana Stream Access Law. The law provides that “all surface waters that are capable of recreational use may be so used by the public without regard to the ownership of the land underlying the waters.â€
By bigtj
Slavetotheflyrod,Having just moved back from Colorado I can feel your pain. The landowner situation there is total bunk. The Blue should easily be floatable and them putting in weirs like that is pure BS. I have a feeling that eventually the laws will be re-written and floaters will stop getting the (oar) shaft.All I can say is I'm glad to be fishing again in California and Nevada the streambeds of all the rivers I float and fish out here are "fair game".-John
By coolconman
Hey fyshnutz, that is one of my favorite stretches of river in montana. there are some real money holes on the other side of the fence to. I almost always start on the other side of it too, because so many people see the fence and sign and thinks it means they can't go down there. There are some surprisingly big fish in there for the size of the river. 18 inchers aren't uncommon and I once had a 22" hog on before he started goin airborne and spit me out. And while MT law lets you go anywhere below the highwater mark, be careful. There is at least one landowner on the gallatin that has a few motion sensored cameras set up in places where it's tough to stay below highwater unless the water is really low.
By fyshnutz
UncleJessie, we all KNOW what Edward Abbey would have to say about this, and it wouldn't be pretty.Coolconman, I have fished hundreds of days on the Gallatin (my favorite place on Gods green earth) and I have never come upon these motion detectors. What section is this on? I could call my home base the section from Swan Creek to the Big Sky turn off, more often the lower part because I'm usually to impatient to drive any further.
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By Smithhammer
Originally posted by unclejesse:n I wonder what Ed Abbey would say about all this?
"Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.""The rich are not very nice. That's why they're rich.""Remaining silent about the destruction of nature is an endorsement of that destruction.""Liberty cannot be guaranteed by law. Nor by any thing else except the resolution of free citizens to defend their liberties." :mad:
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