What would you do?


Active Member
I bought some land last year that has a nice duck pond on it. The creek that makes the pond is the northern boundary of our land. I had always assumed the the creek channel went somewhere through the middle of the pond and therefore some of it is on my land and some on my neighbor to the north.
I hunted it one time last season. My neighbor to the north (or someone he gave permission to) hunted it a lot. They shot it up several weekends while I was deer hunting. I never was able to get over there and talk to the duck hunters last year but I figured they might not appreciate me messing up there duck hunt anyways.
Today I downloaded an app that shows detailed images along with property lines. According to this app (which appears to be correct when I compare it to the plat, the creek channel (property boundary) is the far north shoreline of the pond. So in other words, the whole duck pond is on my property.
So I'm going to call the neighbor next week because I've been planning on doing that to introduce myself anyways, and I'm going to ask if it was him who I heard duck hunting last year. But how is the best way to handle this? Or am I wrong in thinking the creek channel is the boundary? Is the entire area the water covers the boundry so do both of us have equal right to wade across the water as long as we don't step on each others dry land?
I am not a lawyer or a surveyor, but if the creek is considered public land and he has property that includes shoreline, you both have equal access to the water.

But before you approach your neighbor I would 100% talk to a lawyer so you go in fully informed.
Here in IN if the waterway is considered "navigable" it is public within the main channel under normal water level conditions. Otherwise it's defined by the deed/survey - even as the waterway may naturally change.
That's what I would assume the law would be in most states. It makes sense that if I'm in a boat I can't see property lines. This pond is only an acre or two and although I guess you could float it in a kayak, these duck hunters are most likely wading it.
If just because it is water meant it was public than anyone could walk up any creek right through someone else's property.
I have to think the creek channel is the recognized property boundry. And the channel runs right along shoreline on his side.
Im hoping the landowner just gave permission to some guys and doesn't duck hunt himself. Maybe I'll tell him I don't mind him duck hunting the pond if he lets me turkey hunt his side?
Survey and I'd try getting rid of the pond if possible. Nothing worse than sitttkng on a stand with duck hunters blasting away. Waste of time being in a stand
Here in Oklahoma if you have a recognized full time running creek on your place then someone can wade, kayak, canoe, or tube as long as they stay in the creek bed itself. They cannot hunt through as the animal may fall on land and to retrieve either they will have to trespass or send a dog to get it which is illegal as well. They can fish...

Here you cannot alter the creek like damming or diverting...

My cousin has a nice creek that runs through middle of his place and he hates it...
You need to see a local lawyer who in turn will also recommend a survey. You need to understand it possible under certain circumstances for others to acquire a property interest in your place by their continued open and adverse use. The rules vary widely by state and I've see time periods range from 7-20 years. If others are or have been using your property, you can't put your head in the sand and ignore it.
That would stink,here in kansas if you have a creek it's your creek,Only navigable we have is the Arkansas and 1 other river on the east side of state.To be considered navigable they have to enter and leave the state.I would check with a lawyer and get a survey.I am not for sure I am understanding what you are talking about as the creek being a boundary maybe
App. Detailed images. Property lines. Those lines can be notoriously wrong. Could be perfect, but you don't know where the app people got the data. I can point you to a source for tax parcels for every county in Virginia. Done by each county and aggregated at the state level. Not good! Not bad! But most are not derived from survey plats.

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