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GotALunker

Accessing "private" lakes

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When searching up in the Grand Rapids area, it's common to come across lakes that are either partially or entirely surrounded by private property.  Does this make the lake a "private" lake?

Also, any suggestions for navigating through the USDA forest and accessing lakes with no access?

Any other thoughts on getting to lakes with good potential but appear to be "unreachable".

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A lake itself is never "private"; only the shoreline around it is owned. As long as you can access the water without stepping foot on private property, the lake is open to access.

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Check with the DNR about access-platte maps-maybe a snowmobile trail. You could ask a land owner but this has never worked for me-If the access is difficult and/or hidden the fishing could be great. Technically the water is public but if all the land is private you have a defacto private lake-sometimes you will hear it is private and it is not-sometimes landowners will post PUBLIC land to keep you off-

Good Luck

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Buy the OnX Hunt app worth the $30, it shows who owns what land. You can see where you are in relation to private property... You better not be finding my hidden gems up there now ;)

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Natural lakes belong to the state, those socialists.      But, as was an issue with the flood control reservoirs here in Rochester like silver creek, access can be an issue.  Here people were floating or wading down the creek in the summer or walking on the ice in the winter, until finally an arrangement was made between the property owners and the government to allow access and parking,

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Another route is to Google it. Enter the county, in this case go to Itasca county GIS MAPPING! on top you can zoom in  an area you want and it will show who owns the property!

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Don't come to SD and expect everything with a road leading into it to be public anymore.  Unfortunately, corrupt counties are closing roads and landowners are claiming that public water is theirs now.  People have actually been shot at traveling down public right-of-ways to the waters edge and fishing some smaller bodies of water that flooded back in the 90's.  It is a fine line and slippery slope with what they are doing in Day County, SD but it has the potential to open a huge can of worms in the future for the entire glacial lakes region. 

 

 

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I agree Yetti, we have a hunting camp on a lake with no access. Fixing fences, picking up garbage, and destroyed trees and such aren't a lot of fun. Let alone the vandalism that always seems to follow. I could really care less about the fishing, it's not that great, but we'll never allow a right of way just because of the  liability issues. What you can't have always seems better to some.  

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34 minutes ago, YettiStyle said:

Don't come to SD and expect everything with a road leading into it to be public anymore.  Unfortunately, corrupt counties are closing roads and landowners are claiming that public water is theirs now.  People have actually been shot at traveling down public right-of-ways to the waters edge and fishing some smaller bodies of water that flooded back in the 90's.  It is a fine line and slippery slope with what they are doing in Day County, SD but it has the potential to open a huge can of worms in the future for the entire glacial lakes region. 

 

I would also suggest if your fishing any small sloughs or private waters in NE SD to consult the GFP and do your homework first. Its unfortunate but what Yetti wrote is true. Be careful where you park and monitor things or you might end up with slashed tires or a vehicle blocked in with round bales or a few loader buckets of snow to dig through.

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20 minutes ago, Hawg said:

I agree Yetti, we have a hunting camp on a lake with no access. Fixing fences, picking up garbage, and destroyed trees and such aren't a lot of fun. Let alone the vandalism that always seems to follow. I could really care less about the fishing, it's not that great, but we'll never allow a right of way just because of the  liability issues. What you can't have always seems better to some.  

I think this is a different subject.  These were small bodies of water formed in the 80's-mid 90's from flooding.  They usually fall right along or on top of several section lines and roads.  What has happened recently is that the corrupt counties (specifically Day County) have vacated these roads for their farming buddies, ultimately cutting off access to public water.  My folks are actually is in a similar situation on a different eastern SD lake, but instead of being greedy they let everyone come and go as they please.  Sure, people are slobs and leave garbage, but there are a lot of other good people out there who enjoy the outdoors and they don't want that to stop. 

 

What really chaps my a$$ about some of these lakes is that they were actually stocked by the GFP at one point.  It is true that the landowners have paid for some stocking efforts themselves but in my opinion anything that contains fish paid for by taxpayers should be open to the public. 

 

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Ours was never stocked, it's the headwaters of a small river. If we were there all the time I would allow access also but I'm not so we keep a locked gate strictly for liability and vandalism reasons. It's by no means a trophy lake.  

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What starts out as a few people accessing legally and respectfully, always eventually attracts the slobs, doesn't matter if it's a slough in Day County, or a big lake like Poinsett, or Upper Red, or wherever.  Slobs do what slobs do...ruin things for the rest of us.  It's the same reason land owners now mow their ditches here in SD.  Or now post all of their land in ND.  We as sportsmen continually sit back and do little to nothing to police our activities.  Sure we pick up the occasional bait container or beer can from a fishing spot or shoreline, but why aren't we lobbying for tougher laws for tresspassing?  Poaching?  Littering?  We are our own worst enemies. 

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We used to plow a ramp and road onto the lake from our cabin, and always allowed people to use it as an alternative to the DNR launch. Then one guy, pretty sure was drunk, hit a tree on the property with his truck and tried to sue us. That is when we stopped and had to put up a chain and private property sign. A select few neighbors had keys to the chain, but that was it. We tried to do something nice, but it was ruined by 1 person.

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Just like hunting need to knock on doors and get permission. If they say no that's it just keep moving to the next person. i have a couple lakes I have permission on doing this no public all land locked and private.

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How to you do it Hoyt? They always say 'no'' to me-Should I shave and wear a tie? BTW way too many lawsuits in this country, IMO.

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