The state of Minnesota’s DNR has worked with landowners in our area, the S.E. to create more fishing opportunities by creating access easements. These are shown on the DNR maps found at the states website. Easements are great for people like myself who want to fish in different waters, but as I am finding out there just arn’t enough for me. The Trespass Law on second page of the Fishing Regulation Manual from 2008 states:
The trespass law applies to all outdoor recreation, including but not limited to: hunting, boating, fishing, trapping, hiking, and camping. When taking part in any outdoor recreation, you may not enter legally posted land or agricultural land without permission. Landowners, lessees, or authorized managers need only post their land once a year. The signs must be placed at intervals of 1,000 feet (500 feet in wooded areas) or signs may be placed at primary corners and at access points to the property. Signs must state “No Trespassing,” or similar words, in 2-inch-high letters and have the signature or name and telephone number of the landowner, lessee, or manager. There can be civil or criminal penalties for violation of the trespass laws with maximum fines up to $3,000 and license revocation. All conservationofficers and peace officers enforce trespass laws.
This has led me to re-examine the designated water closest to me using the excellent resource Google Earth. This mapping tool can drastically change your view of your waters creating views that you just can’t get on any other map. Along with that the program can allow you to better estimate and judge your distance, by allowing you to map paths along the stream, and better judge your relation to Regulation lines for example, where a Winter Reg. line begins or ends if it’s not posted.
Using this I intend to take a different approach to access on the streams. I have picked what I believe the best opportunities for large sections of “private” waters and mapped them all so that I can approach an individual landowner and ask permission, and beyond that ask for mapping information so I can best judge my location, such as having the landowner mark approximate borders. I haven’t asked too many people for permission but I’m hoping that with the right attitude and approach that I can get consent for most the places I want to travel.
With that then leads me to the next phase, once you have landowner permission does this work once? Twice? Forever? Well, I guess I would want to ask regularly and so along with asking permission I will be asking for parking information, a phone number contact, (so I can call ahead of time if need be) and names so I may leave appropriate notes. The goal being that I would like to get to know the landowners so I can feel comfortable fishing and perhaps create a relationship that will allow me to bring others. I’m hoping this isn’t too lofty a goal but before I will know I have to try first.