Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bill Introduced -> “H.B 187 Recreational Use of Public Waters” (Ferry, B.).

This last summer the state supreme court decided unanimously in the conatser v. johnson case ( that the public had the right to use waters in the state for recreational purposes. This use includes streams and rivers on lands owned privately. This was a great victory Utah anglers as it ensured that the fish owned by the them, but trapped on a stretch of river that was privately owned, could be enjoyed by anglers who stayed within the confines of the river. Other legal recreation such as kayaking, floating and swimming is now also possible on these bodies of water.

Unfortunately, a few Utah House Represenatives are trying to pass legislation that would overturn the conatser decision. Mr Ferry has introduced bill 187 ( This bill will not please the many recreation enthusiasts in Utah.

Many anglers know of Mr. Ferry's bill, and everyone is very unhappy. We have begun to unite together to fight this bill. We believe that private land owners should not be able to hold public resources such as water and fish hostage from public use.

I want to encourage anyone that has been a follower of my blog, family, friends, fellow flyfisher's, anyone out their lurking...... PLEASE, PLEASE, Help and get involved in writing Utah House Represenatives. If you live in Utah you can follow this link below and look up your District Represenative.

Also, there is a website dedicated to this bill:

UTAH WATER GUARDIANS and Fellow Fly Fishers U N I T E !!! We need your support. The outcome of this bill could effect YOUR state water rights as well.

Anyone that has questions please email myself or visit and help all of us spread the word.

Thanks for all of your support!



BG said...

Your the man JAY!

Keep fighting!

Ken Morrow said...

primarily, this is a fight that utah voters will hav 2 fight, but what can those of us from other states do 2 help?

JayMorr said...

Ken thanks for taking the time to respond. You can send in any kind of letters or statements to myself and I can forward them on to our State Reps. I think it would be very good to have some out of state support addressing the issue. Mention that you are following the bill very closely because you do not want the same type of bills being passed in your own state. Let them know how you visit or plan to visit the state and the impact this could have on national level with anglers wanting to fish certain waters.

Again Ken if you write something up for us I will make sure it gets put in the proper hands. THIS IS HUGE!!!! I do not think most anglers really understand the full impact this could have not only in Utah but on a national level!

Thanks Ken!

JayMorr said...

Ken, I think you should also mention your long standing commitment and involvement with "Healing Waters" and your long standing support for our country as a veteran.

You rock!

Pike fly-fishing articles said...

Hi Jay,
Here in Finland & Sweden we have a law called "Everymans rights"
The traditional Finnish legal concept of everyman's right allows free right of access to the land and waterways, and the right to collect natural products such as wild berries and mushrooms, no matter who owns the land. These rights also generally apply to foreign citizens, with certain exceptions related to local boating, fishing and hunting rights.
Everyman's right means that access to the land is free of charge, and does not require the landowner's permission. People taking advantage of these rights are nevertheless obliged not to cause any damage or disturbance. Everyman's right consists of a set of generally accepted traditions that have also been enshrined in various laws and regulations.

Within the EU, such rights are most widely applied in the Nordic Countries, where the right to roam and pick berries and mushrooms is an important part of local cultures. In other countries such rights vary considerably, and are typically much more limited - partly because these countries are more densely populated and have fewer forests, but also because of their different land-ownership traditions.

Everyman's right in brief

Everyone may:

* walk, ski or cycle freely in the countryside, except in gardens, in the immediate vicinity of people’s homes, and in fields and plantations which could easily be damaged
* stay or set up camp temporarily in the countryside, a reasonable distance from homes
* pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers, as long as they are not protected species
* fish with a rod and line
* row, sail or use a motorboat on waterways, with certain restrictions; swim or wash in inland waters and the sea
* walk, ski and fish on frozen lakes, rivers and the sea

You may not:

* disturb other people or damage property
* disturb breeding birds, or their nests or young
* disturb reindeer or game animals
* cut down or damage living trees, or collect wood, moss or lichen on other people’s property
* light open fires on other people’s property, except in an emergency
* disturb the privacy of people’s homes, by camping too near them, or making too much noise, for example
* leave litter
* drive motor vehicles off road without the landowner’s permission
* fish or hunt without the relevant permits
With regards to fishing all one needs to do is just go and ask the land owner for permission and 9 out of 10 times he usually lets you fish.
I know this doesn't make things any easier for you reading things like this but I do feel strongly about your plight and hope something positive comes from it for all concerned.


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