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Re: High water mark?

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From Greensburg, PA
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I think jay and mo are spot on. Access is a huge conservation issue.

Posted on: 2009/5/23 23:11


Re: High water mark?
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Placing this thread under Conservation makes perfect sense to me. I wish that I had taken some photos of the waters edge at Espy. While the definitions of HWM in previous posts like Afish's are solid and official, applying them to this particular stretch is a bit difficult. There doesn't appear to be an obvious break in vegetation or a rocky river bed. Rather, the water line along much of this stretch literally extends to the mowed grass. There were places where, as we were walking along the edge, we had one foor in the water and one on the grass. I can't imagine, however, that if you have at least one foot in the water that you're not below the HWM. There were places where the re-bar was just inches from the water's edge. I did notice in some spots obvious flood debris further up on the bank than where the re-bars were placed. Perhaps we were incorrect to interpret the re-bar as SRC's marking of the HWM but that's what it looked like.
Anyway, fair warning from Jay.

Posted on: 2009/5/24 6:52


Re: High water mark?

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Quote:

jayL wrote:
Troutbert,

I did consider that, but in my eyes, access is the most important conservation topic. YMMV.

Resource: a new or reserve supply that can be drawn upon when needed

In the context of fishing:
Take away the access, and our streams are no longer a public resource, thus eliminating any need for a public conservation effort. This is a question pertaining to one of the biggest, most high profile access cases in PA history.

So, in the PA fly fishing conservation forum, the question seems appropriate. A search for "access" in the conservation forum shows that PAFF, in general, including the moderation team, agree (at least in past action).

Where do you suggest I put it?


I would have put it in the General forum, which gets more traffic. I think access is important, and conservation is important. But that they are two different things. There's no harm in putting it here, though. It still got some good discussion.

Posted on: 2009/5/24 8:25


Re: High water mark?

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Quote:

Fishidiot wrote:
Placing this thread under Conservation makes perfect sense to me. I wish that I had taken some photos of the waters edge at Espy. While the definitions of HWM in previous posts like Afish's are solid and official, applying them to this particular stretch is a bit difficult. There doesn't appear to be an obvious break in vegetation or a rocky river bed. Rather, the water line along much of this stretch literally extends to the mowed grass. There were places where, as we were walking along the edge, we had one foor in the water and one on the grass. I can't imagine, however, that if you have at least one foot in the water that you're not below the HWM. There were places where the re-bar was just inches from the water's edge. I did notice in some spots obvious flood debris further up on the bank than where the re-bars were placed. Perhaps we were incorrect to interpret the re-bar as SRC's marking of the HWM but that's what it looked like.
Anyway, fair warning from Jay.


It would be great if someone could post some pictures. I haven't been on that stretch in a long time. From what I remember, it is difficult, because of the vegetation "management" and the man-made alterations to the bank.

Flood debris is not an indicator of mean high water mark. In large floods, the entire floodplain is inundated and flood debris is deposited the whole way across the floodplain, from hillslope to hillslope. But that does not mean you have access to that land. You have access within the river channel. Not to the floodplain.

The best indicator at a place like Espy's is probably the break in slope from the floodplain into the channel.

On some places on some streams, there is an extensive area between the channel boundary (bank) and the actual water's edge.
Which is nice for the angler because you can legally walk on dry ground alongside the water.

But in other places the water extends right to the channel boundary (bank). In which case the angler has to stay in the water to be legal.

Posted on: 2009/5/24 9:09


Re: High water mark?
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Troutbert,

I fished and waded along Espy's last week, and was with Jay and a few others when the confrontation occurred. When you described in an earlier post the vertical break from the stream channel to the edge of the floodplain a light went on. There is a definite change of slope maybe a 45* angle +/- that's grassy and 3-4' in width leading up to the area that flattens out into the floodplain / private property. The high water mark became clear to me after I read your explanation.

Now if we can only get the PFBC & law enforcement to read your post, we would be in business. Bottom line the guy (called "Centerpinner" by the Beaver guys) was below the high water mark even though his feet were on dry ground......IMO.

Posted on: 2009/5/24 9:48


Re: High water mark?
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Quote:
I haven't been on that stretch in a long time. From what I remember, it is difficult, because of the vegetation "management" and the man-made alterations to the bank.
well those are conservation issues. If Riparian buffers are conservatiion.

Anyway, there is a term called "bank full" that indicated where the stream volume extends to during an approximate 1-2 year flood event. You know your basic gully washer. I would wager this to be your high water mark. The term is used extensively in the Natural Stream Channel Design circles, (not to derail the thread). But my understanding is that of Afish's explanation where if the stream is entrenched meaning there is a slope to the flood plain on the point bar edge (inside of a bend) no matter how gradual the bend is, then the Bank Full mark is typically about 50-80% up the bank depending on the lay of the land. There are all sorts of indicators like wetland plants, pebble size distribution, etc that definitively indicate the Bank full elevation.

My point is, The waters edge on a point bar is BY NO MEANS the high water mark in any stretch of the imagination. The position of those signs and the "enforcement" of them is bullying.

So I agree with Afish, walk about 2/3 of the way up the slope to the flood plain and you will be at the high water mark.

Posted on: 2009/5/24 10:40
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Re: High water mark?

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Quote:

afishinado wrote:
Troutbert,

I fished and waded along Espy's last week, and was with Jay and a few others when the confrontation occurred. When you described in an earlier post the vertical break from the stream channel to the edge of the floodplain a light went on. There is a definite change of slope maybe a 45* angle +/- that's grassy and 3-4' in width leading up to the area that flattens out into the floodplain / private property. The high water mark became clear to me after I read your explanation.

Now if we can only get the PFBC & law enforcement to read your post, we would be in business. Bottom line the guy (called "Centerpinner" by the Beaver guys) was below the high water mark even though his feet were on dry ground......IMO.


From your description, I agree that he was within the channel and therefore legal.

Posted on: 2009/5/24 13:05


Re: High water mark?

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Let me know if that's visible. He's actually standing in the same position in that picture.

Attach file:



jpg  jayLs pic.jpg (0.00 KB)


Posted on: 2009/5/25 1:11

Edited by Maurice on 2009/5/25 9:20:44
Edited by Maurice on 2009/5/25 9:39:10


Re: High water mark?
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I found this video on determining the bankfull stage (high water mark) on eastern streams. It's 45 minutes long, very interesting if you have the time. The video is a just a more detailed explanation of what Troutbert posted.

http://www.stream.fs.fed.us/publications/bankfull_east.html

Here is a FAQ's on the legal OWNERSHIP (not easement) by all citizens of the rivers and streams deemed navigable.

http://www.adventuresports.com/river/nors/us-law-rights.htm

Posted on: 2009/5/25 6:45


Re: High water mark?

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Quote:

jayL wrote:
http://image74.webshots.com/174/6/35/ ... 020091722017GzlSQX_fs.jpg

Let me know if that's visible. He's actually standing in the same position in that picture.


Jay, I clicked the link but couldn't view the photo. I got a "Forbidden' message.

Posted on: 2009/5/25 7:34


Re: High water mark?

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Just so you guys know - the Beav has driven rebar stakes in to mark his turf before, and the judge made him remove them as they were not on his property. Sounds like he's up to his old tricks again.

FWIW - his neighbors really dislike him. The guy that owns the house that borders the downstream side of the junction of the J and Spruce Creek told me he plans on putting a walkway (complete with a sign welcoming fishermen) from the road, down to the river so the fishermen can access the Espy water without being harassed by the Great Conservationist. Even if he hasn't done so yet, you could always knock on his door and ask permission to walk across his lawn. Beats getting hassled.

If you think you've been treated unfairly there, go talk to Alan at Spruce Creek Outfitters and tell him about it. He'll know exactly what to do about it.

Posted on: 2009/5/25 12:15


Re: High water mark?
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I brightened Jay's pic and focused on the non-wading angler, then drew my interpretation of the likely high water mark. looks like he may be on private property to me.

Attach file:



jpg  EspyHWM.jpg (0.00 KB)
12_4a1ac65fab2ec.jpg X px

Posted on: 2009/5/25 12:25
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Re: High water mark?
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Ed,

I don't know if it's the same landowner you're talking about, but the house across the street from the shop allows anglers to walk on his sidewalk through the corner of his yard onto the River. Allan tells fishermen that stop into the shop that it's okay. Just FYI.

Posted on: 2009/5/25 12:28


Re: High water mark?
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No Jack, more like this:

Attach file:



jpg  Espy HWM.jpg (38.97 KB)
53_4a1aca117ad9f.jpg 720X540 px

Posted on: 2009/5/25 12:40


Re: High water mark?

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From Bozeman
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Quote:

afishinado wrote:
No Jack, more like this:


My interpretation as well. When coupled with the rebar signs higher up on the bank, it was very reasonable to assume that he was perfectly legal in standing there. I interpret the above comments as supporting that assumption.

Posted on: 2009/5/25 13:00



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