Private Water Laws in Louisiana

Private Water Laws in Louisiana

Whether you have a pond on your property or know someone with private river access, knowing private water laws in your state is important to ensure you follow all the right steps for fishing, building a dock and other activities. Every property is unique, and you may need to follow certain laws depending on your specific land and the body of water on it.

Fortunately, the Pelican State has a straightforward legal perspective on all navigable and non-navigable bodies of water, so educating yourself should be straightforward. It’s always important to check your local legislation for specifics, but knowing the basics is an important starting point for anyone who has a body of water in their backyard.

Introduction to Private Water Rights in Louisiana

Under Louisiana Civil Code Article 450, all beds and bottoms of streams, lakes, bays or other navigable waters, even in the Gulf of Mexico, are state-owned. Therefore, the public is free to use state-owned water sources deemed applicable for public use, including bayous, streams and scenic rivers, though the activity must not be prohibited, according to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

In other words, if a stream has a public access point and runs through private property, anyone has the right to navigate the stream — though they can’t exit the stream and trespass on the private property. Any natural body of water running within the perimeter of your property is considered state-owned, up to the ordinary high water mark. Comparatively, the land between the ordinary low mark and ordinary high mark is your legal property.

With that in mind, landowners must get state approval before diverting or impounding water systems, even if the system lies on their private property. The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources oversees a permit system that modulates surface water and groundwater use.

Do Louisiana Fishing Regulations Apply on Private Water?

If you’re fishing in a pond on private property in Louisiana that doesn’t come into contact with or flow into public waters, you can fish without a license. This would be considered a private fishing area, especially because the fish can’t exit the pond and are technically privately owned.

However, if you want to fish in a private lake, pond or other water body that connects to state-owned navigable waters, you’ll need a fishing license, even if you’re fishing on your own property. There’s more than one type of fishing license in Louisana, so be sure to apply for the right one according to your intended fishing activities.

Legal Considerations for Dock Building in Louisiana

Do you need a permit to build a dock in Louisiana? According to Title 41 – Public Lands, any person who wants to construct, alter, improve, extend or maintain a structure that encroaches on state-owned property must obtain a permit before starting the process.

However, you may not need to obtain a permit before building a dock on your privately owned body of water. Check with your local municipality for specific details and requirements before constructing anything.

Environmental Protection Considerations

Louisiana’s water quality is state-regulated, protecting aquatic ecosystems and public health. Officials regularly monitor state-owned water bodies for chemical pollutants and other factors that may negatively affect water quality.

While you can use your private body of water for reasonable use, such as fishing and withdrawal, you must ensure your use doesn’t infringe on neighboring properties or public waters. Additionally, water use shouldn’t affect the environment or public aquatic ecosystems.

If you have plans to use a state-owned body of water that is considered a scenic river, you’ll need a permit to perform certain activities.

How EZ Dock Makes Accessing Private Water Simple

EZ Dock Water Accessibility

Whether you want to build an entertainment area or expand your dock space, you may not know where to begin, especially considering Louisiana’s water laws. Fortunately, adding a dock to your private pond or river is simple when you choose EZ Dock. An EZ Dock floating dock can make all your favorite watersports, from kayaking to swimming, more fun and accessible. Plus, it’ll be easier than ever for friends and family to hang out by the water.

Here are some of the benefits of working with EZ Dock to install your ideal modular dock.

1. Customizable 

We can work with an existing dock or create a new modular docking system on your private property. We configure our systems to fit your body of water and land perfectly, all while keeping your current equipment and planned dock use in mind. To put it simply, you can design a dock system that works just for you.

2. Eco-Friendly

At EZ Dock, sustainability is a top priority. Our docks are environmentally safe and have a low carbon footprint, as they’re made from 90% recycled rubber. EZ Dock products are a high-quality alternative to traditional docks made from less sustainable materials like wood and foam. You can feel good knowing your dock selection is eco-friendly.

3. Warranty Coverage

When you invest in an EZ Dock system, you can enjoy the best terms in the industry. Our products come with a repair and service warranty to ensure you’re covered in the event of storms or other external circumstances that affect your dock’s durability. This coverage provides plenty of peace of mind for property owners in locations that experience severe weather, such as Louisiana.

4. Durability and Weather-Resistance

Our docks are created with storms, watersports and other conditions in mind so they can withstand external factors without damaging your equipment or property. For property owners in Louisiana, choosing a durable, well-made dock is key, given the potential for hurricanes and other weather events. You want a system that will hold up rain or shine, and EZ Dock provides just that.

5. Attractive Design

All of our docks are custom-made in visually appealing design that complements your property’s look. Unlike wood docks that can visibly age and weather over time, EZ Dock modular systems maintain their visual appeal over the years. With some minimal care and maintenance throughout the year, you can keep your dock looking great — no need to deal with chipped paint or rotting wood.

Build the Dock of Your Dreams With EZ Dock

No matter if your family loves kayaking through Louisiana’s scenic rivers or simply hanging out by the pond, EZ Dock is here to help you make getting into the water that much easier. With durable, eco-friendly modular systems that can be customized to your property, you’ll be making one of the best investments you can into your property.

Ready to start installing your EZ Dock system? Explore our range of products today, and reach out to us for a quote!

Build Your Dock with EZ Dock