The Spring Ridge Club recently lost a court battle over their attempts to keep anglers out of portions of the Little Juniata River. The courts order bars the club from blocking access to the river and treats is as navigable stream. According to the club spokesman in a recent Altoona Mirror article, even with the loss in court, a result is that the trout are still the winners due to parts of the stream being designated as Catch and Release by the State Fish and Boat Commission.
While the debate on navigability and the public's right to use the river moved through the court system, the club and the state came to terms on fishing policies. In 2005, the commission designated about 13 miles of the Little Juniata as catch-and-release territory, including the section running through club property. Beaver said since then, he and his staff have seen the fish increase 3 inches in size on average. I'm delighted with our progress so far and look forward to helping conserve more trout streams for future generations, Beaver said. It makes a lot more sense to invest our resources to conserve more trout streams than to spend it on lawyers and court costs.
The club has 30 days to appeal the ruling and I am guessing that they will do just that despite their comments. It is hard to picture folks paying thousands of dollars for the privilege of fishing beside a guy who floated in from the free part of the river up the road.
Here is a link to the club"s response to the Judge's ruling.
Check out these links to some other blogger's view of the issue:
Ass Hooked Whitey & The Trout Underground