Ga. Code § 44-8-5

Current through 2023-2024 Legislative Session Chapter 709
Section 44-8-5 - Rights of adjoining landowners in navigable streams
(a) As used in this chapter, the term "navigable stream" means a stream which is capable of transporting boats loaded with freight in the regular course of trade either for the whole or a part of the year. The mere rafting of timber or the transporting of wood in small boats shall not make a stream navigable.
(b) The rights of the owner of lands which are adjacent to navigable streams extend to the low-water mark in the bed of the stream.
(1) The General Assembly finds that the state procured ownership of all navigable stream beds within its jurisdiction upon statehood and continues to hold title to all such stream beds, except where title in a private party originates from a valid Crown or state grant before 1863. The General Assembly further finds that, by the common law, the citizens of this state have an inherent right to use for passage and for hunting and fishing all navigable streams from low-water mark to low-water mark. The General Assembly further finds that the public retained the aforementioned right even where private title to beds of navigable streams originates from a valid grant, but in such cases, the public's right is limited to only using such navigable streams for passage and for hunting and fishing.
(2) Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to permit entry upon privately owned land adjacent to navigable streams.

OCGA § 44-8-5

Amended by 2024 Ga. Laws 597,§ 1, eff. 7/1/2024.
Amended by 2023 Ga. Laws 92,§ 1, eff. 7/1/2023.