Rules of the River in Texas

The right to free passage on our waterways rests on an unclear 1863 ruling by the Texas High court that affirms the “settled policy and cherished object of the state to guard its navigable streams from obstruction and to secure and improve them as common highways of trade and travel.” Without getting stuck in the inquiry of whether floating down the Guadalupe with a beer in your hand qualifies as either trade or travel, the fact is that there is hardly any openly possessed riverfront commercial property in Texas, as well as the regulations on where the river ends and personal property begins are commonly vague. So …

1024x1024Rule number one: Regard personal property. Landowners do not like invaders, and even if you are camped lawfully on a sandbar, somebody’s residence or hunting cabin may be simply over the surge, and those people will certainly be totally aware that you exist, particularly if you’re throwing a party. If challenged, be courteous and also be prepared to leave. You may additionally wish to take money so you can provide payment for the use of a site. That said, I’ve spent lots of evenings at the water’s edge and also have actually never been worried.

Rule number two: Show respect to the river. When you leave your campground or picnic site, eliminate any type of trace of your presence. Take your trash home with you and also bury your business.

Rule number three: Respect the elements. Pack your things in water resistant bags (there’s a difference between water-resistant and also waterproof). Lug a hard plastic case for your cam, cell  phone, and so on, and attach everything in it securely. It’s one thing to get damp, but to get wet and to lose your cooler is a totally different affair all together. Additionally, no cotton underclothing.