Originally Posted by craporadon
What Colorado needs is what Montana and Idaho Have. All land below the Normal High Water Mark(The 1.5 year statistical event) is state-owned land. Anybody can hike or float any stream in those states. In Montana you can walk right through Ted Turners land on the great trout streams that run through the property.
I'm no expert here, I know just enough to be dangerous. What you say is essentially true, but it's got to be "navigable" (perhaps year-round?), and doesn't include man-made waterways. So while "big" raftable/boatable rivers are safe, I bet people aren't floating down the Ruby River through Ted's property. There's a lot of controversy on the law here too, and if you have money you'll lock it up in court and shut access down. Fortunately this law is held dear by 99% of the people, and one lame landowner can cause a law to change the next legislative session.
One other thing that has come up is using public bridges as access. The law provides for public right of way along roads/bridges to be used as public access to public water-ways. But the property owners are allowed to fence up to the road fence, or the bridge (for livestock), which creates access issues. So while this is also allowed, in sensitive areas it is dealt with case-by-case. Unfortunately the focus is usually on the walk-in fisherperson by providing a fence-gate which is passable to a person, but you couldn't get a boat through. So the law sounds great, but implementation isn't what some may assume. But it sounds a lot better than some other laws in neighboring states. I highly recommend it!
Good luck to you all, public waterways are a public wealth of immeasurable value.