A video (seen below) of a confrontation on the water that happened March 18, 2023 near Camden, Alabama between a homeowner and anglers fishing in the Fisher’s of Men bass fishing tournament on Millers Ferry went viral. And on Monday April 10, the homeowner Ronald Morgan, 66, was charged with interfering with hunting or fishing per section 9-11-270 as well as menacing. Morgan pulled a gun on the anglers and told them to “go somewhere else” when he didn’t like them being near his dock on the public waters in a separate boat.
Alabama Section 9-11-270 states the following:
No person shall willfully and knowingly prevent, obstruct, impede, disturb, or interfere with, or attempt to prevent, obstruct, impede, disturb or interfere with any person in legally hunting or fishing pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the law of the State of Alabama.
These confrontations are becoming more of a common occurrence because homeowners incorrectly believe that if they place a dock on a public waterway next to their house they suddenly own the public water that is beneath it and surrounding it. That, however, is not the case. While some areas can be deemed off limits for safety reasons, for example around marina gas pumps, most areas of public waters in and around docks are still publicly permissible.