Game Fish & Parks has issued the form landowners can file to petition for the closure of “Section 8” nonmeandered lakes, the recently formed bodies of water that the Legislature in special session last month deemed open for fishing and other recreation.
The form is one easy page. Along with contact info, landowners simply check the reason or reasons they want to restrict access to the portion of the lake that lies over their land: Privacy, Safety, or Financial Interests. Landowners need to specify the periods of the year they want to close the water and how long they want that closure in effect. Landowners must include a map of the water they want to close and proof of ownership of the land beneath that water. Petitioners can file the form, map, and deed online or by mailed hard copy.
The GF&P Commission still needs to adopt the final rules for this petition process, so they won’t consider and hold public hearings on petitions until at September at the earliest, so all Section 8 lakes will remain totally open for fishing through summer. Then come winter, the Legislature could throw the whole petition process and any closures out, since the special session produced legislation tagged with a sunset clause of June 30, 2018, requiring the Legislature to take the issue up again during its regular 2018 Session.