Last year I had some extended conversations about placing caches along Ohio rivers. In Ohio property owners own the land on the shores and under the water. A good summary is here:
Ohio law states that the owner controls the banks and the riverbed below. But one can navigate on the waterway.
Ohio tree law states that if a tree over hangs your property can can trim it. Perhaps this gives a way to allow folks to place caches on over hanging branches of trees that can be reached without leaving the boat.
From http://senr.osu.edu/sites/senr/files/imce/files/course_materials/5451ReadingMaterials/Principles_of_Water.pdf Page 54
In the most recent interpretation of the concept of "navigability" the Hamilton County Court of Appeals stated: "The state of Ohio holds these water in trust for those Ohioans who wish to use this stream for all legitimate uses, be they commercial, transportational, or recreational."4 § 62. 2. Included activities. While it appears clear that the public under the decided cases has a right to travel on any stream that will reasonably allow the recreational use of a canoe and which may be reached by public access, the further range of activities that might be included under the phrase "legitimate uses" is only partially defined. This statue does not prohibit hunting or trapping on navigable waters.
A Wisconsin case holds: 55 "Sound public policy requires that the state continue to hold its navigable water in trust for the public, and that such trust extend to the uses of such waters for fishing, hunting, and other recreational purposed, as well as for pure navigation."4 § 65. c. Other purposes.
In Michigan, a trout fisherman who waded a river, angling as he went, was found not to be a trespasser on lands of the riparian owner who owned the banks and the land to the center of the stream.1 In Wisconsin, bathing and ice skating have been mentioned as public purposes of navigable streams and rivers.2 It should be noted, however, that these activities were not cited as tests to determine navigability, but as proper uses of streams that were found navigable because of their capacity to carry boats or logs.
In considering particular uses of a navigable stream which are not the subjects of Ohio decisions, the following statement from American Jurisprudence (2d) offers some guidelines: "The right to use watercourses as highways, and the right to use highways on land, are said to be analogous, and to depend on the same general principles. One's right to navigate a public river is not a private but is a public right, to which he is entitled only in common with the whole public. Any and all of the public have an equal right to a reasonable use, but the enjoyment by one necessarily interferes to some extent, for the time being, with its absolutely free and unimpeded use by others, and each must exercise his rights with a proper regard for the rights of others. An individual has no right to make such use of his rights of navigation as practically to monopolize the water and deprive others of the exercise of equal rights. Furthermore, the exercise of the public right so navigation may be properly regulated or limited under the police power in the interest of the general welfare. As to what constitutes reasonable use, it has been said that no precise definition, adapted to all cases, can be laid down. By reason, however, of the analogy of the rights of the public in navigable waters to its rights in highways, the principle that whether or not any particular use is reasonable depends on the character of the highway, its location and purposes, and the necessity, extent, and duration of the use, under all the attendant and surrounding circumstances has been applied, as have also the general limitations on the use to the effect that when such use constitutes an obstruction to the highway, it must be of a partial and temporary character, justified by necessity and convenience, and in the ordinary and contemplated use of the highway. It must not be incompatible with the reasonable free use of others who may have occasion to travel or transport over it."3
SO if we can put geocaches on guard rails - seems like we should be able to put them on trees over hanging rivers.
Looking for other lines of argument. In Indiana and Kentucky there seem to be no restrictions for placing caches along rivers.
Thanks for your consideration,