What is a Public Water Owner???

@lonestarMB, Explore Texas -

What is a Public Water Owner???

You may have seen our Public Water Owner decal and thought it was neat, but about two seconds later wondering what the hell does that mean? For me it’s something I have always lived but never viewed the right light. The whole concept of a “Public Land Owner” was brought to me by BHA (Backcountry Hunters and Anglers) and Steve Rinella preaching it multiple times on his podcast. BHA is far more popular organization out west where there are large expanses of public lands to hunt and fish. It’s often interesting to listen to people talk about how much Texas lands are private with very little public access comparatively. They missed one minor detail… Texas is 268, 581 sq miles; but, 7,365 sq miles of it are water with the majority of those being public. Texas has plenty of public access, you just have to get out and find it. Let’s not forget about our offshore reaches in the Gulf of Mexico.  As far back as 1863 the Texas constitution has guaranteed access to our waters as “rights and duties”. For generations Texans have been using and caring for our waters. 

I feel it is our responsibility to cherish and respect the waters we have. They are not gift, they were hard earned by generations before us and we must respect that. Far too many people treat our waters like a cheap toy. Play with if for a while without much regard for its well-being. One simple quick look at the past, evaluating the History of our waters and it will be evident. We must see our waters as just that, OURS! Take ownership of them, it's a right we have earned. You know why you can get in the Guadalupe at FM 306 and float in a tube as far as your skin can handle? 

 It’s not cause the land is public all along the river.. Remember those trips to lake _______ as a kid, yep same thing, public waters. Have you ever pulled up on the bay front and walked in the water, launched a boat or kayak? You guessed it, same story. Next time you see that beer can float by, throw it in your tube, trash sack or boat, I’d appreciate you cleaning up our place ;) 

So many people will sit back say, “if only I owned” a ranch or a bay house or a boat…. YOU OWN A MASSIVE EXPANSE OF WATER! GET OUT THERE! I feel like we have to work hard as users of the Texas costal waters at making healthy attempts to get others involved in the waters. There are tons of resources and organizations that are working hard for these waters we all love. They all need volunteers, and contributions of all kinds to care for and get others involved in our waters. Do some research and find a good one. Remember all those wants? They all have incurred costs. Unlike, let’s say taxes on land, with these contributions you get to decide who and where they go to. 

So, if we take ownership of the water, care for it as if it’s our own and observe the things mentioned above. We will help create and boost the value of our waters. Can you imagine if we could only look at our waters? Most people wouldn’t care what it looked like below the surface, what was in it or if it was even healthy for that matter. You know that neighbor you have, that one we all have. They may not understand your seven million fishing rods, bins and bins of river floating gear or why you wake up at 04:30 am to see the sunrise over the water. If that is the case, they probably do not understand your conservation decal…… Perhaps… NOPE, scratch that You SHOULD take them out and show them the value of our waters. 

What is a public water owner you ask? Go look in the mirror you're sure to see one there. What is the point of a “Public Water Owner” decal, an opportunity to start a great conversation with someone about public waters. Remember, even the smallest streams lead to the gulf.

 Get your Public Water Owner decal HERE.

Thanks for reading this and taking care our waters.

Matt Barrere

Public Water Owner

Co-founder: Lone Star Gear

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