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MEMO TO OPINION FILE
Ownership of a lake completely surrounded by; and
owned by a single owner.
1. Is the lake navigable?
2. If non-navigable, can the owner utilize the
lake as any other item of realty?
The distinction between a navigable body of wi
non-navigable body of water is perhaps the sa i e obst
distinction in the law of water rights. If a boy; of w,
navigable, most American jurisdictions, including q or
aider the bed to be owned by the State in tru*t 1o, tho
If a body of water is non-navigable, the bed is subject
ownership the same way as any tract of dry laud. alon4
Plager, Florida's Lakes, 13U. Fla. L. Rev 1,67 (1960).
The test of navigability is based ea the oone4
utility of the body of water in question. The early oa
the "saw log test." Bucki v. Cone, 6 So. 160, 161 (188S
more recent trend has been to move toward a test of curl
commercial potential rather than a test of ~ooa erpl al hi
is the federal view expressed in Davis v. Unied fitesi
938-943 (9th Cir.), Cert. denied, 340 U. S. 932 (lRO)
ability of use by the public for purposes of *tanspr*tiv
commerce afford the true criterion of navigabi ity,.."
The case that seems most similar to this case
Osceola County, et !1 v. Triple E. Devlpf Co 40 S
66 (Fla. 1956). This cae involved t lo l ea&h am
500 acres. The lakes were not meandered and ahe Tuste
them out without deduction for water purposes ad with
ovation for public use. Taxes on the lakes had 4!be re.L
and paid by the owner. The lakes were held to be **rnmO
The lake involved in the case at hand is not u4r le4
Trustees have made no reservations when it wae 4i ed
i or,l which
at h~nd is
knd i the
__ LI__ I .
P. -4 1
would appear to be non-navigable under the O~cola Coau, ca e.
Another case indicating this conclusion iL 1 v.
McDuffie, 196 So 2d 790. This case involved Algait e which
consisted of 800 to 1,000 acres. It was held to be noa vi able
although beating, fishing and other related activities re
conducted on Alligator Lake.
Florida Statutes SS 373.071 through 373.251 S ec
lakes owned by a single owner. It would appear that t leg -
lature made a determination that the Water Resourcs sho ld
not be applicable to lakes owned by a single owner. Al gtho not
conclusive, it would further indicate that the lake in *ustion
In other states, when the lake is on a single tracd with
one owner, and the lake was found to be in no way Oonneoed ith
another body of water, the State has been denied the pe tO reg-
ulate. Milton v. State, 221 S. W. 461 (Ark:, 1920); S r t v
Brigs; 175 Atl. 35, Aff'd, 187 Atl. 199 (N. J., 1936T'
If the bed of a lake is owned by one owner, hi an
dispose of it and hold it as he would any other inA of really.
ola County v. Triple E. Developlent Co. 90 So d 6.
This apparently ncudes filling it n or building upon it.
Maloney and Plager, Florida's Lakes, 13 U. Fla. L. Rev. 1, 6 0(1960)
There appeared to be a tendency to place a on a
single tract with one owner in a separate clarm than al other
lakes. However, I was unable to find a specific refer ce pint
upon which to base this conclusion.