Nearly three centuries ago Lord Hale wrote the "Fresh rivers, of what kind soever, do, of common right, belong to the owners of the soils adjacent and, if a man be the owner of the land on both sides, in common presumption, he . hath the right of fishing according to the extent of his land in length." This doctrine of the common law, to the extent that it concerns riparian ownership, has long been accepted in Michigan. In this state the owner of the riparian lands owns the submerged lands connected therewith to the thread of the stream. Quite obviously, where the stream is non-navigable, ownership of the bed includes the exclusive right of fishing. Such right is capable of separation as a profit a prendre attaching to the soil of the riparian owner. And of course, where the stream is navigable, the riparian proprietor holds his title subject to the public right of navigation. But that right does not carry with it as an incident the right of fishing. Although a contrary view is sometimes expressed in the cases, it is generally discarded as unsound. Yet this apparently does not dispose of the question of the right to fish, as a case recently decided in the Michigan supreme court forcibly illustrates.

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