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This weekend I was down at the house on the west end of Galveston that my family has owned for over 35 years. It is at the end of the canal (the "cul de sac" of the canal, if you will), and our property line meets that of the house across the canal from us at the midpoint of the end bulkhead. This weekend I had to chase two separate groups of fishermen off our lawn who had driven their large pickup trucks completely onto our lawn. This often leaves large ruts in the grass and breaks the underground sprinkler system, it's happened to us many times before, either trucks or golf carts. The two groups this weekend apologized and went on their way without incident, but in the past we've had people argue with us, try to claim it's public property. We don't want to have to call the police, but them seeing us on the phone with police seems to be what it takes to get the more stubborn ones to leave.

We used to have underwater lights off our dock. They have to be replaced every few years and it isn't cheap. When they went out again last year we decided not to have them replaced. A big factor on this decision was not having them be an attractant for people to drive onto our yard. A lesser influence was kayakers. Many times we'd be out on our deck leaning on the rail watching the reds and trout sillouetted in our lights, when a kayaker, who saw us out there but didn't care, paddled right up and cast into them, spooking them. It was often common for groups of kayakers to be out their at all hours making noise while they fished while we were trying to sleep. Of course kayakers have the right to use the canals and usually we had no problem with them fishing over our lights when we weren't out there enjoying them, but there are rights, and then there is common courtesy. Our lights would still be out there for people in kayaks to enjoy fishing from if people on land and sea had shown some common courtesy.

Don't drive into other peoples' neighborhoods to fish from the canals. The land surrounding the canals is private property and you're trespassing. Especially don't drive onto peoples' lawns.

If you enter a neighborhood by boat, you're fine, as long as you stay in the canal. Fishing over lights is usually fine, however, please give preference to the people who paid for the lights and are paying for the electricity. If people from the house adjacent to the lights you're fishing walk onto their dock with fishing gear, kindly pack up and move on to another spot. It's also best if there are people out on their deck over their boathouse, to find another spot. And be conscious of your noise level, especially between 10 PM and 8 AM. Thank you.
The question of kayaks in canals and around houses has come up on the forum before, usually only reporting the kayaker's POV. Legally they're in the right, but it's nice to hear the homeowner's POV here, and respecting other people's space on the water is always a good idea.
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