Salmon Being Caught At Three Tree Point; But Where Can Fisherfolk Relieve Themselves?

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Pink and Coho Salmon are invading Puget Sound on their annual migration to breeding grounds in area rivers, which means that suddenly it’s really pretty easy to catch a decent fish (usually a Pink) right from Burien’s shorelines.

Publisher/Editor Scott Schaefer captured the following photos of numerous fisherfolk on the north beach of Three Tree Point Sunday night:

20-30 people were casting their lines from the north beach at Burien's Three Tree Point during high tide Sunday night (Aug. 14th), with nary a port-a-potty in sight.

Matthew Horejsi of Burien brings in a salmon he caught from the north beach at Three Tree Point Sunday night, Aug. 14th. Matt cast from shore, and used a hot-pink 'buzzbomb' as bait.

Despite the ease of catching salmon from area beaches this time of year, it doesn’t come without a cost – waterfront residents have been complaining to the city of Burien that the 20-30 or more fisherfolk who spend the day at the beach casting for salmon have nowhere to relieve themselves; nor are there sufficient trash facilities. Some are requesting that portable toilets be installed, while others want the city to enforce parking restrictions or even close the beach to public access entirely, since the sportsmen are basically using residents’ front yards to fish from, not to mention relieve themselves.

“The City is servicing the public garbage receptacles at Three Tree Point more frequently during this period when more people are using the beaches for fishing,” said Steve Botkin of the City of Burien. “Residents with concerns about trespassing and illegal parking at Three Tree Point can call the Burien Police Dept. and an officer will respond.”

We highly recommend that all people fishing on Burien’s shorelines not only get a legal 2011 fishing license, but respect the property (and sanitary) rights of waterfront homeowners.

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13 Responses to “Salmon Being Caught At Three Tree Point; But Where Can Fisherfolk Relieve Themselves?”
  1. Country says:

    Awww, This time of year, just wade out in the surf a little further if ya need to “relieve”
    yourself, I call it peeing or takin` a leak personally, but relieving oneself is okay too I reckon if ya want to be politically correct.
    But them folk down there, sounds like they just wanna bitch about something until they want those same people`s money to help fund “their” very own fireworks show.
    Maybe I`ll take a stick, a piece of string and worm down there and land a couple of those fishies.

  2. Lee Moyer says:

    In this area the property lines run pretty much straight up and down the beach. Therefore, anyone not directly in front of a public access site is on private property. The owner has a right to ask that person to leave and to call the police, just like any other property owner with a trespassing problem. And anyone has the right to complain to the police about parking violations.
    However, it is hard to feel much sympathy for the land owners, since they are probably the most frequent violators of the property rights of others when they walk up and down the beach. And I doubt that they are concerned with the parking violations on the 4th of July, when they have friends over to watch the fireworks.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Not entirely true Lee, the warden was down there a few days ago when my hubby was, and she said that if there’s a negative tide, then it becomes PUBLIC property, not private. The private lines are only for when the tide if fully up.

    • Lee Moyer says:

      I didn’t want to get too technical but you are only partially correct as well. A negative (minus) tide is lower than the average low tide and so legally to go along the beach one would have to be beyond that line, which is quite far out. On most low tides, that line is not exposed. To say the property lines only apply when the tide is full up is way off the mark.

  4. Paul says:

    I would like to thank the folks who live at 3tree for sharing their waterfront with me the past week and more. I use the public access to launch my small boat and anchor along the shoreline to fish for the pinks. This was my first pink season down there and I scouted it a month ago as I searched for locations to fish with some separation from the beach fishing crowds.

    It was obvious from my scouting trips that parking was going to be an issue as well as the potential for people to spread out along the private shoreline. I was pleasantly surprised to see how accommodating (resigned?) the residents ended up being when the fish and people showed up in numbers. They could be much stricter in engaging law enforcement to protect their property then they have been. It only takes horrid behavior from a few individuals to make it seem like all the bank fishers are pigs, and there were more than a few folks acting poorly.

    A portapotty would be a huge improvement for everyone and some extra garbage cans by it during this salmon run (only every other year) would be a good civic idea too. For my part I tried to be a good neighbor and pick up after myself, respect property lines to low tide, keeping as quiet as possible when setting up my boat at O-darkthirty but I’m sure I was an imposition a time or two.

    So for putting up with all of us with the Pink Fever I again thank the people of 3tree point, it was a joy to meet you.

  5. AP says:

    My understanding has always been that public lands (in this case street-end access) abutting waterfront allow access across tidelands to other public waterfront access points (i.e. one can legally walk the beach from the north to the south beaches at TTP anytime, or from the north beach over to the 163rd street-end access near Maplewild Ave SW). Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s the rule we’ve always heard/stuck to. Clearly above the bulkhead and into private property, lawns, cabanas (and their bathrooms) would be off-limits. The exception? How about all those cabanas built on road right-of-ways on the south beach? Since they’re not legally permitted to be there, but have been grandfathered in by the city, maybe there are a few toilets available?!

    Just sayin’.

    • Paul says:

      That is not correct in WA. Beach property ownership varies from spot to spot in this state. Some places it’s average high some average low, my understanding is that 3tree is average low tide. There is no single rule throughout Puget Sound beaches.

  6. AP says:

    I’d love to see where the ‘official’ information is so that I, and others, can interpret it for ourselves Paul. Have a link you could share?

    Funny, isn’t it, that the same reasonably-affluent neighbors (who in recent memory were up-in-arms and ready to band together to banish City of ‘s ideas regarding developing waterfront street-end access as mini-parks) are now wanting *temporary* facilities to avoid urine soaked bushes. Maybe we all should push harder and raise money help the city develop them with parking, trash recepticles, lighting and bathrooms! It’d be far more convenient for those coming down to watch the fireworks to do so comfortably, and it’d increase traffic on the under-used and totally awesome ‘Indian Trails’ to boot. Sounds like a win/win to me.

  7. Monica says:

    Thank you for allowing my 9 year old the joy of catching salmon so close to home. We appreciate it!

  8. Feral dog says:

    I drove down past there just for grins and giggles and didn`t really see anyone fishing from the beaches but I did see a few boats anchored just offshore maybe 150′ or so.
    But anyways, the rivers are filling up with these smoke-able little salmon.
    Smoked salmon always make for a great Christmas gift. (Just have to figure out a way to keep `em lit)
    My 12 year old and I went down to the Puyallup river yesterday and caught about 9 or 10 in about 1 1/2 hrs.
    Going again tonight if you Monica or Paul want to fish the river let me know

  9. Brian says:

    I was down at the Maplewild access and I parked infrount of a sighn that said no parking east of this sighn. So I parked what I thought was south of the sighn taking in cositoration the street ran parallel to the waterfront. When I got back to my truck there was a nasty note stating that I can’t park there read the sighn!!! Where can you park around there. What’s the point of having a public beach and there is no place to park?? If you are not blocking a driveway whats the bid deal. I would hope that not all the resadents there not that uptight. I just want to fish.

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