§ 113-205.  Registration of grants in navigable waters; exercise of private fishery rights.

(a)        Every person claiming to any part of the bed lying under navigable waters of any coastal county of North Carolina or any  right of fishery in navigable waters of any coastal county superior to that of the general public must register the grant, charter, or other authorization under which he claims with the Secretary. Such registration must be accompanied by a survey of the claimed area, meeting criteria established by the Secretary for surveys of oyster and clam leases. All rights and titles not registered in accordance with this section on or before January 1, 1970, are hereby declared null and void. The Secretary must give notice of this section at least once each calendar year for three years by publication in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation throughout all coastal counties of the State. For the purpose of this subsection, "coastal county" shall mean all the following counties: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Martin, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Tyrrell, and Washington. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the land lying under any private fish pond or irrigation pond.

(b)        The Marine Fisheries Commission may make reasonable rules governing utilization of private fisheries and may require grantees or others with private rights to mark their fishery areas or private beds in navigable waters as a precondition to the right of excluding the public from exercising the private rights claimed to be secured to them. Nothing in this section is to be deemed to confer upon any grantee or other person with private rights the power to impede navigation upon or hinder any other appropriate use of the surface of navigable waters of North Carolina. (1965, c. 957, s. 2; 1971, c. 346, s. 1; 1973, c. 1262, s. 28; 1987, c. 827, s. 98.)