Check out the
CYBN Flash Intro!



The Lykes Brothers Story.

 The Lykes brothers owned a portion of Fisheating Creek in Florida's Glades County - or at least they thought they did until the state of Florida tried to take it away from them.

The Lykes had allowed the public to use the creek for recreational purposes and even maintained a campground on the land. Then in 1988, they closed off the creek after vandalism and poaching became a major problem. Angry residents persuaded the state to sue the Lykes on the basis that the creek was a navigable waterway that the state should never have sold decades ago.

Initially, the state tried to file suit in federal court but was rejected because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ruled that Fisheating Creek was not a navigable waterway and thus not subject to federal jurisdiction. The creek is quite small and the only boats that can use it are small skiffs and canoes, and then only during the rainy season. The state then successfully sued the Corps of Engineers to have Fisheating Creek declared a navigable waterway. The Lykes in turn sued the Corps of Engineers to reverse the ruling. In 1995, a federal judge ruled in the Lykes' favor. The judge rejected the claim that Fisheating Creek could be useful "as a highway for commerce" and characterized the creek as nothing more than a "series of small pothole lakes, shoal areas, sandbars, narrow creek beds and marshes."

The state did not give up, however, and in 1997 filed yet another suit against the Lykes in Glades County Circuit Court. The judge refused to allow the Lykes to present evidence of the federal ruling of nonnavigability or their deeds to the property. After a six-week trial, the jury found Fisheating Creek to be a navigable waterway and therefore not the Lykes' property. The creek reverted back to the state. The Lykes are currently appealing the verdict.
Source: Florida Legal Foundation