Navigable in Fact Law and Legal Definition

Streams or lakes are referred to as “navigable in fact” when they are used in their ordinary condition as highways for commerce. In order to qualify as navigable in fact, a waterway must provide practical utility to the public. It must serve as a means of transportation.

Rivers that are navigable in fact are considered public navigable rivers. And they are navigable in fact when they are used, or are susceptible of being used, in their ordinary condition, as highways for commerce, over which trade and travel are or may be conducted in the customary modes of trade and travel on water. [Daniel Ball, 77 U.S. 557, 563 (U.S. 1871)].