All navigable rivers, within the territory occupied by the public lands, shall remain and be deemed public highways; and, in all cases where the opposite banks of any streams not navigable belong to different persons, the stream and the bed thereof shall become common to both.
R.S. §2476 derived from acts May 18, 1796, ch. 29, §9, 1 Stat. 468; Mar. 3, 1803, ch. 27, §17, 2 Stat. 235.