Published: Oct 04, 2010 11:28 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 04, 2010 8:06 PM EDT

ARCADIA, Fla. - Houseboat owners along the Peace River are getting the boot. They've been given two weeks to pack up and move out or face the authorities.

For Bill Yarley, spending his retirement on the river was his dream.

"We used to come down in this area fishing as a youngster," says Yarley. "My dream was always to come back and just live and camp on the Peace River."

But last Friday, that dream and the peace along that waterway, were shattered.

"I was having my first cup of coffee and here comes sheriff boats and fish and game boats and they're coming in with guns on their sides and everything," Yarley recalls. "I had no idea what was happening."

Yarley says Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials told him and more than a dozen other houseboat owners they are trespassing on state land. When he asked if he could anchor in the middle of the river instead of on a small island, he says they told him no way.

"There are marinas where I can take it, but it's going to cost me more than I can afford," Yarley said.

WINK News contacted the state DEP and they referred us to trespassing laws and the signs posted along the river. They say the house-boaters are in violation of Florida statutes regarding state lands and trespassing.

As the sign states, the permanent mooring of vessels and the placement of personal property on these lands is unauthorized and constitutes illegal trespassing on sovereign submerged lands and state owned uplands and is a violation of Chapters 253, 373, 403, and 810, Florida Statutes. The sign also notifies owners of the need to remove permanent vessels and structures.

Yarley says he's had his boat anchored in the Peace River for years and this is the first time he was told it was against the rules.

"People have been camping on the river as long as I can remember and I was born and raised in this area."

But it seems that may all be a thing of the past.

"Where I'm the happiest is here on the river and I'm pretty sure that's over now."

The houseboat owners have until 9am on October 15th to get their vessels out of the Peace River. If they don't comply, they can be cited or even arrested.