~  Pierheads's ~
Goleta Pier Log

PFIC Get-Together, Goleta Pier,  July 2003.  Photo credit:  Rich Reano, webmaster,  www.pierfishing.com

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Volunteer Time:
2006 (total):    103 days, 169 hours
2007 (to date):  176 days, 279.25 hours
July 1st, 2007:
Ever wonder about the work crews with the orange vests? They are members of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Work Alternative Program (SWAP): 
"Convicted misdemeanants with 60 days or less to serve may apply to this program as an alternative to jail. The program involves assignment to one of several work sites throughout the County. Participants may serve their sentences in increments, such as weekends, so as not to affect their full-time jobs. Participants also pay a daily fee to offset the cost of the program."   SBSO online
One way that the County stretches its limited budget is through the liberal use of what used to be called convict labor. 

But whatever you call it, here at Goleta it is highly appreciated. Especially when their efforts are directed, as they were yesterday, towards scrubbing down the pier decking or last month when they hammered down all protruding nailheads on the pier.

July 9th, 2007:
They're here and they are huge! Humboldt Squid were found all up and down the beach this morning after drifting in with the high tide overnight. 

No explanation yet for their appearance here on our beach other than the fact that offshore anglers have been catching them in the Santa Barbara channel for several weeks now. 

Previous strandings  have been thought due to neurological damage "... from eating fish and krill which feed on algal blooms. The blooms produce harmful acids that get concentrated up the food chain."

The pair pictured were no longer alive but did not show any obvious signs of trauma such as teeth marks or missing body parts. 

In  April a sperm whale was found beached off of Isla Vista.  Due to a large collection of squid beaks found in its stomach it also was thought to be a victim of local domoic acid poisoning. 

On the other hand maybe it's just a case of some anglers dumping a portion of their catch after realizing that they had no place to store an extra couple hundred pounds of calamari!  After having been treated to a Humboldt Squid dinner myself last week I can see why one would be tempted to keep more than one had room for ...

After photographing the squid this morning I noticed a young sea lion underneath the pier entangled in a sabiki rig which is a multiple hook jig line used by mackerel and live bait fisherman. 

This particular animal has been observed several times over the past week but this was the first time that it was actually out of the water and so could be captured. 

I called the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center (805 687-3255) and enlisted the help of several regulars to keep sight-seers from approaching it and scaring it back into the water.

A little while later Peter Howorth from the Center arrived with his large net and transport cage.  Peter first immobilized the pup by rolling it in the net. Then, with the help of several bystanders, the secured animal was brought up from the beach to the parking lot where it was 'unrolled' directly into the cage for transport to the Center for treatment. 

July 11th, 2007:  Spoke with Shane Anderson, UCSB's marine specimen collector, as he prepared to launch one of the University's boats this morning from the pier. He said that the squid had been tested for domoic acid poisoning previously with negative results and so he didn't feel that was the explanation this time either. 

He said that the current batch had been feeding heavily on grunion which is not an offshore species and several squid had actually been found alive on the beach. I got the impression he was suggesting that perhaps the squid had become stranded chasing the grunion ashore. Not typical behavior for such a deepwater species ... wonder what's behind it.

Incidentally I discovered that Shane and his wife Genny, both marine biologists, are also accomplished artists ... in this case gyotaku or fish printing. A collection of their exhibited work also includes a series of photographs documenting the process used to create an image from a great white shark.

July 13th, 2007:

Gone Fishin' 
(July 13, 2004) 

"I should think there is nothing very bad 
about dying expect for the people one has 
to leave and the things one hasn't had time 
to do. When the time comes, if I know what 
it's all about, I suppose I shall think, among 
other things, of the fish I haven't caught and 
the places I haven't fished."

Roderick Haig-Brown, angler and author: 
A River Never Sleeps (1946).

July 20th, 2007:  Over the past several weeks there have been at least four BlackPhoto credit:  Pete Wolf (Goleta) Sea Bass caught in the Park ... two off the pier and two more off the shore. 

I'm happy to say that all four were released in accordance with the Department of Fish and Game's 'clean release' recommendations. 

Black or Giant Sea Bass (Stereolepis gigas)were a mainstay of California's commercial and recreational anglers until 1982 when the Leglislature afforded it Protected Species status to conserve the dwindling stocks. 

Their natural environment is the deep rocky areas off the coast but during their spawning season (Summer and Fall) they can be found in shallower waters. Over the years a number have been caught from local piers. There is hope that these fish are beginning to reestablish their populations and perhaps their status will be upgraded sometime in the future.

Interestingly the largest ever caught off a pier was from Stearns Wharf four months after the big quake that leveled the city:

Biggest Fish of the Year 

R. A. Hendricks brought in the biggest fish of the year late yesterday afternoon, when he landed a 453-pound black sea bass at Stearns Wharf after a hard fight that lasted nearly two hours. He was fishing on the side of the wharf opposite the pile driver when the big fish struck. He played the fish from the wharf until he had broken one of the handles on his reel and was nearly exhausted. He said this morning that the fish made forty to fifty  runs out to the end of his 150 yards of line. Each time the fish apparently tired and allowed himself to be towed back to the wharf by the fisherman. Finally Mr. Hendricks jumped into a row boat that was alongside the wharf. The fish was tied to the boat and the fight continued. Several times the big fish was worked in alongside of the boat, but would suddenly break away for another run. A small .22- caliber rifle was brought into play as the fish came alongside of the boat for the final time and five shots stopped the fight. The fish was hauled up the stairs to the wharf and then brought to J. L. Hendricks' store on Estado. [*] Many Santa Barbara fishermen saw the huge fish this morning. It measured seven feet three inches from tip to tip and two feet across the tail.      Santa Barbara Daily News October 23, 1925 

* Following the earthquake the town was rebuilt in the then popular Spanish Revival style and the main street, State Street, was renamed Estado. It has since reverted to its original spelling.

July 26th, 2007:



What is the UPSAC proposal?

United Pier and Shore Anglers of California is requesting a decommissioning of the existing mid-pier bathroom at Goleta Beach County Park.  We are proposing in its place a community multi-purpose marine center.

Acquiring this location would allow for the completion of UPSAC's Model Pier Demonstration Project  which was initiated at Goleta last summer.  Our preference would be for an annual renewable contract in exchange for a minimum of 2 hours daily pier cleanup by UPSAC staff. .

What services does UPSAC plan to provide? 

a.  Angler education and support:

  • Stock and distribute the annual California Dept. of Fish and Game (DFG) Sportfishing Regulations booklets.
  • Stock and place DFG fish 'rulers' (guides to legal size limits)  at multiple locations on the pier. 
  • Provide fish identification service and official weigh-in and certification as needed.
  • Create and distribute (free) pier maps showing the various species and their locations as well as selected  angling tips.
  • Angling clinics emphasizing pier etiquette and ethical angling practices.
  • Provide an external, wall mounted time, tide and temperature display.

  • b. Angler impact mitigation:

  • Promote the use of existing environmentally sensitive fishing tackle and gear  (e.g. circle hooks, non lead  weights etc.) and partner with tackle manufactures as a test bed for newly developed products.
  • Establish an active Do Not Feed Wildlife campaign including additional signage, posters, handouts and  personal contact to reduce the number of birds attracted to the pier.  By controlling food sources there will be  fewer birds on the pier and thus fewer accidental snaggings.
  • Remove discarded fishing line, hooks, sinkers and unused bait from the topside of the pier on a daily basis.
  • Sponsor annual underwater cleanups by local dive clubs.
  • Provide courtesy bait boards (to protect railings and benches) and  bait rags (to hide bait from birds).
  • Maintain existing monofilament recycling baskets on pier and provide replacements as needed. 

  • c.  Community outreach:

  • Seek grants and other funding for additional educational and environmental displays on the pier similar to Ventura's Pier Into the Future project.
  • Mount and maintain a Community Bulletin Board/Calendar on the outside of the building announcing fishing  clinics, walking tours, bird watching events and other items of interest to pier visitors.
  • Maintain the current Goleta Pier web site and update  it with links to all  environmental and special interest groups having projects relating to Goleta Pier and Slough.
  • Liaison with UCSB's Marine Sciences Department and other community groups to develop and host joint projects and educational presentations.
  • Work with local teachers and environmental groups to develop and  host specialized educational presentations at the pier for students after school and during the summer.
  • Provide sponsorship for the fishing clubs in local schools.

  • d.  Pier maintenance and security:

    The UPSAC staffer at the Center will be identified as a Pier Host similar to the camp host position within the State and County Park system.  The intent is to monitor and mentor transactions at the pier to insure a safe, pleasant, and hopefully educational experience. 

    The Host will also be responsible  for the daily pier cleaning, discarded tackle removal and assisting with injured birds and other marine wildlife problems.  A list of emergency numbers and after hours contacts will be posted on the exterior wall.

    The Center would become the central point of contact for all visitors to the pier ... a place where the general public and anglers in particular could learn more about the local marine environment and  the necessity of and techniques for minimizing our impact. 

    What would be the Center's hours?

    During the school year the Center would  be staffed on weekends, holidays and during scheduled events only.  From  June through September the Center would  be open six days per week (closed Thursdays).  The hours will be 10am - 5pm.  The current Pier Host  will staff it initially until there are trained backups.

    Background Information:

    Project director - Ken Jones  ken.jones@upsac.org   (209 367-5961)
    Project manager - Boyd Grant  (Pier Host - Goleta)  boyd.grant@upsac.org  (805 637-6708)

    Associated web sites:

  • Goleta Pier Log 
  • United Pier & Shore Anglers of California   (educational non-profit 501K) 
  • Pier Fishing in California  (owner-Ken Jones) 
  • UPSAC Gants and Projects:
  • Bolsa Chica Fishing Tutorial 
  • Pepper Park Pier Fishing Derby 
  • Monofilament  recycling baskets
  • Ethical Angling classes 
  • Underwater cleanups 
  • References: 
  • Milton Love, Research Biologist, Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara 
  • Edgar W. Roberts III, Associate Marine Biologist, Recreational Fisheries Data Project, California Department of Fish and Game 
  • Carolyn (Carrie) Culver, Santa Barbara/Ventura County Advisor Sea Grant Extension Program 
  • Marty Golden, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pacific Coast Recreational Fisheries Coordinator

  • The proposal was accepted!

    At the meeting initially there were objections to the complete removal of existing bathrooms which were resolved when the County agreed to provide two Porta-Potties, one mid-pier and one at the end. The mid-pier (hoist area) unit will be a full disabled access facility. These will be single person units thus discouraging loitering inside which had been a problem.

    I want to thank the head ranger at Goleta Beach County Park, Larry Austin, for his foresight in suggesting the possiblity of an adaptive reuse of the substandard pier bathrooms and for all of the encouragement and assistance he provided in our initial and subsequent discussions. 

    It is my hope that this center will become a true community asset over the years and will be a source of inspiration for pier lovers everywhere. 

    Questions or comments? ... email  Pierhead

    Copyright © 2007 by Boyd Grant.  All Rights Reserved