Received a phone call yesterday from Richard Lindley, Park
Operations Manager (South County), regarding the Model
Pier Demonstration Project. He expressed interest
and requested a meeting with the officers of United
Pier and Shore Anglers of California regarding plans for conversion
of the mid-pier bathroom structure.
Still trying to get information on the possible
stabbing on the pier Sunday night ... the head ranger will stop by
the sheriffs office today to inquire. No reports of the incident in the
local papers or blogs nor did it appear in any of the 'crime blotters'.
I suspect that since they did not find the victim or anyone who
saw the incident no report was ever filed.
Yesterday afternoon we noticed this dog which at first we thought
was unusually tethered. After hearing it begin to whine we checked
further and noticed that it was actually hanging from it's tether.
Apparently it had originally been tethered inside the camper shell and
jumped out through the opened window.
Since the dog was in some pain and unapproachable the police
were called. A sheriff's deputy responded and was able to locate the owner
and his cell phone number and within a few minutes the dog was rescued
from it's predicament.
The morning I was encouraged by how clean the first two fishing
ells were following the weekend. The halibut have begun to show in numbers
and there were more anglers than usual but the word has apparently gotten
out and it was clear that an effort had been made to pick up after themselves.
No so at the other end of the pier where the overnight shark
fisherman had been feeding the birds chili-dipped pistachio nuts. The resulting
guano was excessive and streaked with what appeared to be blood ... spent
almost an hour cleaning it off the railings, benches and deck.
This was the same problem we had last year ... hopefully the
park will step up enforcement of it's number one environmental
priority. At a minimum additional signage
is needed at this end of the pier reminding people not to feed the birds.
A few walk-throughs by the local rangers wouldn't hurt
either since the park's official policy is "to discourage the feeding of
wildlife and explain why".
Paul Weakliem of Santa Barbara's
Dive Club has confirmed that their
group will visit Goleta Pier on Saturday, June 23rd, to dive the kelp reef
on the west side of the pier and retrieve lost and snagged fishing gear
... hooks, lines and sinkers!
This project has been a goal of mine since I first created the
Page in June 2003. That page displays statistics and other data from
a whole year's worth of fishing logs documenting the 535 fish (525 released)
from 45 different species caught in 114 trips.
The kelp reef has built up around a rock revetment supporting
a mile long sewage outfall pipe which has been the center of some
controversy over the supposed quality of the effluent discharged. The
Sanitary District's studies as well as my own charted observations
from June 2002 - May 2003 showed the reef to be a healthy and productive
structure not suffering from any obvious effects of pollution at that time.
Since then the County has dumped tons of sand and material dredged
from the slough into the bay in an attempt to stabilize the shoreline and
replace sand lost from winter storms. Anglers immediately noticed a decline
in the numbers of fish caught from the reef as well as a decline in the
actual species count.
We were told by several divers that the bottom was covered in
sludge which would account for both the reduction in fish and in the kelp
cover as well. Rockfish, the primary species in the reef, require access
to rocky cover which had disappeared under the sludge.
Kelp also requires access to rocks in order for the plant's root
structure, called the holdfast, to do just that. It's only in the last
year that the kelp has returned to it's former lushness and the rockfish
are also beginning to come back.
Depending on water clarity the club will try to provide underwater
photos and video of the reef environment. At noon the Goleta Pier regulars
will host a tri-tip BBQ to show appreciation for their efforts.
This afternoon Ken Jones, President of
United Shore and Pier Anglers of California (UPSAC)
and and James Liu, Secretary-Treasurer met with Dan Hernandez, Director
of Santa Barbara County Parks and Richard Lindley, Park Operations Manager
Ken, James and myself gave a brief overview
of UPSAC's Model Pier Demonstration
Project followed by a discussion of the
possible uses of the building currently housing the mid-pier bathrooms.
Both Mr. Hernandez and Mr. Lindley indicated strong support for the project
and requested that UPSAC make a further presentation to the County Park
Commission in order to obtain final approval.
Saturday was the first of several UPSAC educational
outreach events at Goleta Pier funded by a grant from the Channel
Islands Marine Sanctuary Foundation.
get mail (forwarded from Ken Jones 6/11/2007):
Kathy M Patmore, DDS <email@example.com> wrote:
I just wanted to express our gratitude to all you fabulous men
for your help teaching our scouts to "catch and release" last Saturday
at Goleta Pier.
Donating your time and all the books on identification of fish,
education about conservation and wildlife protection, all the gear and
bait, and not least of all lunch!
What a role model you men are not only for your skillfulness,
but also your generosity with your time and resources, to help boys learn
that manliness is found in helping boys learn to be men.
I can't thank you enough!
Kathy Mora (Fritz' mom)
and den leader to
On a personal note I was pleased to see two of the Goleta Pier
regulars, Martín C. (pictured) and Roy Q., volunteer to help out
with the students as well.
11th, 2007: Found
this childlike plaything attached to one of the benches at
the end of the pier this morning. It was clear that the intent was to entice
a seagull or pelican into swallowing the mackerel head for no reason other
than just plain selfish amusement at the bird's expense.
What type of person would enjoy the ensuing struggle as the bird
frantically tries to disgorge the bait? This and other
examples of rampant disrespect for wildlife in the park reflects poorly
on past management practices.
Hopefully the Management
Recommendations for Goleta Beach County Park, released this past November,
will be a spur to the County to begin implementing proper oversight in
A good model for the County to look into would be the work that
Betsy Cramer, of The Pelican Project,
is doing at Stearns
Wharf in Santa Barbara.
Special treat: Underwater
video of the piling community at Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara ...
narrated by UCSB's Milton Love infamous for his light-hearted but extremely
informative website, the Love
It was a bit gloomy this morning, both in forecast and mood ...
until I came across this trio of friends and fishing partners who had ridden
their mobility scooters to the pier over the Fairview Bridge from Encino
Royale on the other side of the freeway.
How nice it was to be able to welcome them to a clean pier and
newly refinished benches ...
Goleta Bay has a special visitor this weekend ... the Vaquero II
which was the last Pacific Coast cattle ferry. For over 100 years she and
her predecessor Vaquero I transported beef cows back and forth between
Gaviota and other west coast piers to Santa Rosa Island for the Vail and
For those wondering what had happened to her a Google search
this morning provided the following communication:
"You folks in Santa Barbara ever wonder what happened
to the Vaquero II ... ? She's down on Banderas Bay doing charters,
a big bar having been set up where the cattle probably used to munch on
hay during the channel crossings. When we asked the Vaquero why she moved
out of Santa Barbara, she said, "I'm a little older now so my planks ache
when it gets cold, and it just doesn't get cold down here on the Vallarta
coast like it does along the foggy California coast. After all, it's early
March and it's pouring rain in Santa Barbara - I just don't need that any
more. Plus, the smell of the cattle was getting to me. Just tell all my
friends back in Santa Barbara Harbor that I'm enjoying a happy semi-retirement
- like a lot of other Americans - on the warm waters of Banderas Bay."
Latitiude , March 6, 2006
Good to see her return to her former home waters ... hope she enjoys
her visit. Rumors off the pier this morning were of a large cache of rum
taken aboard last night for the weekend's partying.
"Above [left] is a picture of the pier at it's
worst back in July after months of neglect. The picture was submitted to
the message board at pierfishing.com in a thread on 'How to kill a pier'
where it was downloaded and sent by a concerned citizen to the County Parks
Department. All graffiti was removed within several weeks and the benches
were cleaned and restained. Most of the damage due to vandalism has been
repaired as well. It was after being told that it would be just a matter
of time before everything would revert to its former state that I decided
to see how long I could forestall the supposed inevitable decline." Pierhead's
Pier Log, 1-8-07.
Since last July I have put in 375 volunteer hours over 244 days
in an effort to keep the pier open and presentable to the public. Until
recently it seemed to be working. The gulls and other birds were
no longer roosting on the pier overnight and the amount of deposited guano
was down to a minimum. Efforts to keep the pier free of discarded fishing
line and hooks were beginning to show progress as well.
Recently though there has been a resurgence of the same behaviors
that caused so much alarm last year. In May there was an apparent
stabbing near the mid-pier bathrooms. Last week one UPSAC fishing line
recycling basket was vandalized and the other one at the end of the pier
is being used as a trash container. The railings, especially near the foot
of the pier, are increasingly being carved up and there is a noticeable
increase in the amount of graffiti.
This morning was a final straw of sorts for me ... the last hundred
yards of the pier was as littered as it has ever been and I decided to
just leave it for the community to see.
The bottom line is that most of the litter and vandalism are
the direct result of unregulated drinking on the pier at night. Unlike
Stearns Wharf there is no effort on the part of the County or the local
police department to regularly patrol the area. Once again I am receiving
complaints from people who don't feel safe being on the pier after dark.
This problem has to be addressed as the public safety issue it
is. The pier is only fifteen to twenty feet wide ... there is no
way to avoid trouble once it starts unlike more open areas.
It is time to ban alcohol from Goleta Pier once and for all.
The pier is a community resource and no one group has a right to dominate
it to the exclusion of others.
Finally the long awaited day ... here is Santa Barbara's Paradise
Dive Club in full array participating in our local Clean
the Reef project.
Plans for this event were initiated back in April
when Jennifer Renzullo of UC Davis's SeaDoc Society brought a group of
divers together to clean the pilings under the pier as part of the California
Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project. Several of the divers were from
the local Club and I asked them if they would be interested in coming back
to do the reef. I was gratified that they agreed.
The dive officially started at 10am with an initial 11 divers
including several manning kayaks as support boats. Within two hours they
had worked the reef from one end to the other and returned with a large
amount of fishing line, hooks, sinkers, beer cans and ... 120 golf balls!
Following the dive the crew sat down to a well deserved tri-tip
lunch hosted by myself and Fred Ledesma, a long-standing Goleta pier
regular and BBQ chef extraordinaire.
Kudos to them all and we are looking forward to having them back
perhaps on an annual basis.
For the past couple of days I've noticed a series of orange numbers
recently sprayed on the pavement in both the east and west parking lots.
Entering the park at 6am this morning I was greeted by several large seismic
testing vehicles from Trace
Energy Systems bracketed by a pair of CHP patrol vehicles making their
way from one orange dot to the next.
At each location the trucks deployed a device that shook the
ground for a minute or so while they were obtaining readings. I asked and
was told that Trace had been "... hired by the Gas Company to map
the area adjacent to the Slough because one of the wells was losing pressure."
Presumably this was a reference to underground
natural gas storage facilities located between the Slough and the Airport.
It can be inferred that Trace was checking for leaks of natural gas.
This area was cause for some concern earlier in the month when
a local blogger reported what appeared to be a massive
fish kill of topsmelt in Goleta Slough. At the time it was thought
to be related to the documented low levels of dissolved oxygen in water
attributed to "... excessive nutrient pollution (nitrogen
and phosphorus largely from urban and agricultural runoff containing fertilizers)
cause large algae blooms every year in Goleta Slough creeks."
I wonder if there is a connection? A bit of Google research turned
up this interesting article entitled 'Gas
impact on fish and other marine organisms'
The description of how fish react to gas emissions is very similar
to the observed behavior of the Slough smelt before they died which was
described as a 'boiling' of the water :
"External evidence of these disturbances includes a number of
common symptoms mainly of behavioral nature (e.g., fish excitement, increased
activity, scattering in the water). The interval between the moment of
fish contact with the gas and the first symptoms of poisoning (latent period)
is relatively short."
Is the Slough tested for methane levels as well as oxygen content?
Company looks deep for storage , (Goleta Valley Voice 7/6/07)
Santa Barbara County Codes, section
No person shall dive from the Goleta
Beach Pier or swim, surf or jet ski within one hundred feet of the Goleta
Beach Pier. (Ord. No. 3708, § 1)
are two young men being escorted by local deputies following their drunken
escapade on the pier this morning. They were first noticed around
6:30am staggering out to the end carrying an almost empty case of beer
(4 cans left) and a half gallon of vodka three quarters empty.
After setting the remaining cans and bottle on the railing they
began a loud and boisterous conversation the chief refrain of which went,
"What began in Isla Vista ends here at the pier."
Not sure of their intent they were spoken to and reminded that
they were on a family pier and not in a local bar and asked to put the
alcohol away. Initially they were cooperative although somewhat argumentative
but they later returned to the pier and, after being warned, went ahead
and jumped off the end.
Since they were heavily intoxicated there was concern for their
safety and the police were called. The responding officers waited for the
pair to reach shore and then took them into custody.
Questions or comments? ... email Pierhead
Copyright © 2007 by Boyd Grant. All Rights Reserved