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~  Pierheads's ~
Goleta Pier Log

PFIC Get-Together, Goleta Pier,  July 2003.  Photo credit:  Rich Reano, webmaster,
Volunteer Time:
2006 (total):  103 days, 169.00 hours 
2007 (total):  238 days, 425.75 hours 
2008 (total):  254 days, 641.85 hours
2009 (total):  117 days, 518.50 hours

May 10th, 2009:

Click on the picture to view a short video

Opening the Angler Center this morning I was alerted by a passerby to the presence of an injured sea lion in the surf line just east of the Pier. After verifying the injury the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Rescue Center was notified.  Within 30 minutes a truck was dispatched and the sea lion was successfully rescued and transported for treatment and recovery.

May 14th, 2009:

Today the Pier was visited by a group from the Alpha Resource Center on their weekly Thursday outing. I was introduced to Dennis Curtis and Renee Allen from the Center who were assisting the group.

I noticed that the group of twelve or so were sharing only a couple of poles. I offered the loaner poles that the Goleta Pier Angler Center maintains for community groups but since they were only going to fish for a short time they declined the offer.

Dennis explained that he was trying to obtain more tackle for the group and I offered to ask the Angler Center's sponsoring organization, United Pier and Shore Anglers of California, for a possible donation of suitable equipment. 

It is important that the Pier be accessible to all potential users regardless of their disabilities and the Goleta Pier Angler Center is committed to that goal. Before the summer season begins we hope to have those areas of the Pier with lowered railings and diamond plate flooring properly marked with disabled only signs and striping.

Currently there are only two such areas (in front of the Angler Center and just beyond the hoist) which severely limits where disabled individuals can fish. Hopefully we can encourage the County to provide additional facilities. Ideally one should be located near the foot of the Pier for halibut, corbina and perch fishing and another mid-pier beyond the bend to provide access to the kelp reef on the west side where rockfish and calico bass can be taken.

May 15th, 2009:

No pictures today ... still getting used to a new camera and its somewhat glitzy
shutter button.  And maybe that's all to the good because the pictures stored
in memory are even better!

At least the memories and impressions that I formed today from an extended
3 hour discussion at the Angler Center with 'Groundhog' Green, a Katrina survivor
from New Orleans, will stay with me for a long time

'Groundhog' is a 55 year old installer of fire suppression systems on offshore oil ('earl') rigs and was recently dispatched from his home to our own platform Harmony
off the coast near Ellwood.

Since this was the first chance I've had to discuss the nightmare that was
Katrina with someone from New Orleans I was glad to get to hear his first-hand
report.  And what a report it was ...

As he tells it he was one of the last people evacuated to the Superdome but 
before he was rescued he had made several attempts to swim to a nearby
apartment house only to rebuffed by the current occupants, 'gangsters', he
called them,  Apparently they were not the original occupants but looters
who had taken over the building and did not wish anyone to observe their

He was forcibly ejected from the building several times and then they turned
one of their dogs loose on him.  Fortunately he was able to escape and was
found floating by the local sheriffs. 

When he returned to his old neighborhood most of his neighbors had relocated.
He said that all of the good people were gone and the only ones remaining
were a much rougher group which he felt didn't bode well for the city's future.

While we were talking he received a call on his cell phone from an oil tanker
somewhere off the coast of Africa.  Since he was the 'on-call' tech they needed
him to troubleshoot a recently installed system that had gone down. As an aside 
he explained that his choices were either to get the system up and running or
he would have to fly to Africa in person.

As the story developed I learned that the tanker had been one of those recently
hijacked by pirates off of Somalia which explained his decided reluctance to
travel there in person.  Having a background in equipment installations and
troubleshooting myself it was fascinating to hear him talk the Chief Engineer of
the vessel through the process of isolating and diagnosing the problem to a successful
resolution ... always offering considerate advice in ways that would not be offensive
to a man considerably above his own station in life. 

As it turned out the problem was a simple series of shorts and ground faults (hence his nickname 'Groundhog') which should have been obvious to anyone who had had practical, hands-on experience rather than the apparently theoretical background of the Chief Engineer.

After 6 or 7 return calls the problem was resolved and 'Groundhog' left the Pier grinning ear to ear.  As he put it he "enjoyed the challenge" and would prefer a situation with multiple problems more than anything else.

Just when things slow down on the Pier and I am beginning to get bored along comes
someone unique, like 'Groundhog', to make my day!

May 16th, 2009:

Today was the long awaited and highly anticipated fishing excursion for a troop of local Cub Scouts.

I was contacted last month by a den mother interested in providing supervised outdoor activities for her group and offered the assistance of the Goleta Pier Angler Center in providing loaner fishing poles and instruction.

I had suggested the most productive time to catch fish would be on a late afternoon incoming tide. 

After reviewing the tide tables for May we agreed on today at 4 pm even though it meant keeping the Angler Center open beyond its usual closing hours. At 3:30 one of the parents arrived to help get the equipment ready and set up. 

At 4:00 the rest of the group arrived and after some minimal instruction in fishing technique and Pier etiquette the Cubs arranged themselves at the rail and dropped their lines in the water.  Shortly afterward the first fish, a 12" Jacksmelt, was landed and was released into a 5 gallon bucket of sea water for all to observe.

Over the next two hours I was kept busy cutting bait, baiting hooks, chumming the water with minced squid, removing the fish they caught from their lines and making sure everyone had an equal opportunity at the railing. Exhausting but ultimately rewarded by all the smiles on the faces of a group of very happy and successful young anglers. All fish were successfully returned to the water.

Happy anglers at Goleta!

May 17th, 2009:

Walking out to open the Angler Center yesterday morning I noticed this 16"+ bucket-size Barred Surf Perch (Amphistichus argenteus Agassiz). Most local anglers agree it was one of the largest ever caught off of our Pier.

As a comparison I have included a picture below of Fred Oakley's 17 inch, 4 pounds 2 ounce BSP caught March 30th, 1996 off the Oxnard coastline. 

That fish currently holds the IGFA record and is listed in the California Department of Fish and Game's Sport Angling Records for hook and line.

The gentleman and his 2 sons had 5 other hand-size BSP and a 12" Calico surf perch as well. The impounded Slough was cut through to the ocean Friday releasing a ton of nutrients ... fishing definitely picked up overnight!

Interior photo of Wylie's Bait and Tackle 
(Topanga, California)

May 26th, 2009:

Received the following important public meeting notice and petition request this morning. Click on the picture below for a background video. The petition will be available at the Goleta Pier Angler Center (mid pier) Thursdays through Sundays, 11am - 4pm.  It is also available at the Beachside Bar Cafe, 5905 Sandspit Rd, Goleta.

Save Goleta Beach!

Santa Barbara County’s proposal to replenish the eroding beach and construct additional pilings 
and deck adjacent to the Goleta Pier – called a “permeable pier piling system” – will be 
reviewed on June 10 by the California Coastal Commission. This project will cause additional 
sand along the beach to build up to the west of Goleta Pier, restoring Goleta Beach to its 
historical width from the 1970s, before El Nino storm events caused major erosion. 

Some project opponents simply want the county to do nothing, and allow the beach to continue 
to erode. This “managed retreat” option would result in the loss of many features in the park – 
beach area, lawns and trees, barbecues and picnic tables, restrooms, play areas – and could 
threaten water and gas lines and cause salt water intrusion into drinking water supplies. A 
beach park that is used by over 1.4 million residents and visitors could be lost. 

If you agree that Goleta Beach County Park is a priceless resource that needs to be saved, let 
the California Coastal Commission know how you feel: 

Attend the Coastal Commission hearing on Wednesday, June 10 
Sign up for a van pool at the Beachside Café-Bar, or take a neighbor yourself. 
Hearing location: Marina Del Rey Hotel, 13435 Bali Way, Marina Del Rey CA 90292 

Call the CA Coastal Commission and tell them you want to save Goleta Beach
Call 805-585-1800 and tell the Commission what Goleta Beach means to you. 

Send a letter of support for the Santa Barbara County proposal 
Write to Jack Ainsworth, Deputy Director 
CA Coastal Commission, 89 South California Street, Ventura CA 93001 

Sign our petition and stay involved 

Citizens to Save Goleta Beach 
(Ed de la Torre)

Application No. 4-08-006 (Santa Barbara County, Goleta Beach) Application of Santa Barbara County to construct 500-ft. long, 20-ft. wide, permeable pile sand retention system as addition to existing Goleta Pier consisting of 250–330 timber piles (18” to 20” in diameter) and timber decking, seasonal installation of approximately 1,200-ft. long, 3-5 ft. high winter sand berm; removal of approximately 1,500 linear ft. of existing rock rip rap upcoast of Goleta Pier; and implementation of beach nourishment program involving initial offshore dredging of approximately 500,000 CY of sand and placement of dredged material on beach upcoast of pier for beach nourishment with additional periodic offshore dredging/beach nourishment on as-needed basis not exceeding 100,000 CY of material per year, 5986 Sandspit Rd, Goleta Beach County Park, Santa Barbara County.

May 27th, 2009:


Today the Dunn Middle School from Los Olivos visited the Pier for what is hoped to be an annual fishing excursion. Prior to their arrival a group of volunteers from United Pier and Shore Anglers of California showed up early to prepare and set out the tackle, nets and buckets they would be using. Cut bait was prepared and the water was chummed with the leftovers.

Shortly after 9:30am the first 14 of the 28 member class arrived where they were greeted by UPSAC's area coordinator, Mike Spence, who gave them a brief overview of angling techniques and pier etiquette.

The first group fished until 12:30pm when they turned the poles provided by the Angler Center over to their remaining classmates who had enjoyed the beach while they waited.

The day ended around 2pm with many having caught at least one fish.  All caught fish were initially displayed in a 5 gallon bucket so the class could identify them using the provided reference materials and then were released back to the water.

Here are some favorable comments posted to the message board on 

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