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>> The original opening of the Berkeley Pier [topic: previous/next]
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:38 pm
Ken Jones


Posts: 9461
Location: California

The blare of the band was missing, the Governor didn’t cut a golden cord, loudspeaker systems didn’t blare out the impressive speeches of the great and near-great, but the opening of the Berkeley Pier to fishing at 5 a.m. yesterday morning was a momentous event,
Three and a half miles of available fishing space was the gift of the city to the boys and girls—from six to 90 years old.
Permission to fish on the abandoned pier, Saturday and Sunday, was granted as an experiment. If patronage follows and the test proves popular, it may soon be opened every day of the week.
City collectors gathered 15 cents a person, a charge necessary, explains Berkeley City Manager Hollis R. Thompson, because there will be operation and upkeep expenses that will have to be met from the revenue earned.
OLD S. P. PIER
The pier was acquired recently by the City of Berkeley when the Southern Pacific Golden Gate Ferries Company discontinued their Berkeley-San Francisco service.
Opening of the pier to fishing has been sought for some time by the San Pablo Sportsman’s Club and other civic groups. It supplies a long-felt want, as previously there had been no pier on the Oakland side of the bay where children and grown-ups who do not care for boats and distant shores, could spend a day outdoors.
It will mean much to the youth of the entire Metropolitan Oakland area, reviving the days most of us can remember, when we rushed down to one of the piers of the time, or sneaked past the guards to fish on the Southern Pacific ferry pier at the foot of Seventh Street, as soon as we could change clothes after school.
ACTION LAUDED
Lee Anderson, faithful “operative,” bait store operator and one of the most consistent fishermen I have ever known, expresses all that when he writes:
“It is a great thing. There will be Berkeley officers on duty and the full three and a half miles can be utilized. The Saturday and Sunday opening rule is temporary. There are quite a few problems to work out for the city, and it will take a little time to settle difficulties.
“This pier is something we have needed for a long time. There is not a fishing pier on our side of the bay for miles and miles. During the Winter just past we didn’t have a place to drop our nets when the herring run was on. The people will come for miles around and from other cities to enjoy such a spot.
“During the Summer this will be a good place to keep the children off the streets, and at the same time start the young boys (and girls too) enjoying a good, clean, wholesome sport.
GREAT FOR YOUTHS
“”I am visualizing now all the good fishing to be had at this place, as in the old days. One may go with trolley outfits and catch smelt by the sack full. Bass fishermen may cast from the pier and for the child or grown-up with a 15-cent drop-line there are pogies, smelt, perch, shiners, and occasional rock cod and even crab fishing. It is a wonderful place to catch and net herring in the first part of the year, and the anchovy runs are good.
“At present the boats are having a good run of striped bass up and down the full length of the wharf. Personally I am anxious to walk up and down the wharf with a Calcutta rod to try trolling in that way.
“When I was going to school I used to hike down to the old Berkeley wharf (long since burned down for the present pier) and sell worms for 10 cents a dozen. I would then use the money to buy tackle and fish every minute possible. It looks like those old days will be revived again, only on a different scale.”
And there is a short, short story of the growth of a merchant. From that humble beginning, selling worms at the pier to get money for fishing tackle, Lee has developed his present large bait and tackle store, and he still sells his bait for money to buy tackle, for more often than not he will be found absent from the store—out fishing for the day.
It will be but a short time until the Berkeley Pier will be more extensively used by the children and their parents than by the real striped bass fishermen.
When the Municipal Pier was opened in San Francisco many of the officials expected it would be overcrowded with the bass fishermen casting sinkers and sardines, while the children looked on.
That actually was the case for a short time, but for some time now bass fishermen have been missing and the children and their parents have owned it.
Of course there will be a longer season on striped bass off the Berkeley Pier. It is in better fishing territory. Many fine catches will be made in the coming months.
But it will be the children who will benefit the most, for a good lively shiner on the end of a cord is a much bigger catch to a 10-year-old than a 10-pound bass to one of we jaded oldsters.
—Bob Dwyer’s Line On The Sportsman,
Oakland Tribune, June 12, 1938


Last weekend great throngs invaded the newly opened Berkeley pier, without any advertising being done in advance. There has been plenty of space given this week to the fine catches of striped bass and other fish that were being made this past weekend so the crowds should be double this Saturday and Sunday.
The pier opens at 5 a.m. Saturday and is open until Sunday night. There is a 15-cent charge for fishing, and no one need worry about having to fight the crowd. With 2500 on the pier last Sunday there was no evidence of overcrowding on the three and a half miles of fishing space. Using both sides of the pier, this allows more than seven miles of elbowroom… so 5000 will not overcrowd this present pier.
—A Line on The Sportsman, Bob Dwyer,
Oakland Tribune, June 17, 1938

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:46 am
red fish


Posts: 2556
Location: Berkeley Pier

I will follow up with this to fill in the historical gaps to date: [url]https://www.google.com/amp/www.sfgate.com/bayarea/amp/Structural-damage-closes-historic-Berkeley-pier-6402542.php[/
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:11 am
songslinger


Posts: 822
Location: Where Common Sense Presides

Here's a "whole lotta nothing" from the marina folks:

https://www.cityofberkeley.info/parks/pier/

I have been fishing the adjacent rocks regularly since the closure. Not once have I seen any officials on that pier or nearby. If there's a study going on, it's clandestine.

The marina folks have put picnic tables by the rock wall between the restaurant. However, there are no nearby public facilities. Closest is in the lot west of Hana Japan.

So guess where people are relieving themselves? Whole area reeks and rain does not help. If you fish there, bring an extra pair of shoes for outside so you do not track the nastiness into your car.

Berkeley cares about as much for fishing as it does for genuine freedom of speech. I say this as a leftist who acknowledges that other points of view have a right to be stated. The machine politics there of the last 35 years (when I lived in that town) have destroyed a once vibrant land of discourse.

If you had the fortune of fishing that pier, savor the experience because it is highly unlikely anyone will fish there again.

The truth is that metropolitan priorities rarely include angling concerns. Berkeley had the money for the pier--as the result of the Cosco Busan oil spill settlement--and they altered the budget in favor of wind surfers and kiddie parks. Neither of which has been improved since that decision was made over two years ago.


(By the way, if you want to see how that oil spill money was put to work wisely, check out Point Pinole and its beautiful additions and access.)


So, the moral is, fish where you can when you can, and enjoy it. And pray some millenial future-hater doesn't blow it up with gps and drones.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:18 am
red fish


Posts: 2556
Location: Berkeley Pier

[quote="red fish"]I will follow up with this to fill in the historical gaps to date: [url]https://www.google.com/amp/www.sfgate.com/bayarea/amp/Structural-damage-closes-historic-Berkeley-pier-6402542.php
Ken, you left out the historical gap of (30) years I did not fish that Pier.
I have to laugh each and every time I was at the end of Berkeley Pier and someone my age made the claim of having “walked to the end of the old Pier.” First of all, I don’t believe anyone walked; they drove (and turned around at the end).
I have heard of Lee Anderson and the assumption is that his Baitshop was located at the marina.
The Baitshop at the Marina (in the same location as Berkeley Marina Sportfishing Center) was called Moby Dick Baitshop. It was a big top, green canvas tent with pinball machines, a bar, and a small showcase with a few stuffed fish of local species and a few hanging on the ceiling.
The dog catcher that used to come on the Pier told me about 15 years ago that he used to go to the Pier when there was a fence to let you in and out and it cost 50-cents to fish (I don’t think he said fifteen, but the two sound similar).

To give you an idea of my era, 1/2 dozen pileworms from Moby Dick was $1 my entire youth.
Below is what a 1/2 dozen costs at Bay Tackle today.https://www.google.com/amp/www.sfgate.com/bayarea/amp/Structural-damage-closes-historic-Berkeley-pier-6402542.php[/url]



7073DAA3-1C86-4B9A-AD99-D14C395CD8A5.jpeg
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Bay Tackle Richmond,CA
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7073DAA3-1C86-4B9A-AD99-D14C395CD8A5.jpeg



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:36 am
Ken Jones


Posts: 9461
Location: California

There certainly was a gap between the time the city first opened the pier to fishing (1938) and when the Wildlife Conservation Board (DF&G) got involved in 1959.

The pier originally was 3 1/2 miles long and you could drive your car onto the pier.

By 1955 the pier was in poor shape, there were threats by the city to close the pier, and funding was needed for renovation. The Wildlife Conservation Board (part of the DF&G) helped fund the renovation for 2,000 feet of the pier in 1959 and an additional 1,000 feet in 1962.

The action was the first by the Wildlife Conservation Board in what would become a great program to build and renovate piers.

However, I'm not sure when the pier was shortened from its 3 1/2 mile length and/or when cars were restricted from the pier. But, I will find out.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:47 am
Ken Jones


Posts: 9461
Location: California

Before there was today's Berkeley Pier there was another older "Berkeley Wharf" —

Celebrate Opening Of Wharf With Dance

Berkeley, July 3.—Arrangements have been finished by the West Berkeley Improvement and Protective Association for the ball which will be given July 11th at the California Garden to celebrate the opening of the new municipal wharf…
—Oakland Tribune, July 3, 1908

Old Berkeley City Pier To Be Fishers’ Haven
Decaying Wharf Useless for Commerce, May Become Pleasure Haunt

Berkeley, Aug. 20.—Maybe the old municipal pier, broken in three places and unfitted for traffic, may be of some use after all.
Just as the city fathers were wondering what could be done either to put the old wharf in use or discard it entirely, it was discovered that it was a great rendezvous for fishermen. So in the midst of ideas as to what the old wharf would finally turn out to be, there developed an idea that it might make a recreation pier upon which fishing will be a specialty.
The old wharf saw some twenty-five years of service and was for years Berkeley’s only bid as a seaport town. Time, finally laid a heavy hand on the old structure and put it out of business. Then the Golden Gate ferry company came along and built a three and a half mile pier, extending a mile of it out in such a way that it can be used for shipping for the city.
A survey was recently taken to determine what could be done with the unsightly wharf of the last generation. It would cost $9000 to remove it and $3500 to repair it. The city did not have the money to spare. Within a short time the city engineer will probably make a recommendation that the city council set it aside for aquatic sports, fishing preferred.
— Oakland Tribune, August 21, 1927

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:39 am
red fish


Posts: 2556
Location: Berkeley Pier

Ken Jones wrote:
Before there was today's Berkeley Pier there was another older "Berkeley Wharf" —

Celebrate Opening Of Wharf With Dance

Berkeley, July 3.—Arrangements have been finished by the West Berkeley Improvement and Protective Association for the ball which will be given July 11th at the California Garden to celebrate the opening of the new municipal wharf…
—Oakland Tribune, July 3, 1908

Old Berkeley City Pier To Be Fishers’ Haven
Decaying Wharf Useless for Commerce, May Become Pleasure Haunt

Berkeley, Aug. 20.—Maybe the old municipal pier, broken in three places and unfitted for traffic, may be of some use after all.
Just as the city fathers were wondering what could be done either to put the old wharf in use or discard it entirely, it was discovered that it was a great rendezvous for fishermen. So in the midst of ideas as to what the old wharf would finally turn out to be, there developed an idea that it might make a recreation pier upon which fishing will be a specialty.
The old wharf saw some twenty-five years of service and was for years Berkeley’s only bid as a seaport town. Time, finally laid a heavy hand on the old structure and put it out of business. Then the Golden Gate ferry company came along and built a three and a half mile pier, extending a mile of it out in such a way that it can be used for shipping for the city.
A survey was recently taken to determine what could be done with the unsightly wharf of the last generation. It would cost $9000 to remove it and $3500 to repair it. The city did not have the money to spare. Within a short time the city engineer will probably make a recommendation that the city council set it aside for aquatic sports, fishing preferred.
— Oakland Tribune, August 21, 1927


Ken , I believe it was 1952 or '54 when the pier was shut down to motor-vehicle traffic.

The original pier was Jacob's Wharf that went all the way to the other side of the freeway to where Aquatic Park is now.

Still trying to get the hang of holding these darned iphones/pads in a horizontal position for photos/video!

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:48 pm
Ken Jones


Posts: 9461
Location: California

Robert,

Looks like the driving stopped in 1950. Here's a couple of new articles I found:

Fishermen’s Autos Are Banned On Old University Avenue Pier

Berkeley, March 22.—Berkeley fishermen will combine walking with their fishing this year because the old three-mile ferry pier at the foot of University Avenue is unfit for automobiles.
In previous years fishermen and their families parked cars and enjoyed the sport in comfort. To repair the pier, City Manager Ross Miller told the City Council yesterday would cost $12,000—a sum, he said, that would be wasted in view of the fact that the old causeway, once the approach to a San Francisco automobile ferry, would eventually have to be dismantled.
As a result, City Manager Miller received approval from the council for expenditure of $2000 for development of an automobile parking area along the University Avenue extension adjoining municipal wharf buildings. As this will be a permanent improvement not only for fishing but for others having business on the waterfront, the city manager stated that the money would be a wise investment.
—Oakland Tribune, March 22, 1950

University Avenue Fishing Pier To Be Closed September 30

Berkeley, Sept. 20.—If the game fish won’t bite to attract sportsmen, the City Council of Berkeley decided yesterday it couldn’t afford to lose taxpayers money operating the fishing pier at the foot of University Avenue.
So fishing operations will cease September 30, a month earlier than usual, as a result of report made by City Manager Ross Miller that the municipal government is currently $99 in the “red” for the present season.
All that fishermen have been getting from the pier, reveals Harbormaster Armin Koetitz, are smelt and perch.
“There hasn’t been a bass caught this season” Koetitz said.
“The reason? Not the angling skill of Berkeleyans—young and old. I think it must be that game fish don’t like the sewage that goes into the bay. Who would, as a matter of fact?”
In addition to the pollution of bay waters Koetitz advances another reason for the fall-off in attendance—namely that fishermen in past years enjoyed “deluxe” angling. Previously fishermen could drive onto the pier—taking families with them for picnics.
Because of the unsafe condition of the long causeway, which would be costly to repair, fishermen were banned from driving on the pier this year. They parked their cars and walked to angling spots.
Miller reported that while attendance lagged those who went, especially boys lured by prizes offered by the Rod and Gun Club had a good time and the loss of $99 was worth the pleasure afforded youth.
Miller said however that he could not allow the deficit to mount any higher, especially when game fish “boycotted” waters off the Berkeley shore.
—Oakland Tribune, September 20, 1950

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