End of United Pier and Shore Anglers of California?

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Ken Jones

Staff member
End of UPSAC?

At this time United Pier and Shore Anglers of California is basically in a standby or shutdown mode. We have faced several issues over the past few years that are unresolved and unless the issues can be worked out, or at least work can start on improving the issues, UPSAC will cease to operate at the end of the year.

(1) Financial — To operate as a non-profit organization costs money. Insurance is a big issue, both insurance for events and insurance for the board and workers. The minimum insurance for full coverage is today close to $3,000 annually. For the past few years we have not had insurance for the board (resulting in the loss of some board members) or workers but bought event insurance on a case-by-case basis. That, in my opinion, is not a viable long-term solution.

Some event costs (tackle, bait, etc.) have been paid for by board members themselves or paid for by donations from supporters of UPSAC.

Other costs incurred in putting on events — mainly the travel and lodging costs (gasoline, motel, food, etc.) have been paid entirely by board members themselves.

Due to various reasons, not every board member can continue to pay these costs.

(2) UPSAC Board — We have had a dedicated group of members over the years but the board (including myself) is aging and some are in ill health. Both of these things can limit participation. In my opinion, a new, younger group of board members would bring needed vitality and new ideas to the board.

I think it would also be advantageous to have a more diverse board, one that more accurately reflects the population of pier and shore members. We need additional members from southern California and, I believe, minority bilingual members who can better understand the needs of anglers from each area of California. I think it would also be advantageous to have more women on the board.

(3) UPSAC commitments — Until a few years ago UPSAC was sponsoring five Kid’s Fishing Tournaments — ones at the Trinidad Pier, Marin Rod & Gun Club Pier, Berkeley Pier, Avila Pier and the Oceanside Pier. When the piers closed at Berkeley and Avila it stopped those tournaments; at Oceanside we lost local support simply because it had gotten to be too big of an event. We are still committed to the tournaments at Trinidad and Marin if UPSAC continues to exist.

(4) “Get Togethers” — Although we had “Get Togethers” at several piers in the early years, two main events became “annual” events, those at Berkeley (Mud Marlin Derby) and Catalina. With the closure of the Berkeley Pier the Mud Marlin Derbies stopped while the numbers of participants at Catalina saw a drop over the years, due at least in part to the increasing costs.

(5) The Past and Future — When we started UPSAC we had as the main goal the representation of a generally overlooked group of anglers — pier and shore anglers. The group is still overlooked — both by the “Fishing Industry” itself (that has money) and, in my opinion, unfortunately by most “Fishing Organizations” that exist to help anglers. They do help pier and shore anglers at times, and do ask for our support, but the main attention is always given to the needs of anglers in boats, whether on private boats or on Sportfishing boats. Again, that is where the money seems to reside.

My thoughts by the way are based on dozens of meetings where if I was not present representing UPSAC, or one of our board members was not present, I do not think our (pier and shore) concerns would even have been brought up.

Overall UPSAC has had some success in some areas but also never achieved some of our stated long-term goals. I think we made some good decisions at times and some bad decisions. I think the direction we took at times was good but I also think some of the direction got us off track (in particular concentrating so much energy on “Kid’s Derbies” versus “Get Togethers.”

I think the biggest mistake may have been the initial decision to be a statewide organization free of dues and required work commitment. Underfunded from the start, and never effectively developing good methods of fund raising, has been a critical mistake.

Equally important, was the failure to utilize the tremendous good will, support, knowledge, energy and ideas from so many PFIC members during the initial years. Although at one time we tried to harness that good will by setting up regional/area coordinators (to give more power and support locally) that plan never really got off the ground. For that failure I take responsibility.

As said, there has been some success but we are now faced with ceasing to operate — or, if there is the interest, and willingness to be involved by a new group of anglers, change.

I, as president since inception, will take responsibility for whatever shortcomings we have experienced and will be stepping down as president.

However, if a new group is interested in joining the board, and continuing UPSAC’s efforts to represent pier and shore anglers, I am willing to work with that group for a transition period of time. Ultimately though the new board would need to decide the direction for the organization.

The options as I see it: (1) Simply have UPSAC cease operation on December 31, (2) Continue on as an organization with a new board and a reorganization of the By Laws.

If people are truly interested in serving on an UPSAC board, working on whatever changes are needed to continue its existence, or simply have questions, please send me your thoughts — kenjones@pierfishing.com

I am using this approach instead of a simple thread on PFIC because such threads can often get too far off topic and we need to keep it focused. We need to make some fairly quick decisions if people wish UPSAC to continue.


Ken Jones

Staff member
Given that I have not had a single email message on the topic, I assume most are willing to see UPSAC end on December 31. Am I right?
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