Pier designations

Ken Jones

Staff member
Viewers will note that I have given each pier a designation in regard to the need for a fishing license. The designations are as follows:

Public Pier — No Fishing License Required

Private Pier — Fishing License Required

Public Pier — Freshwater — Fishing License Required

Public Access Area — Fishing License Required

Public Access Area — Status Unclear — Fishing License May Be Required

The first three are easy to confirm; the problem comes with the last two designations. I twice attended meetings of the California Fish and Game Commission in Sacramento and made the point that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife needed to identify the "public piers" so that anglers would know beyond doubt when they needed a license. I supplied a list of the state piers and jetty's and my recommendations based upon my understanding of the regulation. Following the last meeting the Commission urged the department to provide such a list. However, the department continues to be unwilling to give a formal designation on piers. Thus I am left in a quandary regarding many piers, especially small mini piers that have been built in many areas, sometimes for fishing but sometimes more simply as viewing platforms or places to watch birds. In addition, some areas designated "public access" areas have pier-like areas that are used for fishing. I have included some of those areas, i.e., the Eureka Boardwalk, but it's unclear if a license is needed. Thus the final designation — Public Access Area — Status Unclear — Fishing License May Be Required. I will continue to request clarification but in the meantime it's best to be careful and to have a license unless the pier is clearly a "public" pier.