Growing up in the Midwest my first fishing experience was bluegill fishing with crickets in a pond, but for kids growing up on the California coast their first experience is usually a public fishing pier. My first salt water experience was on a Washington state pier crabbing and catching fish off the wooden deck. California public piers are massive by comparison. They stretch hundreds of feet into the water past the breakers and suspend high above the water. Most are open twenty-four hours a day and do not require a fishermen to have a license. They let you get the first taste for free. Many people who never were afforded the opportunity to fish as kids, unwilling to pay fifty dollars for a license, fish for the first time as adults on public piers.
|The first saltwater fish I caught as a non military California Resident on Cayucos Pier|
In July last year I was saddened to hear Cayucos pier was found to be unstable and closed indefinitely. When I moved to Central California in 2011 Cayucos pier was the first spot on the coast I fished, and the first place I caught fish as a California resident. I spent a month and a half shore fishing San Diego four years before that, but this was special because it indicated things to come. In my short year as a foster parent I got all three of my foster children to catch fish on Cayucos and San Simeon pier. In the short time I have lived here I have made some good memories there. With an estimated $2,000,000 to rebuild the pier it is not going to be open for fishing anytime soon. A charity has been setup at http://www.savecayucospier.org/ in attempt to raise the funds to help save the pier.
When piers are damaged it can take some time for them to be repaired. “Gaviota Pier, a 529-foot pier, dates back to 1943 when the Navy first built it as a 420-foot crash boat pier. El Niño storms in 1998 damaged the pier, and it was not reopened fully until May 2000”. Which is why it is so tragic to hear about Gaviota Pier being severely damaged by the storm surge we had last week.
|Recent storms that damaged the Goleta Pier, above, and other facilities are likely to be part of the discussion of Goleta Beach Park’s future when the county Board of Supervisors discusses the matter on March 18. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)|
To give you an idea of how powerful this storm was check out this footage taken by Andrew Harmer at Pismo Beach. It is amazing more people did not get hurt.
Goleta and Avila piers were also damaged but the must harm came to Gaviota pier in Santa Barbra County.
At least not that many people were hurt. Let's hope the remaining piers stay stong and are hear long enough for others to enjoy.
Thanks for reading.