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Goleta Pier, popular among residents who want to take a stroll or fish, celebrated the grand opening Friday of its new angler center. (United Pier and Shore Anglers of California photo)

Decades ago, I spent about a month looking for a job for much of the day and fishing from Goleta Pier during the late afternoon and evening. I caught and enjoyed some fine dinners, which I very much needed. Although my needs are well met these days, I often reflect on that time and find myself smiling over those afternoons and evenings at the pier.


Capt. David Bacon (Ramona Lisa McFadyen photo)

Some folks go there for strolls, some go to study and many go for the fine fishing. Goleta is a unique pier among the choices open to anglers. Goleta Bay is a productive fishery, and the rock and kelp covered pipeline — within casting distance of the pier — holds an incredible variety of tasty fish.

As good as it is now, Goleta Pier is about to become even better thanks to the efforts of the Santa Barbara County Parks and a wonderful organization called United Pier and Shore Anglers of California. What follows is their combined news release about a new angler center and pier host at Goleta Beach Park.

“Goleta Pier, the 1,450-foot-long recreational pier and centerpiece attraction of Santa Barbara County’s most popular park, Goleta Beach County Park, will see the dedication of the new Goleta Pier Angler Center.

The center is a unique partnership between Santa Barbara County Parks and United Pier and Shore Anglers of California and is designed to provide a community multipurpose marine center for a variety of educational activities. The UPSAC staffer at the center will be identified as a pier host, similar to the camp host position within the state and county park systems.

The pier host will:

» Teach new and experienced anglers (especially children, families and at-risk teens) to fish successfully and responsibly, using environmentally friendly techniques and equipment.

» Sponsor angling clinics and provision of on-pier assistance and loaner poles for use by community groups and other privately organized outings.

» Encourage anglers and other visitors toward a better appreciation and understanding of the marine environment found at piers such as Goleta — and the ecological relationship between the Goleta Slough (nursery area), Goleta Bay (and kelp), adjacent pipe-reef and sandy-shore bottom environment.

» Oversee the UPSAC Line Recycle Project and line bins designed to prevent injury to sea birds from stray fishing line as part of its ongoing efforts to mitigate angler impacts.

» Be responsible for daily pier cleaning, discarded tackle removal and assistance with injured birds and other marine wildlife problems. A list of emergency numbers and after hours contacts will be posted on the exterior wall.

» Be an on-site resource for both California Fish and Game and NOAA publications. Included will be fishery regulation booklets, fish identification charts, and pamphlets showing safe catch-and-release practices and how to safely handle birds.

The overall goal of the angler center is to make the Goleta Pier a welcoming and safe place for all visitors — and an example of best practices for other piers.”

For information, call Ken Jones at 209.327.6254 or pier host Boyd Grant at 805.637.6708. Click here for more information from the Goleta Pier Web site.

Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a new nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need.

Capt. David Bacon, Noozhawk Columnist

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.