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2017 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Is a License Needed to Fish the Alameda Rock Wall?  (Read 114 times)

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Hojoman

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November 30, 2017

Question: My questions have to do with the Alameda rock wall located behind Encinal High School in Alameda (Alameda County). Is a California fishing license required at the Alameda rock wall? Iíve heard some say that it is considered a public pier and would not require a license. Also, how many poles (lines) are you allowed to have per angler at the rock wall? Some have said one because Alameda is part of the San Francisco Bay. Others have said that the Alameda rock wall is a jetty, so therefore two poles are allowed. I want to make sure that Iím following all Department of Fish and Wildlife laws when I want to bring new friends into the sport. (Luan T.)

Answer: We appreciate the efforts of experienced fishers to teach their friends and younger generations about fishing and help them gain an appreciation for the outdoors. Public piers are excellent places to take beginners who may be apprehensive about trying to go fishing for the first time. No license is needed when fishing off the Alameda rock wall as it is considered a public pier. In fact, a fishing license is not needed when fishing recreationally from any public pier in Californiaís ocean waters.

A public pier is defined in the sport fishing regulations as a publicly owned, man-made structure that has the following characteristics: is connected, above the mean high tide, to the main coastline or to the land mass of a named and charted natural island; has unrestricted free access for the general public; and has been built or currently functions for the primary purpose of allowing angling access to ocean waters (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 1.88). Additionally, publicly owned jetties or breakwaters that are connected to land, as described above, that have free unrestricted access for the general public and whose purpose it is to form the most seaward protective boundary of an ocean harbor are public piers. Jetties, breakwaters, promenades, sea walls, moles, docks, linings, barriers and other structures that are not the most seaward protective boundary of an ocean harbor, are not public piers.

You are correct that the Alameda rock wall is within the San Francisco Bay (see California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 27.00 for the definition) and therefore has the restriction of only allowing one line with not more than three hooks when fishing for finfish (CCR Title 14, section 28.65(a)). Furthermore, the Alameda rock wall is a publicly accessible jetty so it falls under the definition of public pier. If you are fishing for finfish from the Alameda rock wall, you can use one line with not more than three hooks, and a second line attached to a net or trap to take other fish, such as rock crab.

Even though a fishing license is not required on a public pier, all other regulations (including minimum size, bag limits, seasons and report card requirements) apply. Good luck and have fun fishing with your friends!