The Goleta Pier Angler Center — Closed

It sits empty now, forlorn and ignored, and though the sign still proclaims “Goleta Pier Angler Center,” it’s a lie, for the hopes and dreams, dedication and selfless hours at the pier are finished: the center is at an end. The rods and reels are removed. The educational materials are packed and destined for more distant venues. The recycled line, hooks, and sinkers have been distributed to the locals who will put them to use. The building was swept clean and the keys passed on the park personnel. Most important, the “Pier Host” who dedicated nearly a decade of his life to the pier has moved north. Ultimately there was “no room at the inn” for that gentle soul.

And while people continue to write (see below), to ask if UPSAC and Boyd are still available to set up kid’s fishing classes and fishing derbies, the answer is yes, but not at Goleta. The events are continuing, as far south as Oceanside and as far north as Berkeley, but no longer will the youth of Santa Barbara partake of those events. Actions have consequences and by forcing the “Pier Host” from the park, the center was forced to close.

It was a crazy, illogical and totally unnecessary ending to an award-winning program, a program that had benefited hundreds of locals, kids and adults alike, as well as the tourists visiting the park.

But new people are in control of the park system and they have the power to make change as they see fit. Only time will tell if the citizens of Santa Barbara are content with the changes that are now taking place.


March 23, 2012

Dear Mr. Spence,

I was hoping your group could teach our scouts the fishing merit badge.  I remember when my son was a cub scout he got to attend a great event that was put on by your group for Boy Scouts. Are you still doing any of this?  If not please redirect me to who might be able to teach our scouts how to fish.

Thanks so much and I hope you are well,

Kathy M

The event she referred to was the one below—

Hello Ken,

I just wanted to express our gratitude to all you fabulous men for your help teaching our scouts to "catch and release" last Saturday at Goleta Pier.

Donating your time and all the books on identification of fish, education about conservation and wildlife protection, all the gear and bait, and not least of all lunch!

What a role model you men are not only for your skillfulness, but also your generosity with your time and resources, to help boys learn that manliness is found in helping boys learn to be men.

I can't thank you enough!


Kathy M (Fritz' mom) 
and den leader to 
Webelos 1 
Pack ___



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