Pacific Pier

Pacifica Pier Rules


DFG inspects a catch of legal Dungeness Crab

You are responsible for knowing the rules before you go fishing.



There are three jurisdictions:

City - the pier is mostly regulated under the City of Pacifica municipal code. Examples of these rules are No Alcohol, No Overhead Casting, Setting the pier hours etc.

State - Sport fishing rules in California are regulated by the state Department of Fish and Game. You are required to follow all Fish and Game rules. You do not need a fishing license to fish from the pier.

Federal - Protection of marine mammals and certain birds can be enforced under federal law.

This is not a comprehensive list of the pier rules.


Sec. 4-9.02. Regulations.
It shall be unlawful for any person to perform, engage in or allow the occurrence of any of the following acts on any fishing pier owned or operated by the City:

(a) To operate a vehicle or bicycle thereon without written permission from the Director of Parks, Beaches, and Recreation and, in no event, at a speed in excess of five (5) miles per hour;

(b) To dive or jump, or cause another person to fall, dive, or jump, from a pier into the ocean;

(c) To swim, wade, surf, or skin dive within 100 feet of a pier;

(d) Climbing or walking, standing or sitting upon railings, fences, monuments, vases, or upon any other public property that is not designed or designated for such purposes;

(e) To cast any fishing line or pole overhead or allow any lure or hook to pass inboard of a pier railing while casting;

(f) To deposit trash, refuse, or debris unless in a receptacle provided for such purpose;

(g) To use more than two (2) rods and lines or two (2) hand lines at the same time;

(h) To fish or trap sea life for commercial purposes;

(i) To bring onto or have in his possession on a pier any fishing spear or fishing spear gun;

(j) To permit any vessel to approach within 500 feet of a pier without the written permission of the Director of Parks, Beaches, and Recreation;

(k) Damaging, making, defacing, tampering with, or displacing or removing buildings, tables, benches, railings, paving or paving materials, public utilities, or parts thereof, signs, notices, or placards, whether temporary or permanent, monuments, stakes, posts, or other boundary markers, or other structures or equipment, facilities, or public property, either real or personal;

(l) To trespass or enter upon that portion of a municipal pier restricted against public use by any order of the Council or to attempt to climb over any fence or barricade separating such restricted portion of a pier from the part thereof on which the public is admitted;

(m) To sell or offer for sale goods, wares, merchandise, or services of any kind or description within 300 feet of a pier in any direction, except at such places and times as shall be designated and licensed by the City, and unless all business operators performing business operations as defined in Title 3, Chapter 1, Article 1 of this Code first obtain a business license from the City;

(n) To loiter, sit, lie, or stand upon a municipal pier or the entrance thereto or otherwise occupy any portion thereof in such a manner as unreasonably to annoy or molest any person thereon or as to obstruct or unreasonably interfere with the free passage of persons using a municipal pier;

(o) Lighting, building, using or maintaining a fire;

(p) To permit any animal on a pier, except a Seeing Eye dog when accompanying a blind person;

and (q) Having, possessing or using any bottle, cup, dish, tumbler, jar or container having an exterior made of glass.

(r) Camping at any time;

(s) The violation of or failure to comply with any condition, limitation, rule, regulation, requirement or standard contained in this chapter;

(t) Having or possessing, whether on his or her person or otherwise, any alcoholic beverage;

(u) Using motor-driven model airplanes;

(v) Discharging or shooting any firearm, air gun, slingshot or bow and arrow in any regulated area;

(w) Constructing or erecting any building or structure of whatever kind, whether permanent or temporary in character, or placing any utility lines (water, gas, electricity) or overhead wires into, upon or across any fishing pier owned or operated by the City, except with the prior written approval of the Director;

(x) Hunting, molesting, harming, trapping, chasing or throwing missiles, items or devices at any animal or reptile or bird, or removing or having in one’s possession the young of any wild animal or the eggs or nest of any reptile or bird. This prohibition shall not apply to governmental agencies acting in the course and scope of their official duties;

(y) Giving or offering, or attempting to give, to any animal, reptile or bird any noxious substance;

(z) Entering restrooms of the opposite sex by person over five (5) years of age, except for attendants who accompany handicapped persons, or City employees who do so in the course of discharging their official duties.

(§ 1, Ord. 88-C.S., eff. November 28, 1973, as amended by § 1, Ord. 96-C.S., eff. December 10, 1973, § 1, Ord. 192-C.S., eff. February 23, 1977, § II, Ord. 431-84, eff. December 13, 1984, and § 1, Ord. 696-C.S., eff. December 26, 2001)

Sec. 4-9.10. Pier closure.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the City Manager or his or her designee may order any fishing pier owned or operated by the City to be closed to the public at any time when necessary to protect the public health, safety or welfare. (§ 1, Ord. 696-C.S., eff. December 26, 2001)

Sec. 4-9.07. Loitering prohibited during certain hours.
No person shall enter, remain, stay or loiter on any pier subject to this chapter between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. of the following day. This prohibition shall not apply to governmental agencies acting in the course and scope of their official duties. (§ 1, Ord. 696-C.S., eff. December 26, 2001)

(a) It is the intent and purpose of the Council in enacting the provisions of this chapter to provide for the use and enjoyment by the people of fishing piers by adopting regulations governing the conduct and behavior of persons using such piers to the end that such recreation facilities may be enjoyed by all.
(b) The Parks, Beaches and Recreation Department shall have responsibility for the administration of the provisions of this chapter for all fishing piers owned or operated by the City.
(§ 1, Ord. 88-C.S., eff. November 28, 1973, as amended by § 1, Ord. 696-C.S., eff. December 26, 2001)

Sec. 4-9.03. Liability.
A person exercising any of the privileges authorized by the provisions of this chapter shall do so at his or her own risk without liability on the part of the City for any injury to persons or property resulting therefrom. (§ 1, Ord. 88-C.S., eff. November 28, 1973)

Sec. 4-9.04. Park Rangers: Enforcement duties.
The City Manager is authorized to hire and appoint an employee or employees to be known as “Park Rangers” or other appropriate title. The Park Rangers shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
(a) To enforce the provisions of Section 4-9.02 of this chapter;
(b) To enforce the provisions of Section 5-18.03 of Chapter 18 of Title 5 of this Code;
(c) To enforce the provisions of Chapter 10 of this title regulating the use of City parks;
(d) To enforce any section of this Code relating to parking in areas of the City where the Traffic Engineer determines that the parking of motor vehicles is related to the public use of the beach or the public use of a park;
(e) To provide information to members of the public germane as to the use of fishing piers and ocean beaches within the City;
(f) To perform maintenance and custodial duties; and
(g) To perform such other duties as the City Manager, from time to time, may
direct. (§ 1, Ord. 134-C.S., eff. November 14, 1974)

Sec. 4-9.05. Park Rangers: Powers.
Whenever a Park Ranger has reasonable cause to believe that a person in his presence has violated a section of this Code which the Ranger has the duty to enforce, the Ranger may arrest such person without a warrant, or he may prepare a written notice to appear and release the person on his promise to appear. The Ranger may also exercise any other or additional powers provided for in Section 836.5 of the Penal Code of the State as now enacted or hereafter amended. The Ranger may also issue citations and/or notices to appear for parking violations which he has the duty to enforce as set forth in Section 4-9.04 of this chapter. (§ 1, Ord. 134-C.S., eff. November 14, 1974)

Sec. 4-9.06. Responsibility for children.
Children left or sent to a regulated area alone shall be the responsibility of their parents or guardians and not of the City employees. (§ 1, Ord. 696-C.S., eff. December 26, 2001)

Sec. 4-9.07. Loitering prohibited during certain hours.
No person shall enter, remain, stay or loiter on any pier subject to this chapter between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. of the following day. This prohibition shall not apply to governmental agencies acting in the course and scope of their official duties. (§ 1, Ord. 696-C.S., eff. December 26, 2001)

Sec. 4-9.08. Lost and found articles.
The Director shall forward all lost articles of personal property that come into possession of the Park, Beaches and Recreation Department to the Police Department for sale or disposal in accordance with California law. (§ 1, Ord. 696-C.S., eff. December 26, 2001)

Sec. 4-9.09. Definitions.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases and words, and their derivations, shall have the definitions set forth in this section. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense shall include the future tense, words in the plural number shall include the singular number, and words in the singular number shall include the plural number. (a) “City” means the City of Pacifica, a municipal corporation of the State, in its present incorporated form, or in any later reorganized, consolidated, enlarged or reincorporated form. (b) “Camping” means the use of tents, tarpaulins or temporary shelters and/or campsite equipment, or the use of cots, beds or hammocks for the purpose of, or in such a way as will permit, remaining overnight at a place or location. “Camping” also includes parking a camper vehicle or trailer or spending the night within, or within close proximity, of a camper vehicle or trailer. (c) “Director” means the Director of the Parks, Beaches and Recreation Department or his/her designee. (d) “Person” means any human being, partnership of every kind, joint venture, association, club, non-profit or for-profit social or fraternal organization, corporation, estate, trust, organization, receiver, society, syndicate or any combination thereof, as well as any other city, city and county, district, public entity or other political subdivision, and any group of persons or combination acting as a unit, whether by themselves or as a unit, whether for themselves, or as agents, servants or employees. (§ 1, Ord. 696-C.S., eff. December 26, 2001)

Sec. 4-9.10. Pier closure.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the City Manager or his or her designee may order any fishing pier owned or operated by the City to be closed to the public at any time when necessary to protect the public health, safety or welfare. (§ 1, Ord. 696-C.S., eff. December 26, 2001)




Beach Rules

You must have a valid fishing license to land a fish on the beach. You can not catch a fish from the pier and land it on the beach without a fishing license.

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