Free Fishing Piers, Jetties, and Breakwaters
When recreationally fishing from a "public pier" in ocean or bay waters, a fishing license is not required. Public piers have a specific definition in Section 1.88 of Title 14, California Code of Regulations (CCR)(opens in new tab). Public piers must be connected to the shoreline, allow for free, unrestricted public access, and have been built or currently function for the primary purpose of fishing.
Publicly owned jetties and breakwaters may also be "public piers" but, in addition, must form the most seaward protective boundary of an ocean harbor. Jetties and other structures that are not the most seaward boundary are not public piers.
Even though a fishing license is not required on a public pier, all other regulations (including minimum size, bag limits, report cards, and seasons) apply while fishing from a public pier. Additionally, only two rods and lines, handlines, or nets, traps, or other appliances used to take crabs may be used per person on a public pier (CCR Title 14, Section 28.65(b)).
The following list and zoomable map include California public piers, jetties, and breakwaters as defined by Section 1.88 of Title 14, CCR.
PLEASE NOTE: CDFW cannot guarantee that individual piers, jetties, or breakwaters will be open to the public. The landowner may close these areas for safety, maintenance, or other reasons at any time.