The Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol can now enforce areas on Stearns Wharf where “No Fishing” signs have been posted for 30 years. Those signs, however, were merely suggestions, placed to dissuade fishermen mostly from busy areas along the 2,000-foot municipal pier that gets about a million pedestrians and a quarter-million vehicles annually.
On Tuesday, city councilmembers voted unanimously — backing unanimous Harbor Commission support in April — to give teeth to those signs, according to Waterfront Director Mick Kronman. Fishing is allowed on Stearns Wharf on the seaward finger next to the Sea Center, and at the end, from the bait shop seaward. A California sport fishing license is not required when fishing from public piers.
In related news, it’s now free to park on Stearns Wharf for 90 minutes without validation.