Harbor and Launch Facilities
Harbor Operations Point Arena's 330-feet long public fishing pier is the hub for fishing activities but is also popular for abalone diving, kayaking, surfing and the launch of pleasure craft. Sea Urchin, Crab and Salmon are popular yields of the commercial fishing vessels that are launched by hoist off the Point Arena Pier which was reconstructed around 1983 when a storm destroyed its predecessor .
'Point Arena Fishing Pier'
At the right time of the year it is one of the best fishing piers in the state. And, throughout the year it is the best pier to fish if you want to catch rocky-area species like striped seaperch, kelp greenling, rock greenling and cabezon. It is also the best pier to catch lingcod and a fair pier to catch salmon. So, even though there are not huge numbers of fish caught at the pier the fish that are caught are generally good quality fish and many are prize pier specimens.
Prior to the 1860s Point Arena was one of many sites along this stretch of coast which utilized chutes and wire trapeze rigging to load the small coastal schooners with redwood lumber—and other cargo. Most of these ports were so small they were called dog-hole ports—since they supposedly were just big enough to allow a dog to get in and out. Dozens of these were built, and almost any small cove or river outlet was a prime candidate for a chute. Luckily, the captains of these schooners were masters of their art and were able to get out of places like Hard Scratch and Nip-and-Tuck.
However, Point Arena got a real wharf in 1866 and during the 1870s Point Arena became the most active port between San Francisco and Eureka (in fact at one time the cove had two wharves). Steam schooners like the Seafoam, Pomo and Point Arena made regular runs along the Mendocino coast and visited more than a dozen wharves between Point Arena and Eureka. Since then, Point Arena has seen several wharves, testimony to the killer storms (primarily from the south) and waves that periodically thrash the cove. The same destruction was common at most of the other earlier wharves; today the nearest oceanfront pier to the north is at Trinidad, a nautical distance of 131 miles.