The research presented here represents an analysis of pier-based subsistence fishing in Los Angeles County. The researchers conducted surveys and participant observation at 4 field sites on Los Angeles piers. Subsistence fishing among populations in the mainland United States has been neglected as a significant activity of research interest. This may be in part because individuals engaged in subsistence fishing are often members of long established poor, indigenous or diasporic communities. With this project, we analyzed particular marine cultural phenomena, otherwise invisible in a highly bureaucratized system of fisheries management, by researching and describing some of the fishing practices and fishers of Los Angeles County’s piers. Ethnographic survey research reports on the unique demographics, risk perceptions, and sociocultural aspects of distinct pier-based fishing communities in Southern California.