I've done as much research in this area as I could on the internet and one of the things you learn right away is that "the law" isn't just one thing and a lot of times it doesn't truly get decided until someone goes to court.
Also, if anyone can actually find any official "Port Of Los Angeles Regulations" .pdf document that addresses fishing in the harbor, please post the link. I can't find anything official one way or the other.
There is no question the marina owns the docks and access to them. The question is the "waterways" and the law there is yet to be decided in my "I am not a lawyer," completely no expertise at all, opinion.
California State law establishes the right of it's citizens access to all navigable waters. In short, you can't own the ocean waters. But the harbor and marina owners (which also include the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach) would argue that these are not natural navigable waters and since they, in fact, built them, they can control access to them. I don't think that specific part of the law has been tested. No one denies that access to commercial and military docks and immediate waterways should be restricted, and that law is a minimum of 100 yards away from vessels docked or otherwise and stay clear of breakwater entrances and commercial shipping lanes - it's the pleasure boat "marinas" that are the areas of contention.
There was a fishing access case several years ago involving the Long Beach Harbor Commission which you can read about here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
If you look at the graphic included with the story, it says that all of Los Angeles Harbor is closed to fishing and yet I know from my own personal experience and from postings I've read on this and other forums, that lots of people fish in some parts of Los Angeles Harbor without issue. FWIW, people have been saying on forums for years that it's technically illegal but not enforced.
In point of fact, I was at Los Angeles Harbor the same day and my own experience was quite different. The submarine USS Pasadena was in town for Fleet Week and was docked right across from the launch ramp. This is a "fast attack" sub and looks it. Totally stealth. There were two Navy tenders and two more Coast Guard tenders very actively keeping people away. Every single boat leaving or entering the marina was approached and told to stay clear of the sub. Needless to say, the Harbor Patrol was on their toes. Military security is no joke and not something they take lightly. Naturally, I stayed well clear, but I did kick over to that side of the harbor and right past the Harbor Patrol guys and they waved and asked if I had caught anything. Which, by the way, has been the only reaction I've ever received from any kind of law enforcement people when on the water. A wave or a nod or "catch anything?"
As I was fishing deep into the marina, I was approached by a dock guard who wanted to say hello - he had seen me on YouTube and liked my videos and was planning to get a tube so he could fish there too when he wasn't working. It was a great encounter and we both left with big smiles. So opposite ends of the spectrum for me in terms of security guard encounters.
There is also the fact that boats are not restricted from entering these marinas to gas up or whatever and there are even usually "public" docks just for that purpose. According to the Coast Guard, float tubes are "vessels" and so I don't see why we should have any less access than any other boat.
So what is really "the law?" I think we won't know for sure until someone goes to court.
The Long Beach case in the papers wasn't really about marina access but rather whether or not they should ban fishing wholesale, so I think it's all a bit up in the air with this pleasure boat marina business in all of the harbors. Honestly, I can't even *find* the law, so...
FWIW, the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
are available and they say....
"No person shall fish from the walls, docks, or fingers of the Long Beach marinas. Fishing is permitted only from fishing piers or vessels berthed at slips."
I don't think it's really even about the law. I think it's about enforcement and enforcement is whatever happens that day.
For me, I tread as lightly as possible when I fish... for many reasons. Not the least being that I'm there to have fun and drama isn't fun for me. But it's obvious that some people thrive on drama and we each have to do what we think is best.