Osprey Residents Get Back Beloved Fishing Pier


The historic Osprey Fishing Pier reopened in November 2014 after more than two years of being closed to the public for critical repairs. This well-known local landmark, often a reference point for searches of southern Sarasota homes for sale, was closed in May 2012. This after inspection by county engineers showed that the pier’s piling foundation has dangerously deteriorated and its wooden structure was already failing.

Work on the old pier’s demolition, installation of new piling and construction of the new pier began only in July 2014, because it took nine months to have a building permit approved. There was a lengthy permitting process as the federal government had found out that the waters near the pier are possible breeding grounds for an endangered local marine species, the smalltooth sawfish. A biologist had to conduct a study to ensure that construction activity would not adversely affect this fish’s habitat.

Friendly to the disabled

Osprey Residents Get Back Beloved Fishing Pier

The new pier project, the total cost of which amounted to $300,000, included improved access for people with disabilities. The railing around the pier features lowered sections to allow easier access for children and wheelchair-bound visitors.

The old pier used to be among the centers of Osprey community activities for decades, from the early 1940s and well into the 1970s. The pier and its immediate vicinity then were focal points for the annual Osprey boat race, as well as venue for festivals, picnics and fish fries organized by local groups.

Haven for old-style fishers

These activities tapered off after the 1970s, but the pier remained as a haven for old-style fishermen largely for sentimental reasons. Generations of Sarasota residents have learned and taught their siblings the joys of hand line and pole fishing in this pier located at the west end of Osprey’s Main Street.

The Osprey Fishing Pier also serves as a side attraction for visitors of the Historic Spanish Point, a 30-acre outdoor museum complex. This complex, located a short distance north of the pier, is dedicated to “5,000 years of history on Little Sarasota Bay.” Its features include a unique archaeological exhibit built inside a prehistoric shell mound, a turn-of-the century homestead house converted into a museum, a vintage citrus- packing house, a chapel, gardens, nature trails and a boatyard.

Boon to quality of life

Historic Spanish Point and the Osprey Fishing Pier are certainly assets to the local community as both significantly contribute to enhancing the quality of living around their area. Notably, several prime destinations in searching for Sarasota homes for sale can be found around this locality.

One of these is the Oaks Country Club, a golf community which traces its legacy from Bertha Honoré Palmer, the revered matriarch who contributed significantly to the development of Sarasota during the early 1900s. This member-owned, gated golf course community flaunts two championship golf courses and award-winning tennis programs. It also boasts of an elegant clubhouse which is host to three o the best restaurants in Osprey. The Oaks properties listed among Sarasota homes for sale range from two-bedroom homes priced in the $200s up to million-dollar priced mansions with up to seven bedrooms.