An exhaustive and fascinating look at how and how much anglers contribute to the nation’s economy — nationally, by state, and by region — has just come out from the American Sportfishing Association.
Southwick Associates issued 2019 Economic Contributions of Recreational Fishing: U.S. Congressional Districts which shows (in graphically compelling format) the sport’s economic impact on all 435 Congressional districts and all 50 states. That’s a breakdown of the nearly $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy from America’s 49 million anglers.
Most anglers should find it interesting reading, but most importantly, “For member of Congress, identifying jobs and the economic impact in their districts is always a prime concern,” points out ASA’s government affairs vice-president Mike Leonard. And the figures show legislators that “recreational fishing in their district or state is a tremendous economic driver and job creator.”
For every Congressional district in the country, the report lists District Number and Representative, followed by the recreational fishing’s contribution to that district in terms of number of anglers, retail sales, salaries and wages, job, federal and state/local tax revenues and more.
Some highlights from the report (using figures from the most recent full year available, 2016):
- Florida boasts the greatest number of anglers (who fish fresh and/or salt) living/fishing in the state, with well over 4 million.
- The only other state in the 4-million club is Texas, just behind Florida.
- Otherwise, no states have more than 3 million anglers, but 7 top the 2-million mark: California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.
- Florida also leads the way in jobs related to sport fishing with nearly 55,000 and Texas close, at nearly 47,000; anglers generate more than $350 million and nearly $417 million respectively in state/local tax revenues.