New Report: Recreational Fishing’s Value by Congressional District

An economic analysis just released drills down to show the value of sport fishing to every Congressional district in the U.S. — see how your district compares.

New Report: Recreational Fishing’s Value by Congressional District
Data prove the power of recreational fishing as an economic engine for the country’s economy; more difficult to quantify is the sport’s immense value as a social/leisure activity.Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

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.

New Report: Recreational Fishing’s Value by Congressional District
The money anglers shell out for boats, electronics, tackle, fuel, lodging, food and more all contribute to the multiplier effect of their expenditures.Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

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.

New Report: Recreational Fishing’s Value by Congressional District
Established beyond dispute at this point is the value of a single fish taken recreationally as many — often dozens of — times its value in the haul of an industrial trawler or seiner.Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

For a quick look at your district, find the one-page infographic here. A separate report shows economic information state by state.

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.