Recreational Fishing's Economic Impact Across the U.S.

A new report offers a state-by-state and district-by-district breakdown of angling's contribution to the national economy.

fishing for redfish
The American Sportfishing Association revealed a new report that shows the extraordinary impact recreational fishing has on the United States economy.Doug Olander / Sport Fishing

The American Sportfishing Association and Southwick Associates released the 2017 update of Economic Contributions of Recreational Fishing: U.S. Congressional Districts. The report states America's 46 million anglers have a total economic impact of $115 billion for the United States.

The report, which describes the economic contributions for each state's economy from anglers who live within each district, also includes one-page infographics with economic impacts broken down for all 435 congressional districts and all 50 states.

The information uses data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services' National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, which was conducted along with the U.S. Census Bureau. The study used mapping and population software to focus on small geographic areas to provide information to members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The information in the report and infographics use data from the most recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Census Bureau, as presented in ASA’s Sportfishing in America report. The study used mapping and population software to hone in on smaller geographic areas in a way that is particularly relevant to members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The nation's recreational anglers generate more than $48 billion in retail sales and the $115 billion economic impact has created more than 800,000 jobs in the manufacturing, sale or provision of tackle and other fishing gear, along with the hospitality industry and boat builders.

“A top priority for Members of Congress is the ability to identify jobs and economic opportunity in their districts,” said American Sportfishing Association conservation director Mike Leonard. “By identifying recreational fishing’s economic impact at the Congressional district level, we can clearly show Members of Congress that recreational fishing in their district or state is a tremendous economic driver and job creator.”

Leonard further said, “Given the new Administration’s and Congress’ focus on job creation, it’s critically important that we provide accurate, detailed information to decision-makers on the tremendous value that recreational fishing provides to the nation.”

The report and congressional district infographics are available at the American Sportfishing Association website under Facts & Figures.