Economic Contributions of Recreational Fishing by U.S. States and Congressional Districts Released

Information identifies the recreational fishing industry’s important role within the American economy.

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) released the 2023 Economic Contributions of Recreational Fishing: U.S. Congressional Districts report, an update of previous data collected by ASA in partnership with Southwick Associates. The data reflects angler participation and economic impacts across all 50 states and the country’s 435 congressional districts.

America’s 52.4 million anglers contribute $148 billion in economic output and support 945,500 jobs across the entire country, while also contributing $1.8 billion towards conservation. While jobs supported include the manufacturing and sales of fishing equipment and gear, recreational fishing also supports jobs in additional industries, such as hotel lodging, restaurants, charter boat trips and more.

“As Congress debates future legislation that affects our industry, it is important that Members of Congress have data to make the best available decision,” said ASA Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Leonard. “This study will help show Members of Congress that recreational fishing is an economic driver and job creator in their state or district. We hope that this information drives home the tremendous value sportfishing has to the nation and, therefore, the importance of supporting fisheries conservation and public access.”

Following the data’s release, Southwick Associates President Rob Southwick stated, “While sportfishing provides millions of days of escape and fun across the country, many people do not realize its significant economic contributions. Sportfishing is an economic engine that needs the same level of care and considerations as other critical industries.”

The data were compiled through both previous estimates from past ASA studies and data collected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. State and district-level data is estimated from mapping and population software that identifies smaller geographic areas, specifically Congressional districts. The study is based on 2021 estimates identifying angler participation and spending trends. 

The full report may be found here while more information on ASA’s advocacy efforts both on and off Capitol Hill can be found here.

Top 5 States in Economic Output

Florida: $13.9 billion

Texas: $7.7 billion

California: $6.2 billion

Minnesota: $4.2 billion

Michigan: $3.9 billion 

Top 5 States in % of Population that Fishes

Alaska: 64%

Wyoming: 58%

South Dakota: 48%

Rhode Island: 39%

Oklahoma: 37% 

Top 5 Congressional Districts in Economic Output

Alaska At Large (Rep. Mary Peltola): $815.6 million

Minnesota CD-8 (Rep. Pete Stauber): $631.8

Minnesota CD-7 (Rep.  Michelle Fischbach): $589.7

Wyoming At Large (Rep. Harriet Hageman): $568.3

South Dakota At Large (Rep. Dusty Johnson): $558.5 

Top 5 Congressional Districts in Total Jobs Supported

Alaska At Large (Rep. Mary Peltola): 6,101

Florida CD-9 (Rep. Darren Soto): 4,495

Florida CD-11 (Rep. Daniel Webster): 4,470

Florida CD-16 (Rep.  Vern Buchanan): 4,424

Florida CD-5 (Rep. John Rutherford): 4,392 

Top 5 Congressional Districts in % of Population that Fishes

Alaska At Large (Rep. Mary Peltola): 63%

Wyoming At Large (Rep. Harriet Hageman): 58%

South Dakota At-Large (Rep. Dusty Johnson): 47%

Wisconsin CD-7 (Rep. Tom Tiffany): 42%

Minnesota CD-8 (Rep. Pete Stauber): 41%

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The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 55 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate more than $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for 825,000 people.

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