The information identifies the important role of the recreational fishing industry within the US economy.
The American Sport Fishing Association (ASA) launched the Economic Contributions of Recreational Fishing in 2023: US Congressional Districts report, an update to previous data collected by ASA in association with Southwick Associates. The data reflects fisherman participation and economic impacts in all 50 states and 435 constituencies nationwide.
America’s 52.4 million fishermen contribute $148 billion in economic output and support 945,500 jobs nationwide, while contributing $1.8 billion to conservation. While supported jobs include manufacturing and selling fishing equipment and tackle, recreational fishing also supports jobs in additional industries such as hotel accommodations, restaurants, charter boat travel and more.
“As Congress debates future legislation that affects our industry, it is important that members of Congress have data to make the best decision available,” said ASA Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Leonard. “This study will help show members of Congress that recreational fishing is an economic engine and job creator in their state or district. We hope this information drives home the tremendous value sport fishing has to the nation, and therefore the importance of supporting fisheries conservation and public access.”
Following the release of the data, Southwick Associates President Rob Southwick stated, “While sport fishing provides millions of days of escape and fun across the country, many people don’t realize its significant economic contributions. Sport fishing is an economic engine that needs the same level of care and consideration as other critical industries.”
The data was compiled through prior estimates from previous ASA studies and data collected by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) National Survey of Fish, Game, and Associated Wildlife. State and district level data are estimated from population and mapping software that identifies smaller geographic areas, specifically congressional districts. The study is based on 2021 estimates that identify fisher participation and spending trends.
The full report can be found here, while more information on ASA’s advocacy efforts both on and off Capitol Hill can be found here.
Top 5 States for Economic Production
- 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 fishing
- Alaska: 64%
- Wyoming: 58%
- South Dakota: 48%
- Rhode Island: 39%
- Oklahoma: 37%
Top 5 Congressional Districts for Economic Production
- 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 overall (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 Fishing
- Alaska overall (Rep. Mary Peltola): 63%
- Wyoming overall (Rep. Harriet Hageman): 58%
- South Dakota overall (Rep. Dusty Johnson): 47%
- Wisconsin CD-7 (Rep. Tom Tiffany): 42%
- Minnesota CD-8 (Rep. Pete Stauber): 41%
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The American Sport Fishing Association (ASA) is the trade association for the sport fishing industry committed to representing the interests of the sport fishing and boating industries, as well as the entire sport fishing community. We provide the industry and anglers with a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect the sport fishing business or sport fishing itself. ASA invests in companies for the long term to ensure the industry remains strong and prosperous, as well as to safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation, and social values of America’s sport fishing. ASA also gives America’s 55 million fishermen a voice in political decisions that affect their ability to fish sustainably in our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national fisherman advocacy campaign. America’s fishermen generate more than $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating jobs for 825,000 people.