For Many Americans, Fishing Has Been a Favorite Family Pastime for Generations
On average, 8.6 million anglers fish in the U.S. each year. Because of its popularity, recreational fishing has become big business in the U.S., with an average of 202 million fishing trips taken annually. This industry is estimated to support more than 487,000 jobs and bring nearly $74 billion in sales impacts each year.
Healthy Fisheries Create Better Fishing Opportunities
And yet, looking at photos from yesteryear show us that fishing just isn’t what it used to be. Overfishing has not only reduced the number of fish in the water, but it’s also affected the average size of the fish over time. Without healthy fish populations, anglers will experience few opportunities to hook “the big one” when they head out on the water.
The Network is working to ensure America’s recreational fishing pastime remains vibrant by promoting responsible fishing and conservation-based management of the fish people love to catch. We must balance the needs of all users when managing natural resources, including recreational and charter fishing businesses, while also providing Americans the opportunity to participate in our recreational fishing tradition. We can achieve this by improving catch data collection from the recreational fishing sector to enhance stock assessments and improve our science-based management of our fisheries, as well as manage our fisheries for abundance for improved fishing opportunities.