Recreational Fisheries will get a boost from collaboration of NOAA + Rec Fishing Industry

Winter 2013

Recreational fishing provides more than enduring stories and adventures. Behind every big fish is a big economic story. In 2011, there were approximately 11 million recreational saltwater anglers across the U.S, according to the 2011 Fisheries Economic Report recently released by NOAA Fisheries. They spent $4.5 billion on saltwater fishing trips and $22 billion on durable saltwater fishing-related equipment. These expenditures supported over 455,000 jobs nationwide. 

In the Pacific Northwest we enjoy both saltwater fishing along the coast and freshwater angling in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Salmon are the most popular species, but albacore, rockfish, Pacific halibut, Pacific mackerel, lingcod, clams, oysters, and Dungeness crab also are sought in recreational fisheries. In Washington over 321,000 anglers and in Oregon over 217,000 anglers took part in 1.8 million marine recreational fishing trips in 2011. Angler expenditures on travel, fishing equipment, and licenses provide significant economic benefits to local communities – in 2011, over $514 million throughout Washington and over $370 million throughout Oregon.

group photo

NOAA met in March with representatives of recreational fishing businesses and angler groups in Portland. Left to right: Mark Cedergreen, Steve Copps, Mike Bireley, Frank Lockhart, Bob Williams, Rod Sando, Glen Johnston, Russ Dunn, Butch Smith, Lee Blankenship, Leif Anderson, Ron Garner, John Holloway, Kevin Lanier, Loren Goddard, John Stein, Russell Basset, Tony Floor, Barry Thom, Liz Hamilton, Jim Martin, Bob Rees. NOAA photo.  

Recently leaders from NOAA Fisheries Northwest Region met with Northwest anglers to forge a stronger partnership. Participants discussed a range of issues, including better catch, effort, and economic data; improved and more regular communication regionally and nationally; and more consistent inclusion of recreational interests in fisheries management. Through this process, NOAA Fisheries is gathering input to enhance fishing opportunities in the Northwest. “We’d like to continue to engage the recreational fishing community, in current and future projects where we share a mutual interest,” said John Stein, Director of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

Following similar meetings across the country, the agency will generate the next generation Recreational Fishing Action Agendas to chart a path forward. “Recreational fisheries create important economic benefits to the Northwest,” said Barry Thom, Deputy Administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Northwest Region, “It’s part of our mission at NOAA Fisheries to support sustainable recreational fishing opportunities.

”For more information on recreational fishing in the northwest and across the country, visit