Fishing continues to be a favorite pastime in the United States. In 2001, 16% of the U.S. population 16 years old and older (34 million anglers) spent an average of 16 days fishing. Freshwater fishing was the most popular type of fishing with over 28 million anglers devoting nearly 467 million angler-days to the sport.

Find Recreation Areas with Fishing Activities

What do we mean by Fishing?

RecML, the recreation standard that is being developed, describes fishing as:

fishing (overall), freshwater fishing, warm water fishing, cold water fishing

Practice Good Stewardship of our Waterways:

You can help to take care of our lakes, rivers, and other waterways so that others may enjoy these areas for years to come by practicing some of the following actions:

Don't Litter... take along a trash bag or other receptacle for collecting your trash so that you can deposit it in the proper trash receptacle. Use proper dumping stations instead of tossing refuse into the water.

Make sure that you use the correct type of bait and fishing gear permitted in that area. There may also be limits on the number, size, and kind of fish that you can keep. Check with your destination ahead of time to see what the local regulations allow. If you use a boat or watercraft when fishing, check to see what kinds of watercraft are allowed at the body of water where you are going to fish.

Pay attention to local procedures and cautions for cleaning your watercraft after you leave the water so that you don't encourage the spread of npn-native species, such as the Zebra Mussel, to the next body of water you may visit with your boat.

Don't fish in areas where it is not permitted. These areas have been declared "off limits" to fishing to protect wildlife, vegetation, or for your safety.

Safety While Fishing:

  • If using a boat to fish, wear your life jacket and make sure that your passengers wear theirs, too !
  • Use caution when baiting and removing hooks
  • Do not fish on unauthorized waterways
  • If operating a houseboat, be careful of carbon monoxide build-up around the boat
  • Obey the posted speedlimits and wake warnings if using a watercraft when fishing
  • Bring along extra safety items such as water, flashlights, maps, and a cellphone or radio
photo courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama
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