Go Fish! ... at a National Wildlife Refuge

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There is nothing quite as relaxing, or as quintessentially American, as fishing in a natural setting. You can experience that feeling at more than 270 national wildlife refuges, 29 national fish hatcheries and many other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters. Virtually every type of sport fishing is represented, from remote fly fishing in Alaska … to saltwater fishing along the coasts … to largemouth bass fishing at more than 65 national wildlife refuges from Arkansas to the Carolinas to Florida.

Your Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuges is the place to start to discover wonderful waters, secluded spots and practical advice. In the guide you will find national wildlife refuges where saltwater anglers can catch striped bass, red drum or bluefish, where freshwater fishermen can hook trout, catfish, bass or salmon, and where ice fishing can yield bluegills, walleye, perch or pike. The guide offers fishing opportunities and tips for beginners and experts alike. An interactive map shows where to get licensed in all 50 states – because you do need a state license to fish.

Anne Poole and USFWS


National wildlife refuges in or near major cities are peaceful places where moms and dads and aunts and uncles can pass along the fishing tradition to the next generation. On the East Coast, try Parker River National Wildlife Refuge near Boston, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in Philadelphia, Patuxent Research Refuge between Baltimore and Washington, or Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge near Miami. Out west, Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in California and Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, just 12 miles from downtown Denver, are beautiful spots.