How do anglers help with the management of our fishing resources? Just like hunters, anglers contribute to the financial support of our waterways, lakes and the animals that live in and around them.
State fisheries management, stocking, access, and habitat restoration projects are funded through a Federal excise tax on fishing-related products. States must provide matching funds, on a one to three ratio, for funds. To be eligible, states must guarantee that fishing license fees will not be diverted for non-fishing programs. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the agency that administers the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program, or Wallop-Breaux. The Service distributes this money to each of the states.
In 1950, Senator Edwin Johnson of Colorado and Representative John Dingell of Michigan were able to get the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act passed. Similar to the Pittman-Robertson Act, the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act places an excise tax on certain fishing equipment.
In 1984, Senator Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming and Senator John Breaux of Louisiana introduced some amendments that expanded the list of taxable sport fishing articles to include nearly all Sportfishing equipment, electric trolling motors, fish finders and the tax on motorboat fuel. The Act has had other changes. New programs, such as increased money for boating safety, new programs such as the coastal wetlands and clean vessel (pump-out) programs.
The 1996 survey showed approximately 35.2 million anglers spending $38 billion dollars annually. Over $5 billion dollars of this amount was spent on equipment. The most recent estimates have nearly 50 million Americans fishing for recreation. In pursuing their sport, these citizens spend nearly $40 billion annually.©2009 Al Shelton Web Pages