California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Facts and Figures


California is a state of remarkable angling opportunities and a leader in the sheer amount and diversity of fishing experiences and outdoor opportunities that it offers.

California's land mass spans more than 158,000 square miles and includes 103 major streams, and 74 major rivers.

Total Inland Water Resources:

  • 4,172-lakes and Reservoirs
  • 29,664-miles of streams that support fish, including
  • 17,958-miles of coldwater streams
  • 3,337-miles of warmwater streams
  • 606-miles of tidal channels
  • 7,763-miles of coastal streams with andromous fish populations

California Department of Fish and Wildlife's (CDFW) Marine Region encompasses approximately 1,100-miles of California coastline, 200 miles out to sea - 220,000 square miles (state waters include shore to 3 miles out to sea).

The Passport Challenge list includes 150 of the most popular sport game fish species: 48 inland species, 86 ocean species and 16 marine and freshwater shellfish/invertebrate species.

Fishing Facts and Figures


According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more than 34 million Americans over the age of 16 went fishing in 2001. These 34 million anglers fished for more than 557 million days, and their expenditures on fishing equipment, transportation and lodging, and other expenses associated with their sport totaled more $35 billion.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's estimate of youth anglers (ages 6-15) in 2001 was 10.2 million. Approximately one-quarter of all anglers in the U.S. are under the age of 16. More than 44 million anglers in the nation enjoy fishing each year.

According to the America Sportfishing Association's (ASA) analysis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service data, the expenditures of anglers on fishing generate $116 billion in economic benefits to the U.S. economy, supports 1.1 million jobs, generates $30 billion in wages and $7.3 billion in tax revenues each year.


In 2001, 2.4 million people age 16 and older went fishing in California and spent over $2 billion in the process (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

CDFW estimates that there are 720,000 youth anglers under the age of 16 (based on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's estimate that one-quarter of all anglers in the nation are under 16).

According to an ASA analysis of expenditure estimates they generate economic benefits to the state of $4.9 billion, support more than 43,000 jobs that pay 1.3 billion in salaries and wages, and generate more than $456 million in state and federal taxes. The total economic impact of Sportfishing in California is second only to Florida.