Overview of the Issue

The Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (SFRBTF) is a voluntary, user fee system created by recreational anglers and boaters in 1950 to pay for critical conservation programs and recreational fishing and boating infrastructure projects in all 50 states.

The SFRBTF, which is funded in part by the federal excise tax on fishing equipment paid by the sportfishing industry, funds state-based programs for sportfish conservation and habitat restoration, infrastructure for boating access and education for anglers and boaters.

This SFRBTF is funded through multiple sources of revenue including the federal excise tax on recreational fishing equipment, the boat fuel tax, and import duties. Each year, about $650 million is provided from the SFRBTF to state wildlife agencies for fisheries management and restoration projects as well as boating infrastructure and other purposes.

What ASA is Doing

Legislation has been reintroduced in both chambers of Congress to reauthorize the SFRBTF. Officially known as the Sport Fish Restoration, Recreational Boating Safety, and Wildlife Restoration Act of 2021, the new bill would not only reauthorize the SFRBTF through 2025 but also provide important administrative improvements to improve the efficiency of the program.

On June 15, 2021, the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion held a hearing to examine the state of outdoor tourism and the recreation industry, including the impacts of COVID-19 on businesses and communities. ASA President Glenn Hughes provided testimony on the contributions that anglers and the sportfishing and boating industries have on our nation’s economy as well as highlighting the pending reauthorization of the SFRBTF and its importance to our nation’s natural resources. Read Glenn’s testimony.

What You Can Do

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For more information, contact ASA Government Affairs Vice President Mike Leonard.