National Wildlife Refuge System
Saltwater Fishing on Refuges

Saltwater fishing has been one of the fastest growing segments in the angling sports. Saltwater fly-fishing, in particular, has made some extraordinary gains. You'll find these trends well reflected in the sport fishing programs offered at coastal national wildlife refuges.

One reason wildlife refuges have become so attractive to saltwater anglers is that they frequently provide excellent fishing opportunities — and sometimes the only public access for miles around.

The variety of saltwater species at coastal refuges is extraordinary. On the East Coast, estuary and bay anglers seek out flounder and spotted seatrout; many pursue the redfish, or red drum.

A popular saltwater panfish species along the Chesapeake Bay and in the coastal Carolinas is the Norfolk spot, an excellent table fish. For bigger game, many surf anglers try for the huge striped bass that prowl the waters of the beaches from Maine to Georgia.

In the Gulf region, Florida refuges frequently feature exceptional snook fishing, with redfish and tarpon as possible bonuses. This is also the realm of the seatrout, which are popular fare with thousands of anglers from Florida to Texas.

The great Pacific coast lures fishermen with the promise of salmon, various Pacific cod and sundry surf species. North towards Alaska, the halibut reach gargantuan proportions, while the inviting seas surrounding Hawaii feature a bounty of game fish.

Last updated: October 7, 2008
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