In North America, fishing access is an important issue for anglers. In the USA, access for freshwater fishing is often available within state parks, local facilities and national refuges.
Fishing is permitted on more than 270 national wildlife refuges. Other wildlife-dependent recreation on national wildlife refuges includes wildlife photography, environmental education, wildlife observation and interpretation.
Under the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, the Service can permit hunting and fishing as well as four other types of wildlife-dependent recreation where they are compatible with refuge purpose and mission. Hunting, within specified limits, is permitted on more than 300 national wildlife refuges.