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Preliminary findings by the USFWS also reveal increase in fishing expenditures

Recreational fishing participation increased nearly 20 percent over the past 10 years

Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media
Published September 14, 2017

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released its 2016 National Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation national survey. The survey, conducted every five years in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, shows fishing participation is up nearly 20% over the last 10 years. When adjusted for inflation, fishing-related revenue is also up over the last five years.

"We're excited to see the fruits of our efforts to increase fishing and boating participation validated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's latest report - a true benchmark of the industry," said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. "The results of this report show that RBFF has had a positive impact on participation since its inception, and we only plan to build upon these numbers."

Overall, fishing participation increased 8.2% over the last five years. Looking back even further, participation is up nearly 20% over the last 10 years and reached its highest mark since 1991. Revenue also increased to $46.1 billion in 2016.

"Dedicated efforts by the RBFF, state fish and wildlife agencies, the recreational fishing industry and independent programs have made increases in recreational fishing possible," said American Sportfishing Association's (ASA) Glenn Hughes, vice president of Industry Relations. "Thanks also goes to ASA's Government Affairs team and our partners who helped ensure that legislation and policy decisions were in place to provide access, clean water and fisheries conservation which anglers need for a successful day on the water."

As RBFF looks to grow fishing participation even further, striving for 60 million anglers by 2021 through the 60 in 60 goal, even more emphasis will be placed on effectively reaching anglers through recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) practices. Several of RBFF's state agency and industry partners are already following RBFF's lead in implementing these R3 practices, but even more will need to be done to ensure we reach the 60 million angler mark. Learn how you can get involved at ASA has also developed a series of tools specifically targeted at helping the fishing industry increase buy-in of the 60 in 60 goal and assist members of this community in increasing participation with effective recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) practices.

A press release with more details on overall wildlife-related participation is available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.