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Recreational Fishing Continues to Increase in Popularity

Recreational fishing participation is up nearly 20 percent over the last 10 years, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s initial report of the 2016 National Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation national survey.

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For individuals 16 to 65 years of age, fishing participation increased 8.2 percent for over the last five years – the highest level of participation since 1991. Anglers also increased their overall spend by 2.4 percent during the past five years. Revenue from equipment purchases to all trip expenditures also increased from $45 billion to $46.1 billion in the last five years.

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“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 Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (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.”

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has developed tools and materials for the recreational fishing industry to further assist in the effort. The emphasis is on effectively reaching anglers through recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) practices. Several state agencies and industry partners are already implementing these R3 practices to help achieve 60 million anglers over the next 60 months.

The full press release with more details on overall wildlife-related participation is available from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. ASA will release a full report on the findings in the spring of 2018.

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