US fishing numbers on the rise
Campaigns to get people to enjoy the great world of fishing seem to be working in the USA reports Ken Moran of the New York Post.
In 2009, more anglers got out of the house and out on the water as fishing license sales rose by 4.7 percent in states that participate in the fishing license sales index released by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). New York and New Jersey are on that list.
The 12-state index represents recreational fishing in the United States. Eight of those states recorded higher license sales increases from January through December of 2009 over the previous year, according to Southwick Associates, a research firm that monitored the license sales information.
"Although the RBFF/ASA Fishing License Sales Index is a strong indicator of fishing license sales, it isn't an exact measure of all fishing license sales nationally," said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. "However, should the 4.7-percent rise hold true nationwide, it would represent one of the largest percentage increases in fishing license sales in over 30 years.
"The typical angler spends $176 a year on just fishing tackle alone and contributes more than $40 annually to conservation via license dollars and excise taxes," Nussman said. "When the license sales index moves by just a tenth of a point, 40,000 anglers have entered or quit sportfishing. Even a small uptake in the index represents big changes in recreational fishing participation."
RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson also said there has been an increase in recreational fishing.
"We feel confident that our national Take Me Fishing direct mail marketing program and other efforts designed to reach lapsed anglers contributed to the 2009 rise in fishing license sales," Peterson said.
Ultimately, anglers, and other sportsmen, are the most significant funding source for conservation in the United States. Through the purchase of fishing licenses and special excise taxes on gear and motorboat fuel, hundreds of millions of anglers' dollars each year are collected or funneled to states for conservation and recreation.
In 2008, $720 million of these excise taxes were distributed for fisheries management and recreational boating enhancement. In addition, fishing license sales generated $600 million in revenue for state fish and wildlife agencies.