A Stream That Flows Into A Lake Or River Economic Impact Of Sportfishing

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Economic Impact Of Sportfishing

As anglers, I doubt we realize how much we influence our nations economy. Hopefully this will give you some insight into the positive cash flow we are so passionate about.

In the past I have designed two websites for tournament anglers and in the process I wanted to collect data to help potential supporters and sponsors realize impact and participation. I recently “rediscovered” that data and thought you might find it interesting. So below are some figures I have collected from various sources that paint a better picture of how fishing has evolved over the national past to make money.

Right now, the only wave your angling buddy likes is the one made by the fish he lands on the end of the line. But all around, the money spent buying tackle, gas for the boats, and film to record what doesn’t make it, is having a tremendous, positive effect on the economy. On average, an angler spends more than $1,200 on sport each year. Hidden, but none the less real, is the multiplier factor that effectively triples what you spend due to initial spending volatility in the economy. For example $10 an angler plunked down for a new lure. Like the ripples created after the bait hits the water, it spreads outwards. That revenue helps the store owner pay her rent, bills and staff. These individuals then use some of that money for other goods and services, and the ripple effect spreads and repeats itself. Of course, ten dollars on its own isn’t very significant, but when 44 million anglers spend $41.5 billion in one year, the impact on jobs, wages and other economic outcomes is a tremendous pillar of America’s economic health. More focused on playing fish on the end of the line, your typical angler gives little thought to how his hobby is helping to benefit his fellow Americans. The 1.1 million jobs, $7.3 billion in tax revenue and $30 billion in wages generated by recreational fishing are far greater than those created by corporate giants like Ford, Microsoft or Nike. With more than $116 billion in gross production, this remarkably simple act of sinking a line in the water provides nine times the economic benefits of commercial fishing. ‘

“I love to fish because it’s completely relaxing. I love the water. I can concentrate and forget all my worries. I count my blessings when I’m fishing.’ George Bush, President.”

44.4 million Americans age 7 and older fish2 (approximately 50 million fish with all age groups). One in six US residents age 16 and older is a fish. 1 25 percent of US male fish, and 8 percent of US female fish. 1 Excluding those fishing the Great Lakes, freshwater anglers make up 82 percent of all anglers. Anglers spend an average of 16 days fishing and take an average of 13 fishing trips per year. Anglers age 16 and older took 365 million freshwater fishing trips totaling 467 million days in 2001. Including saltwater anglers, 437 million fishing trips were taken for a total of 557 million days. From 1991 to 1996, freshwater fishing days increased by 13 percent. The average number of freshwater fishing days per angler increased from 14.3 in 1991 to 16.7 in 1996. Between 1980 and 1995, the number of Americans fishing increased by 16 percent. Residents of the South accounted for the largest increase in fishing (21 percent) in the United States between 1980 and 1995. Between 1980 and 1995, male fishing increased by 14 percent.

Popularity:

Fishing is the 4th most popular participation sport in the country. It is ahead of cycling, bowling, basketball, golf, jogging, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, football and skiing. Only walking, swimming and camping are more popular. Americans eat more fish than play golf and tennis combined. Americans eat more fish than they play soccer and basketball. The number of youth ages 12 to 17 participating in freshwater fishing has increased by 10.9 percent since 1991 to 4.5 million. During the same period, the number of 12- to 17-year-olds playing baseball dropped 15.4 percent to 4 million. Participation in basketball, softball, tennis, and volleyball fell between 2 and 46 percent. Fishing is the second most popular water-related outdoor sport in the United States. Swimming is number one. Freshwater fishing is one of the top-five participating sports in 7 states. Fishing in general (both freshwater and saltwater) is one of the top-five participating sports in 18 states. Fishing is the No. 1 participation sport in Minnesota, Florida, New Jersey and North Carolina.

Women and Minorities:

11.9 million women 7 and older fish. This is more than the number participating in jogging, basketball, volleyball, softball, golf or tennis. Freshwater fishing is the 10th most popular sport among women. 2 26.8 percent of all anglers are female 2 (representing 8 percent of the US female population). 5 percent of all anglers are black (blacks represent 7 percent of the population). 5 percent of all anglers are Hispanic (Hispanics represent 7 percent of the population). Between 1980 and 1995, the number of women fishing increased by 19 percent compared to 14 percent for men. The region with the highest increase in the number of women fishermen is the North East. Women spend an average of $246 per year on trip-related fishing expenses and $70 per year on fishing equipment totaling $3 billion. Hispanics fish at lower rates than African-Americans and women, but they spend more money on average — $434 per angler for trips and $154 for equipment. Hispanics spent a total of $696 million per year on fishing trips and equipment. Spending on fishing equipment among African-American anglers increased 43 percent between 1991 and 1996. African-American anglers spend an average of $324 per year on trip-related fishing expenses and $128 per year on fishing equipment for a total of $814 million. African-American anglers spend more days fishing (22 vs. 18) and travel more (18 vs. 14) than all anglers on average. 64 percent of African-American anglers live in the South compared to 39 percent of all anglers. 43 percent of female anglers live in the South. 16 percent of African-American anglers live in the Midwest. 26 percent of female anglers live in the Midwest. 43 percent of Hispanic anglers live in the South. 38 percent of Hispanic anglers live in the West compared to 20 percent of all anglers. Between 1991 and 1996, the number of days spent fishing by African-American anglers increased by 72 percent, compared to 22 percent for all anglers. From 1991 to 1996, the number of days fished by female anglers increased by 15 percent. The number of days spent fishing by Hispanic anglers remained stable between 1991 and 1996, but expenditures on fishing trips increased by 50 percent during the same period. In 2001, 1.9 million persons with disabilities age 16 and older took 33 million fishing trips, spending 41 million days fishing.

People fish why fish:

33 percent of anglers relax to fish. 25 percent of anglers fish as a way to spend time with family and friends. 65 percent of non-anglers and 88 percent of anglers say they would like to go fishing or would like to fish more often if a child asked.

What people fish for and where they fish:

Bass fishing is one of the most popular forms of fishing in the United States. 38 percent of all freshwater anglers in the United States fish for black bass. 28 percent of freshwater fishers fish for trout. 28 percent of freshwater anglers fish for panfish. 27 percent of freshwater anglers fish for catfish. Bass are found on 36 percent of all freshwater fishing days. 92 percent of freshwater anglers fish in their state of residence. 23 percent of freshwater fish go out of state. 85 percent of freshwater fish live in flat water, including lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. 44 percent of freshwater anglers fish rivers and streams.

US Anglers by Age Group:

17 percent of 16- to 17-year-olds fish, including 4 percent of all anglers. 13 percent fish between the ages of 18 and 24, with 9 percent of all anglers. 25 to 34-year-olds account for 19 percent of fish, including 19 percent of all anglers. 21 percent fish between the ages of 35 and 44, with 27 percent of all anglers. 17 percent fish between the ages of 45 and 54, with 20 percent of all anglers. 16 percent fish between the ages of 55 and 64, with 12 percent of all anglers. 8 percent of 65+ year olds fish, including 9 percent of all anglers. Between 1980 and 1995, fishing among 35- to 44-year-olds increased by 60 percent. This was the largest increase of any group.

Economic impact of fishing:

Anglers spent $35.6 billion in 2001 pursuing their sport. They spent $14.7 billion on fishing trips, $17 billion on equipment, and $4 billion on licenses, stamp tags, land leases and ownership, membership dues and contributions, and magazines. 1 If hypothetically ranked as a corporation, this revenue figure would place Sport Fishing at number 32 on the 2002 Fortune 500 list of America’s largest companies. The total economic output generated by freshwater fisheries in 2001, including suppliers of goods and services to retailers, retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers, as well as indirect and induced impacts from these activities, was over $74 billion. Including saltwater fisheries, economic output reached $116 billion. Fishing-related expenses cost the average angler $1,046. In 2001, freshwater fishing expenditures generated more than $19.4 billion in wages. Including saltwater fishing, $30.1 billion in wages was generated (a 23 percent increase since 1991). Freshwater fishing supports 683,892 full-time jobs. Including saltwater fishing, the total is over 1 million (a 16 percent increase since 1991). In 2001, $2.07 billion was spent on fisheries management. Fishing tackle ranks 4th in terms of consumer spending for non-team sports equipment. Golf equipment is number one followed by exercise equipment and firearms for hunting. Florida anglers spend more than $4 billion annually on fishing and related equipment. California and Texas anglers spend more than $2 billion. Angler spending in Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina and Wisconsin exceeds $1 billion.

Economic impact of fishing:

US Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service and US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Related Recreation. National Sporting Goods Association. Sports participation in 2001. Harrisonburg, Va. The Future of Fisheries Project by Responsive Management of the American Sportfishing Association. 2001 Demographics and Economic Impact of Sport Fishing in the United States. Participation and Expenditure Patterns of African-American, Hispanic, and Female Hunters and Anglers. Supplement to the 1996 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Related Recreation. Black bass fishing in the 1996 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. 1980-1995 Involved in fishing, hunting and wildlife monitoring. National and regional demographic trends. Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Web site, restorewildlife.org.

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