February NewsWaves 2018

Table of Contents


RBFF Secures Funding for Another Five Years

Thanks to the strong support of our industry and state agency stakeholders, RBFF’s mission to increase fishing and boating participation will be funded through March 2023. In an announcement on February 23, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Interior and Secretary Ryan Zinke outlined their $60 million cooperative agreement with RBFF to continue to recruit, retain and reactivate (R3) anglers and boaters. Also announced, $14 million in Boating Infrastructure Grants (BIG), which support water-related outdoor recreation and tourism by improving facilities for large transient recreational boats across the country.

“Outdoor recreation is a key part of our American heritage, and boating and fishing in particular are how many Americans enjoy our public waters,” said Secretary Zinke. “The new cooperative agreement with RBFF is going to make sure we are reaching new anglers and boaters from all ages to get out on the water. The BIG grants help ensure that those new recreationists, as well as those who have enjoyed these activities for years, experience improved access to fishing opportunities with safer and more user-friendly recreational boating facilities.”

“These funds will allow us to work with our partners at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in our effort to increase angler and boater participation, ultimately reaching our 60 in 60 goal,” said Frank Peterson, RBFF President & CEO. “The work we do helps provide our state and federal agencies with critical dollars to carry out conservation programs, ensuring safe, clean and productive waterways for generations to come.”

RBFF will continue to utilize the funds to push forward toward the 60 in 60 goal, utilizing its national Take Me FishingTM campaign to engage families and outdoor enthusiasts in fishing and boating. Additionally, RBFF works with state agencies and industry partners to keep fishing and boating as top-of-mind activities among consumers. And all of this work is having an impact. Over the last 10 years, fishing participation has increased by nearly 20%, with current participation rates the highest they’ve been since 1991. Fishing license sales are also up, increasing 4.26% since 2005, and just last year boat registrations saw their first increase since 2009.

Thank you for the help so far, including the hundreds of letters of support we received from our state and industry stakeholders. We look forward to continuing to advance the activities we care about so much over the coming five years.


Segment Growth, Emerging Audiences on Display at Miami Boat Show

Just as participation in fishing has steadily risen in recent years, so has boating. In fact, during his presentation at the Progressive Insurance Miami international Boat Show, Lucas Hitt of the Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed boating and fishing accounted for the second-largest growth rates among outdoor recreation, just behind bicycling. The boating segment grew 4 percent last year and experienced a 5.8 percent growth rate from 2012 to 2016. While outdoor recreation as a whole has also been growing, boating has grown at nearly twice the rate.

Our own President & CEO, Frank Peterson expanded on the trend of growth with his presentation on consumer trends and emerging audiences during the Innovation Breakfast. Becoming a significant focus for RBFF and its Take Me Fishing consumer-facing campaign is the female audience. Women made up 45 percent of new fishing participants in 2016, and nearly half of those women were between the ages of 6 and 12. Additionally, RBFF will continue to target younger and more diverse audiences, including Hispanics, with inclusive messaging and images. The Hispanic market is growing in both size and purchasing power (currently at $1.5 trillion), making them an increasingly critical audience to engage.

Peterson’s entire presentation on how the industry should focus on inclusion can be viewed here:

Recruiting New Boaters & Anglers from Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation


A High-Tech Approach to a Low-Tech Activity

How is your organization using technology to engage with customers? While fishing and boating have been primarily about spending time in nature and escaping technology, today’s environment is increasingly tech-focused. While you can still get customers to disconnect with the help of your products and services, it’s more important than ever to connect with them via technology. Join RBFF’s Director of Online Strategy & Operations, Maria Knight as we discuss how technology has changed in the last 10 years and how RBFF is making the most of technological advancements to engage new audiences.

  1. How does RBFF's new Places to Fish & Boat Map improve the customer experience?
  2. What are some lessons learned from managing RBFF’s digital properties for over 10 years?
  3. Why is technology important to fishing and boating participation?
  4. Which technology trends are key to the fishing and boating industry?
  5. Name your favorite resources for keeping up with advancements in technology.

Follow us on LinkedIn and let us know how you’re using technology to reach your customers!