July NewsWaves 2018

Table of Contents


2018 Special Report on Fishing: Participation Up by Two Million

More than 49 million Americans cast a line in 2017, demonstrating a year-over-year increase of nearly 2 million anglers according to RBFF’s 2018 Special Report on Fishing. At a time when Americans are collectively checking their phones more than 8 billion times a day, this new industry report shows that they are increasingly disconnecting and getting out on the water to catch fish.

“These are exciting figures that reflect the sustained growth in our industry,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “Getting more Americans to spend time outdoors is a crucial part of protecting our natural resources for future generations. The proceeds from fishing and boating licenses are reinvested directly into conservation and environmental education across the entire nation.”

Key findings from the 2018 Special Report on Fishing include:

  • 16.5 percent of US population participates in fishing.
  • 30.1 million people were interested in taking up fishing or rejoining the activity. This is the highest number of Americans interested in fishing since this figure started to be recorded in 2010.
  • Americans took 885 million total fishing trips, or an average of 18 trips per participant.
  • New fishing participants accounted for 6 percent of total participation and tended to be young.
  • 11.6 million youth participated in fishing, a 1.2 percent increase.
  • 4.2 million Hispanics went fishing in 2017 – A 400,000 person increase and the highest participation rate since the report was created in 2007. On average, Hispanic anglers went on four more outings per year than the general market.
  • 84.2 percent of fishing trips resulted in a catch, up slightly from last year.

Created in partnership with The Outdoor Foundation, the annual report summarizes data from 31,000 respondents to provide one of the most comprehensive looks at the state of U.S. fishing and boating participation. The full report, along with an accompanying infographic, is available in the RBFF Resource Center.


Making Anglers Out of Boaters with the Georgia DNR

Knowing that fishing is the number one activity done from a boat, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources saw an opportunity to recruit and reactivate its boaters and turn them into anglers. The program utilized the DNR’s database of anglers and boaters to create a list of registered boaters without active fishing licenses. In all, nearly 70,000 boaters with valid email addresses were sent an email encouraging them to purchase a fishing license:

Through targeted emails, the Georgia DNR was able to sell 1,860 licenses and generate $42,697 in total revenue when Sportfish Restoration Fund dollars and sales of related licenses and certifications as a result of this email were taken into account. The DNR was able to execute the entire campaign with resources that were already available to them and is planning on two subsequent emails to this group later this year. Learn more about the program here.


60 in 60 Takes Center Stage at ICAST

ICAST 2018 was an exciting time for RBFF, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the industry as a whole, as 60 in 60 took center stage. Teaming up on a new project this year, RBFF and ASA developed the 60 in 60 Booth at ICAST, which utilized interactive modules and informative seminars to educate the industry on all things 60 in 60.

Following a record-setting ICAST, RBFF sat down with ASA President, Glenn Hughes to get his thoughts on the show:

  1. What are your thoughts on ICAST 2018?
  2. Tell us about the 60 in 60 Booth at ICAST this year:
  3. What are some next steps for the industry?

To learn more and take action today, head to rbff.org/60in60.