Fishing and Boating Research

To better understand recreational boating and fishing and aquatic resource stewardship, RBFF works with a variety of market research and consulting firms. Below are the final reports for a number of market research studies commissioned by RBFF.

July 2019

2019 Special Report on Fishing

Detailed information and trends on fishing participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region. The report is conducted by RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation.

Final Report
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JUNE 2019

State Fishing License Sales Trends Analysis

Analysis of state and national trends in fishing license sales confirming the effectiveness of recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) efforts on growth. Conducted by RBFF in partnership with the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), this research was carried out by Southwick Associates and looks at license data and participation rates for 12 states over a 25-year period.

Final Report

April 2019

Conservation Study

This continuing research is aimed at understanding consumers’ awareness of fishing licenses and their linkage to conservation. A key objective of this research is to determine if conservation is a main message to be leveraged in brand communications. Additional consumer messages are also tested to see if they might better drive licensing behavior among specific outdoor enthusiast audiences.

Read the Full Report here


 

JANUARY 2019

High School Fishing Club Survey

During the past several years, the angling community has implemented multiple strategies to recruit, retain and reactivate anglers. High school fishing clubs and programs are a rapidly growing part of the R3 picture. While thousands of youth are participating, the degree to which these programs are recruiting new anglers or reinforcing fishing as a lifelong activity (retention) are not known. If additional resources are to be invested in high school fishing clubs these questions need to be answered, along with learning how these clubs can best be structured and served to maximize their contributions to RBFF’s “60 in 60” goals. This project provided answers and quantified club members’ level of experience prior to joining clubs, their motivations and other insights to lead strategies that maximize results from these growing programs.

Read the Full Report here


 

JULY 2018

The Future of Hunting and Fishing Project

The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports, along with support from RBFF and the American Sportfishing Association, commissioned a study with Dr. Loren Chase, of Chase and Chase Consulting, to examine shifts in demographics of cohorts of hunters and anglers through time.

Project Overview
Project Report
Fishing Participation Trend Graph


2018 Special Report on Fishing

Detailed information and trends on fishing participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region. The report is conducted by RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation.

Final Report
Infographic
 

AUGUST 2017

2016 Recreational Boating Participation Study

The study, prepared by QSA Research & Analytics and released by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), RBFF and Discover Boating, assessed the total number of boaters in the United States. Also included in the study are profiles of key audiences and participation trends.

Email Stephanie Vatalaro for the Final Report


 

JULY 2017

2017 Special Report on Fishing

Detailed information and trends on fishing participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region. The report is conducted by RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation.

Final Report
Infographic
 

November 2016

Recommendations and Strategic Tools for Effective Angler Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) Efforts

Prepared by the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) and Bob Byrne Consulting, this document is a work product of the partnership between the Aquatic Resources Education Association (AREA) and RBFF. Developed with the support and contributions of the Angler R3 State Agency Working Group, this document provides recommendations and strategic tools to enable state agencies, nongovernment organizations and industry to improve the effectiveness of angler recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) efforts nationally.

Final Report
 

OCTOBER 2016

RBFF-GA New Angler Retention Pilot Program

Prepared by Southwick Associates, this report presents the results of a pilot program conducted by RBFF and the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division to assess the effect of email communication on the retention of first-time fishing license buyers.

Final Report
 

July 2016

2016 Special Report on Fishing

Conducted by RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation, provides detailed information on participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region.

Final Report
Infographic
 

March 2016

Highlights of Angler Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) Literature

Prepared by Bob Byrne Consulting for RBFF and the Aquatic Resources Education Association (AREA), this review summarizes recent literature on angler recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3), including angler numbers, behaviors, churn rates, trends, motivations, barriers, potential marketing strategies and other issues that may affect R3 efforts. This literature review is part of a larger RBFF-AREA partnership project, with the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI), to develop angler R3 guidelines to provide a framework for industrywide angler R3 programs.

Final Report

 

FEBRUARY 2016

RBFF/CAHSS Conservation Study

Produced by RBFF and the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports (CAHSS) and conducted by Colle + McVoy and Carbonview Research, this study reveals detailed information on anglers’, boaters’, hunters’ and recreational shooters’ current awareness of the connection between conservation and licenses. This first-time study surveyed a total of 1540 respondents (788 anglers and boaters; 752 hunters and shooting sport participants) and benchmarked participants’ awareness of conservation, knowledge of how licenses and excise taxes fund conservation, and messages that targeted audience groups are most likely to respond to.

Final Report
 

July 2015

RBFF Retail Customer Experience Assessment: Fly Fishing

Conducted by RBFF , AFFTA and Market Viewpoint, LLC., RBFF Retail Customer Experience Assessment: Fly Fishing is an in-depth report examining the current fishing and boating retail consumer shopping experience. The report contains mystery shopper experiences and includes results and opportunities from various demographic and skill-level segments. This is a follow-up to the initial analysis of the fly-fishing retail experience.

Final Report
Infographic
 

July 2015

2015 Special Report on Fishing

Conducted by RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation, provides detailed information on participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region.

Final Report
Infographic
 

August 2014

RBFF Retail Customer Experience Assessment

Conducted by RBFF and Market Viewpoint, LLC., RBFF Retail Customer Experience Assessment is an in-depth report examining the current fishing and boating retail consumer shopping experience. The report contains mystery shopper experiences and includes results and opportunities from various demographic and skill-level segments.

Final Report
 

July 2014

2014 Special Report on Fishing

Conducted by RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation, provides detailed information on participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region.

Final Report
 

May 2014

2014 Insights into First-Time Fishing License Buyers Report

Conducted by Southwick Associates on behalf of RBFF, this survey analysis presents findings regarding first-time fishing license buyers’ motivations for fishing, and their expectations and preferences regarding their fishing experiences.

Final Report
 

November 2013

2013 First-Time Fishing License Buyers Focus Group Report

Conducted by Responsive Management on behalf of RBFF, the focus group research examined the motivations, interests and expectations of first-time fishing license buyers.

Final Report
 

August 2013

2013 First-Time Anglers Analysis National Summary Report

Conducted by Southwick Associates on behalf of RBFF, identifies and characterizes the differences between first-time anglers and repeat anglers to provide insights that can inform efforts to retain anglers.

Final Report
 

June 2013

The Special Report on Fishing & Boating

Conducted by RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation, provides detailed information on participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region. This fifth annual report gathered information potential new fishing participants, boating participation and contains information on Hispanic participants.

Final Report
 

March 2013

RBFF Online Fishing License Assessment: 2012

Conducted by RBFF and prepared by Southwick Associates, RBFF's Online Fishing License Assessment: 2012 is an in-depth report examining the current non-resident online fishing license purchase process. A white paper summarizing the findings, The Connected Angler: Six Ways to Improve Anglers' Online License Purchase, is also available and includes an assessment of the current state license purchasing processes online, shareable consumer-friendly best practices and prevalent problems, and specific recommendations for widespread implementation.

Final Report
White Paper
 

June 2012

The Special Report on Fishing & Boating

Conducted by RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation, provides detailed information on participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region. This fourth annual report gathered information on the fishing “churn” rate, potential new fishing participants and boating participation.

Final Study
 

August 2011

The Special Report on Fishing & Boating

Conducted by RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation, provides detailed information on participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region. This third annual report was expanded to look at the fishing "churn" rate, potential for new fishing participants and the use of technology.

Final Study
 

March 2011

Niche Segment Analysis

Conducted by SMARI on behalf of RBFF, explores attitudes and behavior among specific potential niche markets - including women, seniors and ethnic groups - using existing segmentation data.

Final Study
 

February 2011

Market Segmentation Research

Conducted by SMARI on behalf of RBFF, identifies key markets for growth in boating and fishing and explores the attitudes and motivations of current participants, factors that influence participation and barriers to participation.

Final Study