Good News: More Americans Are Fishing

A recent report released by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) revealed that more people are discovering and participating in fishing. The report notes findings from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) and Outdoor Foundation.

Per USFWS findings, there was a 1.79 percent uptick in fishing license sales last year. In fact, the 10-year change in fishing license sales is up 4.26 percent overall, marking a third consecutive year in sales increase after sluggish sales over the last couple of years.

Per the Outdoor Foundation, fishing –whether freshwater, saltwater, or fly fishing–is the third most popular outdoor activity enjoyed by youths. This includes 19.5% of youth ages six to 24, or 15.6 million participants. With respect to overall participation of youths from ages 6 to 24, fishing had the third highest frequency of outing,–averaging 16.1 outings per fishing participants, or 251.4 million total outings. For adults aged 25 and over, fishing is the second most popular outdoor activity including 14.6% of adults, or 31.5 million participants. Like the youth demographic, the adult demographic determined fishing to be the third activity with respect to frequency of participation–40.1 average outings per fishing participant, or 627.9 million total outings.

Here are some other highlights from the Outdoor Foundation’s report:

  • Fly fishing participation increased 9.8 percent over the last three years.
  • Freshwater fishing participation increased 0.9 percent over the last three years.
  • Saltwater fishing participation increased 4.0 percent over the last three years.

June 3-11, 2017, marks the annual National Fishing and Boating Week, in which states offer weekends of free fishing opportunities. To learn more about this annual celebration, visit

About the author

Gabriella Hoffman

Gabriella Hoffman is a media strategist based in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. She has written for The Resurgent since March 2016 and serves as their D.C. Correspondent.

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