An old and familiar Chinese proverb states “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” According to Anna Harris, an economist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, if a man has learned to fish for trout he fished an average of 11 days a year in 2006, had an above average education, earned an above average income, spent $4.8 billion in pursuit of his prey, which generated $13.6 billion in economic output and 25 percent of the time — he was a she.
These are only a few brief highlights contained in a more detailed economic report compiled by Harris, Trout Fishing in 2006: A Demographic Description and Economic Analysis, just released by the Service. The report is an addendum to the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation published by the Service. The National Survey is a partnership effort with States and national conservation organizations and has become one of the most important sources of information on fish and wildlife recreation in the U.S. It is a useful tool that quantifies the economic impact of wildlife-based outdoor recreation.
The 2006 Survey is the eleventh in a series of surveys conducted about every 5 years that began in 1955. In addition to the national report and fifty state reports, the Service produces published addendums including such topics as trends in fishing and hunting recruitment and retention, the net economic values of wildlife-related recreation, and wildlife watching trends and economic impacts.
The report provides a range of fascinating statistics comparing all freshwater fishermen and women’s fishing tendencies and the frequency of activity in a regional and state by state presentation. That information forms the foundation for insights into the behavior of trout anglers, their spending habits and the economic significance their spending has and could have on economies large and small, nation-wide and in local communities.
The report is available online only at: http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/NationalSurvey/reports2006.html.