Young anglers, female anglers and fishermen in urban areas are most likely to go years without fishing regardless of where in the country they live, a follow-up report commissioned by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has revealed. The report, developed from a study on angler churn rates performed by Southwick Associates, does however highlight some regional differences in today’s anglers.
• Fishing participation is growing in roughly one-third of all
states. Between 2004 and 2013, 17 states saw angler numbers climb, while
the rest experienced declines or remained steady.
• More people travel to the West to fish, with 29 percent of non-resident angling licenses sold.
• Anglers in the Northeast and Midwest are more likely to remain active,
with more than 20 percent of anglers buying a license 5 out of 5 years.
• Regionally, the rate of not renewing fishing licenses is highest in
the Southeast (53 percent) and lowest in the Midwest (28 percent).
“We know the primary reasons why people fish is to have fun with
friends and family in an outdoor setting,” Rob Southwick, Southwick
Associates’ president said “This latest research shows that, with some
regional differences, younger anglers, women and urbanites are more
likely to find other ways to achieve these benefits besides fishing. If
fishing participation is to grow, we need to ensure fishing provides
these benefits conveniently and competitively.”
By identifying those groups most apt to sit out of fishing for a year
or more, the opportunity exists to craft programs to get them
re-engaged with fishing and/or improve their fishing experiences.
“I think the most important thing we’ve discovered is that our
challenge may not be as much about getting people to take up fishing as
it is keeping people fishing from year-to-year,” said Mike Nussman,
president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association. He noted
that after buying a license one year, approximately 15 million
people-almost half of all anglers-do not buy one the following year.
Nussman noted how important it is for game and fish agencies, as well
angling organizations, to work together to improve access, fishing
quality and convenience in order to entice more anglers to buy a license
In developing their findings, Southwick Associates examined 12 states
across the country, selected for their regional representation, and
looked at license purchase data over a 10-year period from 2004 to 2013
and a 5-year period from 2009 to 2013. The states selected to create a
nationally representative portrait of anglers included Colorado,
Florida, Georgia, Maine, Mississippi, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana,
New Hampshire, New York, Utah and Wisconsin.
For copies of the executive summary or the full report, visit
About Southwick Associates: Southwick Associates is a market research
and economics firm specializing in the hunting, shooting, sportfishing,
and outdoor recreation markets. Celebrating 25 years in 2015, Southwick
Associates is renowned for delivering comprehensive insights and
statistics assisting business and strategic decisions across the entire
outdoor industry; from government agencies, industry associations and
non-profit organizations, to affiliated businesses and manufacturers.
Aside from custom market research, and economic impact studies,
Southwick also provides syndicated participation, media consumption, and
equipment purchase tracking studies utilizing their three proprietary
sportsmen panels. Visit www.southwickassociates.com for more
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