Americans fishing in the United States. National Fishing and Boating Week, National Hunting and Fishing Day, National Fishing Month and Free Fishing Days have all been created and are held to promote fishing in America. Well, this Saturday, June 18th is National Go Fishing Day. Collectively all of these reflect the popularity of fishing in our United States.
June in particular is a month when fishing gets national attention. Not only is the National Go Fishing Day held in June but, the National Fishing and Boating Week is usually the first week of June. June is also the month many states hold their “Free Fishing Day” when a state fishing license is usually not required. To find when your state has its free fishing day TakeMeFishing.org has a great reference guide at https://www.takemefishing.org/how-to-fish/how-to-catch-fish/free-fishing-days/
The popularity and impact of fishing in America is probably best summarized every 5 years when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services publishes its National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation report. The last report completed in 2016 and the 2021 report should be published later this year.
The report estimated that 35.7 million people (aged 16 or older) went fishing in America in 2016. This was almost an 8% increase from the 2011 report. The expected increase from 2016 to 2021 will probably be even greater as more people found outdoor activities to participate in due to COVID. Needless to say, there is a whole lot of people who fish in America.
The report also estimated that fishing generated $46.1 billion of expenditures in 2016. The expenditures include equipment, rentals, guide fees, bait, transportation, lodging and food. The 2021 report will probably also show a big increase in expenditures as more people got involved with fishing over the past couple of years. A recent article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/columnists/paul-smith/2022/06/16/dnr-facts-know-fishing-wisconsin/7632834001/ states that in Wisconsin alone fishing generates $3.8 billion of economic activity and is responsible for 21,500 jobs.
While not everyone who fishes compete in organized tournaments or contests, a good many of them do. My data shows that there are at least 2,400 organizations that hold some type of fishing competition every year. Participants for each event can number from less than 10 to over a 100. Every year in America there are 30,000 to 40,000 documented opportunities for an American to participate in a fishing competition. There are events in all 50 states. Some states may only have a few hundred, but others have almost 2,000.
Fishing in America is a pretty popular activity and this Saturday, June 18th is the National Go Fishing Day. I hope you have the opportunity to do so.