Recreational Fishing - Statistics & Facts

Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the United States. In 2017, more than 49 million Americans participated in freshwater, saltwater and fly fishing. Only running activities had more participants. Fishing as a hobby is generally more prevalent with older generations, but more than 60 percent of participants were under 45 in 2017.

The number of annual outings among fishing participants can vary in the United States. In 2017, the largest share of fishing participants went on four to eleven trips, but a small percentage went on fishing outings more than 104 times a year. The most commonly used locations for these trips included the shoreline and and from boats. For many people, the positive attributes of participating in fishing include the chance to enjoy nature and to escape from the usual demands of life.

The average annual expenditure per consumer unit on fishing and hunting equipment increased significantly in 2016. The average U.S. consumer unit spend reached 52.43 U.S. dollars. Equipment is not the only thing participants must purchase, they must also hold a fishing license in the United States. In 2018, there was just under 30 million paid license holders in the country. The gross cost of these fishing licenses exceeded 720 million U.S. dollars in that year.



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