By Sierra Williams, Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources
Ever wonder how many Americans go fishing and what their interests are? Thanks to the help of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF), you don’t have to wonder. The foundation offers a one-stop shop for conservation agencies to utilize its research, which asks these and other similar questions.
At the 2022 Association for Conservation Information conference in Nashville, Joanne Martonik with the RBFF presented resources to help agencies recruit, retain and reactivate anglers, especially those gained during the spike in fishing license sales in 2020.
A few pieces of data to note:
- Nearly 55 million Americans aged 6-plus went fishing in 2020.
- 6 million Americans were new or returned to fishing in 2021.
- More than 14 million Americans dropped out of fishing in 2021.
- 4 million Americans went fishing in 2021.
Research data is not the only resource RBFF provides. The toolbox also provides photos and video of a variety of fishing scenes from anglers of different backgrounds and useful how-to-videos. These images and video clips have been a reliable resource to many agencies developing marketing campaigns.
To help recruit, retain and reactivate participants, RBFF developed the Take Me Fishing campaign to build awareness of boating, fishing and conservation and educate people about the benefits of participation. Included in the campaign is a helpful interactive map that allows visitors to find local boating and fishing spots. This resource helps boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan and prepare for a successful day of fishing.
RBFF values its partnership with state agencies by supporting their marketing campaigns. They understand that funding can be a hurdle for those who do not have a budget to support a marketing campaign. RBFF offers R3 grants to assist agencies in achieving their goals by supporting a marketing campaign. With each campaign, an overview is provided so other states can learn and adopt successful practices.
To learn more about RBFF and view its resources, visit TakeMeFishing.org.