American recreational fishing participation at 12 year high

A NEW report from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) has found that recreational fishing participation is on the rise in the United States.

The RBFF 2020 Special Report on Fishing found that:

  • 3.7 million African Americans participate in fishing, an increase of nearly 1 million over the last 10 years.
  • Hispanic Americans are participating at a new record of 4.4 million participants.
  • Women are also participating at an all-time high of 17.9 million participants.
  • Overall, more than 50 million Americans participate in fishing, the highest number in 12 years.
  • The activity gained more than 3 million new participants last year, the highest in five years.

Stephanie Vatalaro, senior vice president of marketing and communications for RBFF said: “The outdoors belongs to all of us — not just those who fit a certain image.”

The new participation data comes as Americans overall take increased interest in fishing as a remedy for COVID-19-related stress and anxiety. According to a separate study, 1 in 5 Americans are more likely now to try fishing than they were prior to the pandemic. Among parents, the statistic is 1 in 4.

“Social distancing has taken a sizable toll on our collective mental health,” said Vatalaro. “But being on the water has been shown in studies to have a calming effect that can help treat stress and anxiety naturally. Fishing — and by extension, boating — are excellent ways to practice self-care and recreate responsibly.”


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