More Americans are hooked on fishing and that’s especially good news for conservation. A new report by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation indicates 47 million people are fishing—that’s 1.5 million more than the year before.
The conservation hook comes in the form of an excise tax (Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act) from the sale of sport fishing equipment, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts and pleasure craft as well as a portion of the gasoline fuel tax attributable to small engines and motorboats. In 2016 alone, the tax generated $349,442,840 for conservation.
Add that to the $780,031,696 generated in 2016 by an excise tax (Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act) on hunting firearms, ammunition and archery supplies, and the overall total doled out earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Interior to state wildlife agencies is $1.1 billion.
“The insights from this report give me incredible optimism for America’s thriving outdoor tradition,” said Ivan Levin, deputy director of The Outdoor Foundation. “More than one in seven Americans participate in fishing, an activity known for leading people to other outdoor pursuits. Ultimately, more people fishing means more outdoor stewards to care for our country’s natural resources.”
Given the vital link funding between hunting and conservation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains its rallying cry that Hunting Is Conservation. As we see from the revenue generated by anglers, Fishing Is Conservation, too.
(Photo source: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)