Trout Survey from the US Fish & Wildlife Service

The US Wildlife Service recently published a Trout Fishing Survey which was part of its 2006 National Survey. Here are a few points of interest that caught my eye.

1. The 6.8 million trout anglers account for 27 percent of all freshwater anglers. By comparison, the most popular freshwater fish species is black bass with 10.0 million anglers (40 percent), followed by 7.5 million (30 percent) panfish anglers, and 7.0 million (28 percent) anglers fishing for both catfish and bullheads.

2. Examination of the average days per angler reveals that the more active anglers appear to be fishing for the more popular fish species. Black bass and panfish, the two most popular fishing species, make up over half of all freshwater fishing days. Trout anglers collectively fished for trout a total of 75 million days with an average of 11 days per angler.

3. Fishing continues to be a male dominated sport. Females make up a quarter (25 percent) of all freshwater anglers and even fewer trout anglers (21 percent).

4. About half of all trout anglers (49 percent) are between the ages of 35 to 54 years old. Comparing trout anglers to the U.S. population reveals that trout anglers are younger than the general population. The number of trout anglers 25 to 44 years old decreased from 49 percent of all trout anglers in 2001 to 41 percent in 2006.

5. Spending by freshwater anglers totaled $24.6 billion while trout anglers spent $4.8 billion. Dividing these expenditure totals by the number of freshwater and trout anglers results in averages of $982 and $712 respectively.

6. The spending by trout anglers rippled through the U.S. economy generating $13.6 billion in economic output and supported over 100 thousand jobs.

7. The number of freshwater and trout anglers 16 years and older in the U.S. has decreased. The number of trout anglers has decreased from around 9 million anglers in 1996 to 6.8 million in 2006.

8. As for freshwater anglers, their numbers have declined from 29 million anglers in 1996 to 25 million in 2006. Between 2001 and 2006 participation declined by 3 million freshwater anglers. What’s causing this trend? Some explanations include demographic changes in the U.S., difficulties with access, and personal time constraints as factors.

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