Fishing and boating

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U.S. Anglers Aware of Fishing and Boating Connection to Conservation


The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation today announced the results of a study aimed at learning more about the connection consumers are making between fishing, boating, and conservation. Conducted every three years, the study’s findings showcase steady progress in RBFF’s goal to drive awareness of the conservation efforts resulting from fishing and boating participation. RBFF will utilize data from the survey to inform actions that continue resonating with consumers.

Key Findings

  • Four in five anglers can cite the benefits of fishing licensing fees with wildlife conservation. This level of recall is up from 2019, when only two in three were able to do so.
  • Anglers’ awareness that funds generated from licensing go towards conservation is also strong and above levels seen in 2019. Four in five anglers overall make this connection; however, less than 30 percent of anglers cite conservation as a motivation to go fishing. Enjoyment of the outdoors is still the top motive for fishing, followed by being able to spend time with family and friends.
  • Although conservation may not stand out as a driver of fishing, it consistently stands out as a passion among anglers. Ninety-two percent of anglers agree that they want to help protect and preserve waterways, and 91 percent care about healthy fish populations and public access to fishing opportunities.
    • Ninety percent of anglers like that all their licensing fees go towards conservation.
  • Among active social families — a key audience demographic targeted by RBFF’s brand Take Me Fishing — learning about the link between license fees and conservation increased their likelihood to fish.
  • Conservation communications should be focused on online and social media platforms. Online articles represent a preferred source of information among most anglers, while social media, including Instagram, is particularly relevant among active social families.
    • Types of content (to learn about conservation) that resonate most are online articles, documentaries, pictures and short video clips.

“This study shows RBFF’s efforts to improve education around the ties between licensing and conservation have been consistent and effective,” said Dave Chanda, president and CEO at RBFF. “Education is key to continuing to grow conservation awareness. Emphasizing this link will build momentum in the next generation of anglers and boaters since this knowledge increases the likelihood of participation.”

RBFF partnered with Savanta, who conducted the online survey of 1,500 anglers in February/March 2023. For complete survey results, visit the RBFF corporate website.