Press Releases

Study Shows Anglers, Boaters Aware of License-Conservation Link
While anglers and boaters are aware of conservation funding, it’s not a motivating factor

ALEXANDRIA, VA (April 24, 2019) – The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation today announced the results of a survey diving into the link between fishing licenses and conservation. While anglers and boaters are aware of the conservation tie-in, it is not a force that drives licensing. The new survey falls directly in line with the first-of-its-kind research originally carried out by RBFF and the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports (CAHSS), released in 2016.

Key findings:

  • 76% of respondents are aware of the link between licenses and conservation funding.
  • The Family Outdoors segment (RBFF’s target audience) was the only group to see significant increases in awareness of the link between licenses, registrations, and conservation funding.
  • Respondents overwhelmingly purchase licenses because “it’s the right thing to do.”
  • Only 40% of respondents claim conservation as their reason for purchasing a license.
  • 9/10 respondents view the link between licenses and conservation as favorable.

Stay the course: Research shows that respondents prefer the same two messages as they did in the 2016 report, which focus on of 100% license fees being used to fund conservation on a local and national scale.

“We are happy to see our messaging and approach remains on-target and effective,” said RBFF President & CEO Frank Peterson. “Avid anglers are more likely to understand and be motivated by conservation, while new anglers present an opportunity to be educated on the conservation tie-in as a part of family-focused messaging.”

The study, which was carried out by Colle+Mcvoy and Savanta, engaged 1500 anglers and boaters in a 15 minute online survey.

The full report including an executive summary of the RBFF Conservation Study is available in the RBFF Resource Center.


About the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)

RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation's aquatic natural resources. RBFF's recently announced 60-in-60 effort strives to attract 60 million anglers to the sport by the end of 2021. To help recruit, retain and reactivate participants, RBFF developed the award-winning Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ campaigns creating awareness about boating, fishing and conservation, and educating people about the benefits of participation. These campaigns help boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan and equip for a day on the water. The campaign websites, and, feature how-to videos, information on how to get a fishing license and boat registration, and an interactive state-by-state map that allows visitors to find local boating and fishing spots.

For further information: David Rodgers,, 703-253-7268