3 Million More Licenses Sold Year-To-Date


Data from 45 states shows a year-over-year increase in fishing license sales from January through August 2020 according to a survey conducted by RBFF. In all, the growth seen in resident and non-resident sales added up to an increase of more than 3 million licenses over last year’s numbers year-to-date.

All states who provided data are showing surges in fishing license sales, averaging a 14% increase nationwide. Fueling this bump in sales is an 18% jump in resident license sales from the millions of Americans who found themselves looking for new, exciting, socially distant activities close by.

While many states initially saw significant deficits in nonresident license sales due to travel restrictions in the first four months of the year, many have since recovered. In fact, nonresident license sales average a 0.6% increase nationwide with 35 of the 45 states that provided their data to RBFF seeing an increase over 2019. Of note are Missouri and Georgia, who saw 39% and 28% respective decreases in nonresident sales through April, but have since rebounded, with Missouri being down only 1% now and Georgia swinging to a 40% increase.

Back in August, we shared our analysis of 50 states (plus DC) worth of fishing license sales data, which showed a 4.9% overall increase in fishing license sales across the country at the time. Fueled by our #GetOnBoard Campaign with Discover Boating, local efforts, and America’s desire to reconnect with nature, there is now an immense opportunity to engage with and retain this new crop of anglers and boaters. Check out our Get On Board toolkit to see how you can get involved today and be on the lookout for new angler and boater retention resources to come later this year!