ALEXANDRIA, VA (December 12, 2008) – The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced that the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will participate in RBFF’s Direct Mail Marketing Program to increase fishing license sales among lapsed anglers. Thirty states currently participate in the direct mail initiative, a three-year program designed by RBFF to increase participation in the sport and generate awareness of the connection between fishing license sales and conservation efforts.
“We are delighted that Vermont is joining our Direct Mail Program to help bring lapsed anglers back into the sport,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “We have made significant progress this year toward increasing fishing license sales and generating critical funds for conservation efforts. Based on our initial results, the program to date has generated nearly $3 million in gross revenue for fish and wildlife management efforts.”
“This year the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and RBFF will be sending reminders to anglers who have not purchased a license in the past year or two,” said Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Wayne Laroche. “The cost of a fishing license is a great value. It enables hours upon hours of outdoor fun with friends and family. The money you spend on a license is invested right back into fishery management efforts aimed at improving fishing.”
More than 50 representatives from state agencies, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) and Southwick Associates gathered in Dallas, TX from Nov. 19-21 to discuss lessons learned from the first year of the program and exchange ideas on ways to improve year two. Initial results were shared, revealing that more than 170,000 fishing licenses and permits have been sold in the first 21 states with response rates ranging from five to 27 percent. Resources from the workshop are now available to stakeholders on RBFF.org.
The Direct Mail Marketing Program, which includes direct mail templates, instructions to implement a direct mail campaign and marketing assistance from RBFF, aims to increase fishing license sales -- a critical source of funding for state agencies. By increasing fishing license sales, the program may also have a positive impact on boating participation. Fishing is a strong pathway to boating, according to a study released by RBFF in April 2007. The marketing research, which collected data from more than 1,000 people, revealed that more than two-thirds of respondents purchased their first boat in order to fish and three-quarters cited fishing as the most popular activity to do while boating.
Individual state reports with the details of each state’s program and first-year results will be shared with stakeholders as they’re finalized. More information about the program, including press announcements and a list of participating states is available online at RBFF.org.
RBFF is a nonprofit organization established in 1998 to increase participation in recreational angling and boating. RBFF helps people discover, share and protect the legacy of boating and fishing through national outreach programs including the Take Me Fishing™ campaign and Anglers’ Legacy™.