ALEXANDRIA, VA (March 24, 2008) – The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will all participate in a direct mail marketing effort to increase fishing license sales. The lapsed angler recruitment program, kicking off this month, was designed by RBFF to increase participation in boating and fishing and generate awareness of the connection between fishing license sales and conservation efforts. Over the next year, 30 states nationwide will reach out to lapsed anglers and encourage them to get back out on the water.
“We are excited that four additional states will be participating in this direct mail effort,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “We know that state conservation projects are funded in part by tax monies generated from equipment sales and motor boat fuel. We want lapsed anglers to understand that by simply getting back out on the water – they are directly supporting efforts to help preserve their waterways.”
“We Idahoans have some of the nation’s best fishing opportunities right outside our back doors. Fishing is a way of life in rural Idaho but many in our urban areas simply aren’t aware that great fishing can be found just minutes away,” said Idaho Department of Fish and Game Director Cal Groen. “This partnership with RBFF will go a long way in helping us get the word out to folks about Fish and Game’s Family Fishing Waters program and hopefully will help more parents rekindle favorite fishing memories and create new ones with their kids.”
"This partnership between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and RBFF is a great way to get anglers and would-be anglers excited about fishing in the Land of Lincoln," said Illinois DNR Office of Resource Conservation Director Mike Conlin. "Illinois offers 1.5 million acres of outstanding fishing opportunity - from Lake Michigan, to the big rivers, to our downstate reservoirs, to scenic lakes and streams. The direct marketing and other promotional efforts of our partnership with RBFF will help Illinois citizens and visitors to our state realize how much fun fishing is - and how important they are to maintaining and enhancing fishing opportunities today and for generations to come."
“Since 1916, VDGIF has relied on licenses to fund our work in wildlife and natural resources conservation,” said Director Bob Duncan. “We’re excited to be working with RBFF to reconnect with the folks who have been so important to our agency’s mission of managing Virginia’s wildlife and inland fish populations and providing recreational opportunities for all.”
“We are very excited to team up with RBFF and 30 other states to help more people enjoy fishing. It’s a great way to get kids outdoors to connect with nature, essential to assure the next generation of conservationists,” said Wisconsin DNR Secretary Matt Frank. “If we can keep the adults fishing, they'll bring in the youngsters and instill a sense of responsibility and stewardship for our precious natural resources.”
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.
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.