We’re thrilled to see more than 52 million Americans went fishing last year, marking a long-term growth trend and supporting critical conservation efforts, all while furthering our commitment of making the water open to everyone.
ALEXANDRIA, VA (July 18, 2022) – An ever-increasing number of Americans continue to pursue recreational fishing as a source of enjoyment and a remedy for stress and anxiety, according to new data from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation's (RBFF) 2022 Special Report on Fishing.
52.4 million Americans fished in 2021, marking an increase of 2.2 million in the last two years and 7 million since the positive trend that began in 2015. The latest total represents only a slight decrease from the record 54.7 million participants in 2020 as more Americans adapted their lives in the past year to continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fishing participation has grown in part due to industry efforts to increase overall racial and gender diversity while also appealing to younger anglers and their families. As a result:
"The growth of recreational fishing in 2020 was one of the few silver linings to come from the COVID-19 pandemic, and even as American life normalizes, we continue to see more new faces embracing the sport," said RBFF President & CEO Dave Chanda. "We’re thrilled to see more than 52 million Americans went fishing last year, marking a long-term growth trend and supporting critical conservation efforts, all while furthering our commitment of making the water open to everyone.”
Throughout the pandemic, mental health has remained a pressing concern for Americans. The 2022 Special Report on Fishing shows Americans primarily fished to enjoy the splendor of nature while escaping the usual demands of life. Take Me Fishing™ aims to contribute to mental health by empowering people of all ages, genders, and cultures to enjoy the wellness benefits that can be realized in the outdoors.
“We are proud to see the positive impact fishing, boating and other outdoor activities is having on Americans’ mental health,” said Stephanie Vatalaro, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for RBFF. “We are hopeful that outdoor activities, specifically fishing and boating, will become a trusted remedy for mental health in the future, and that more people feel included and represented within the greater outdoor activities landscape.”
Take Me Fishing™ continues to march toward their goal of encouraging Americans of all backgrounds to participate in fishing and boating and feel represented on the water.
The 2022 Special Report on Fishing was created in partnership with the Outdoor Foundation and provides one of the most comprehensive looks at the state of U.S. fishing participation. The full report, along with an accompanying infographic, is available at TakeMeFishing.org/SpecialReport. The website also features beginner resources, including how-to guides for getting started and an interactive map of places to fish and boat.