According come the 2013 out Recreation authorized Report (ORP), the most popular outdoor task focused top top the natural world is fishing. Fishing is the third ranked outdoor task (all species fishing combined) and was delighted in by over 47 million people in 2012 (Download ORP Report). All types of fishing includes fly fishing, freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing and also other fishing choose kayak fishing.

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Fishing is second to bicycling as the two main gateway activities that lead human being to try other outdoor activities. We must introduce civilization (especially kids) come fishing for this reason they will certainly learn and care about protecting fish and also wildlife habitat.

Table 1 includes the optimal 15 ranked outdoor tasks in the U.S. In 2012 plus every individual fishing category. I had other carefully ranked categories because that comparison. Table 1 is sorted by in its entirety rank and the numbers represent countless participants period 6 and above.

Table 1. Fishing compared to popular Outdoor Activities

Outdoor ActivityParticipants(million)Percent of U.S. PopulationRank
Running (Running, Jogging or trail Running) 53.2 18.5% 1
Running or Jogging 52.2 18.2% 2
Fishing (Fly, Freshwater, Other, Saltwater) 47.1 16.4% 3
Bicycling (Road/Paved Surface, mountain bike, BMX) 42.3 14.7% 4
Bicycling (Road/ led Surface) 39.2 13.7% 5
Fishing (Freshwater or Other) 39.1 13.6% 6
Camping (Car, Backyard, RV) 38.0 13.3% 7
Hiking 34.6 12.0% 8
Camping (Within ¼ mile from home) 29.9 10.4% 9
Wildlife city hall (>¼ mile indigenous home, vehicle) 23.0 8.0% 10
Camping (Recreational Vehicle) 15.1 5.3% 11
Hunting (All) 14.7 5.1% 12
Bird city hall (>¼ mile from home, vehicle) 14.3 5.0% 13
Fishing (Saltwater) 12.0 4.2% 14
Canoeing 9.8 3.4% 15
Skateboarding 6.6 2.3% 22
Fishing (Fly) 6.0 2.1% 23
Trail Running 6.0 2.1% 24
Triathlon (Non-Traditional/Off Road) 1.4 0.5% 42
Kayak Fishing 1.4 0.5% 43

In Table 1, the “Percent the U.S. Population” represent the percentage as compared to the entire U.S. Population age 6 and above. For example, fishing might be the third ranked out activity, however only 16.4% of every U.S. Citizens (aged 6+) fished at least one time in 2012.

Fishing by period Group

When damaged down by period group, Fishing (all varieties combined) ranks first among the oldest period group (age 26 and also up) v 32.8 million participants, 4th for participants aged 18- 24 through 4.3 million attendees and 6th for the youngest period group (6 – 17) through 9.6 million participants in 2012.

The as whole sixth ranked task is Fishing (freshwater or other) v over 39 million participants. This classification drops out 12 million civilization that fish in salt water, leave 39.1 million civilization that fished freshwater. By age group, this fishing classification ranked highest possible with the oldest period group (25+) and also had 26.6 million participants and ranked lowest with the 18-24 period group v 3.6 million participants.

Saltwater fishing was the 14th ranked activity, one rank behind bird watching and also one step higher than canoeing. Ns watch birds and also other wildlife while ns fish and also I have additionally fished indigenous a canoe and not from a kayak. Ns suspect an ext people have fished native canoes than kayaks.

A full of 12 million civilization fished in salt water at the very least once in 2012 and by age group, saltwater fishing ranked highest possible with the oldest age group (25+) v 8.9 million participants and also ranked lowest with the 18-24 age group v 1.2 million participants.

Fly fishing is the 23rd ranked outdoor task with 6 million participants, which to be one category behind skateboarding and also just front of trace running.

By period group, fly fishing likewise ranked highest possible with the oldest age group (25+) v 4.6 million attendees and likewise ranked lowest through the 18-24 age group v 690 thousand participants. While paris fishing was no a an extremely popular kind of fishing, it had actually the greatest number of new participants in 2012.

Kayak fishing ranked critical at 43rd ar behind Non-Traditional/Off road Triathlon v 1.4 million civilization participating in 2012 and also by age group, this group ranked highest possible with the oldest age group (25+) with 220 thousands participants and also ranked lowest through the 18-24 age group through 170 thousands participants.

National survey of Fishing, Hunting and also Wildlife-Associated Recreation

The 2011 national Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation report (NSFHWR) by U.S. Fish and also Wildlife service (download pdf) has more detailed information about different types of fishing activity summarized in Table 2.

Table 2. 2011 U.S. To chat Fishing Participation

Fishing ActivityParticipantsPercent Anglers
All Fishing 33,112,000 100.0%
All Freshwater Fishing 27,547,000 83.2%
Great Lakes (GL) 1,665,000 5.0%
Freshwater except GL 27,060,000 81.7%
Saltwater 8,889,000 26.8%
Fish native Boat 18,017,000 54.4%
Fish from Shore 15,095,000 45.6%
Fish in Lake/Pond 22,791,000 68.8%
Fish River/Stream 11,888,000 35.9%
Fly Fish 4,260,000 12.9%
Ice Fish 1,930,000 5.8%

The 2011 NSFHWR different from the 2013 ORP by about 20 million under participants. Part of this is as result of fact the the NSFHWR only tracked anglers 16 years old and older, while the ORP tracked angled 6 years old and also older. That still pipeline a difference of around 9 million people. Yet surveys room not exact; they are merely indices to reality. Ns assume the NSFHWR was more conservative before concluding inspection respondents in reality fished the year or not.

Regardless the the actual numbers of anglers, the ORP compares fishing task to every sorts of various other outdoor activities. The NSFHWR permits us to to compare different varieties of fishing.

According come the NSFHWR (Table 2), 83.2% of us fish in freshwater and also 26.8% fish in saltwater. Remember that the totals will not add up to 100% since survey respondents could list more than one type of fishing.

They be separate the great Lakes (5% that anglers) from all various other freshwater fishing, leaving 81.7% fishing in freshwater not in the great Lakes.

It is exciting that 54% that anglers fish from boats and also 46% fish native shore, 69% fish in Reservoirs, lakes or ponds and also 36% fish in streams or rivers.

And that just 13% that anglers paris fish and less than 6% ice cream fish.

See more detailed information of the fish species we shot to catch (coming soon).

Does the outdoor Recreation Report recognize Fishing?

I don’t think the Outdoor industry Association (OIA) understands fishing any better than they understand searching (read hunting – the 12th Most renowned Outdoor Activity), they simply want to market outdoor gear. Why execute I say this? Take another look at the five fishing category OAI provided in the report:

All fishing combinedAll freshwater fishing plus other fishingSaltwater fishingFly fishingKayak Fishing

That’s it. It certainly makes feeling to combine all fishing task to understand the total number of people the fish, yet the other four categories only tell us an extremely general information around where civilization fish or what equipment they use to fish.

Saltwater fishing is me explanatory, however lumps everyone with each other from those the drop a line from a pier come those the troll for gigantic bill fish hundreds of miles offshore.

They likewise lump all fly fishing together, yet techniques, equipment and fish types differ tremendously between fishing in warm freshwater, cold freshwater or saltwater v a paris rod.

Most world I know that fish native a kayak shot to catch trout in cold water v a paris rod, yet kayak fishing can include any form of pole in salt or new water (warm or cold).

I fish largely with a paris rod for trout when wading in cold streams, but I occasionally switch come spinning equipment when ns fish because that trout or small mouth base in cold lakes. I might fish indigenous a small boat or native the bank and sometimes ns fish through the ice. Once I visit loved ones in the South, we may go the end to the Gulf currently on a charter watercraft or fish native the beach or pier.

Despite the unsophisticated groupings of various fishing activities, the ORP is still an extremely useful because it enables us to compare nature-related and/or wildlife-associated activities like fishing, wildlife watching and hunting to various other outdoor activities like running, biking and also skiing.

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If we want young people to care around fish and wildlife, we require to get them come take part in fishing and also hunting. If we do not teach them about the prominence of fish and also wildlife habitat, lock will simply view the habitat as locations they should have the ability to drive, journey bikes or skateboard over.