According to data released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the number of people who bought sportfishing licenses in 2016 increased 1.2 percent over 2015 levels.
In 2016, 29,762,096 people purchased a fishing license across all 50 states, compared to 29,400,689 people who purchased a license in 2015. Data regarding 2017 license sales from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are not expected until early-to-mid 2019.
Over the past 10 years, fishing license sales have grown 5.8 percent, with 2016 representing the fourth consecutive year of license increases.
To provide an idea of license trends prior to the delayed released of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service data, the American Sportfishing Association generates a quarterly fishing license sales index, produced by Southwick Associates.
With information provided by a dozen states, this index estimates license sales decreased -0.9% in 2017 compared to 2016 levels. Of the twelve states included in this index, six experienced license sales decreases, two showed increases and four were basically unchanged through the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to 2016.
For additional license sales information, visit Facts & Figures on ASA’s website.