Cast Your Net Out for New Sports Revenue

Looking for a new event to bring participants, fans and families to your region?

Look no further than your nearest body of water.

A report released by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the trade association representing the sport fishing industry, shows that the number of anglers has increased 11 percent over the last six years, and fishing tackle sales grew more than 16 percent. Times that by the 60 million fishermen and women in the United States, and that’s a group carrying some powerful economic impact.

And this doesn’t include the many fishing tournaments held around the country. This is the family, packing up the rods and reels, or a group of buddies hitching up the boat and driving to the nearest lake.

Here’s how ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman sees it: “As an industry, we are keenly aware of the impact that sport fishing has on this nation’s economy, Just by enjoying a day on the water, men, women and children across the United States pump billions of dollars into this country’s economy.”

A closer look at the numbers from this report shows just how strong this impact is.

America’s nearly 60 million anglers are estimated to spend $46 billion per year on fishing equipment, transportation, lodging and other expenses associated with their sport. With a total annual economic impact of $115 billion, fishing supports more than 828,000 jobs and generates $35 billion in wages and $15 billion in federal and state taxes.

Even during the recession years, fishing, seen to be a relatively affordable sport, still saw spending on tackle, travel and the like, grow around five percent.

In Canada, a 2010 study of Nova Scotia’s fishing business showed that fishing generated $58 million in direct spending that year, with an economic impact of $85.6 million each year. What may be more impressive, Nova Scotia had more than 57,000 licensed anglers that year; 14,466 of them were youth, showing that fishing is growing its own sustainable base for the future.

And fishing is seen as a true family pastime. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, fishing as a leisure-time activity ranks higher than playing basketball or softball, skateboarding, jogging or hiking.

Take the economic impact of fishing and outdoor sports one step further: A Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store being built in Round Rock, Texas for a 2015 opening, is expected to bring in nearly $400 million in taxable sales during its first decade of operation—both within the store and at surrounding businesses. The net benefit for Round Rock, according to the city, could total more than $5 million during the same period.

At the same time, Bass Pro Shops is planning a store in North Charleston, with the expectation that the store will bring in at least 35 percent of its visitors from at least 50 miles from the South Carolina location.

In Lone Tree, Colorado, another fishing and outdoor store, Cabela’s, is expected to mean about a $24 million economic impact to Douglas County.

So whether it’s on ice, from a boat or on the shore, fishing can mean a big economic catch for your region.

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