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mcaputo

Why are fewer young people fishing, and what can be done about it?

34 posts in this topic

Minnesota Public Radio wants help in looking at an issue that's important to the fishing community.

First, let me tell you who I am. I work with MPR News as part of an initiative called the Public Insight Network. Basically we use email as a tool for reaching out to people for insight on stories we'd like to cover.

Often we like to extend our reach to people beyond our database of folks (about 20,000 strong right now).

And we'd like to do that in this case. Here is the story idea and how you could reply:

According to the Department of Natural Resources, young people aren’t dropping their fishing lines in the water like they used to.

From 2000 to 2005, there was a 10 percent decline in the number of people between the ages of 16 to 44 who were getting fishing licenses in Minnesota (according to the DNR).

The question is: Why are young people less inclined to become anglers? Is it the lure of computers and video games? Or a dearth of teachers?

Help MPR News look into this story by filling out a small survey. Just click on the link below (if you have trouble,

paste it into your web browser and then the survey will come up).

https://www.publicradio.org/applications/formbuilder/user/form_display.php?form_code=8c9eab7a6144

As you know, fishing is big business: The state sells 1.3 million fishing licenses every year. A decline in fishing could have serious effects.

As a DNR official recently wrote, fewer young people fishing will mean fewer licenses being sold, which will in turn mean fewer dollars for funding DNR fishery efforts. The state could even lose federal Fish and Wildlife Service dollars, which is based on total license sales.

The DNR is embarking on several initiatives, which include:

- Reaching out to those whose fishing licenses have lapsed.

- Trying to convince anglers to pass on their love of fishing to the young.

- Trotting out a billboard campaign called “Take Me Fishing” aimed at getting older people to take kids fishing.

In your experience, will any of this address the real problem?

MPR News can use your help in telling this story. Please give us your insight.

And, if you know someone who could help us with this fishing story, please pass this note along to them.

All the best,

Michael Caputo

Analyst, Public Insight Journalism

Minnesota Public Radio News

(651) 290-1081

mcaputo@mpr.org

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I think we can all help introduce the younger generation to the sport of fishing by taking the Angler's Legacy Pledge. I have already done so and have introduced three kids to fishing so far this year.

Here is a link:

Angler's Legacy

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There a many possibilities of why today kids or teens don't fish as much.

Given the ever increasing demand for entertainment I think the number one reason why in my book would have to be technology. Mainly electronics and video games. Because so much is tied into this industry one never have to leave their living room. Whether it be sports, adventure, dancing, playing a guitar, or even fishing you can do all on the video game consoles & computers.

I happen to know a lot of young people who like to fish, but I also know some who just doesn't have the time in their schedule. Those like us who are into fishing should take into consideration a holiday or vacation to help re-exposed our younger generation into fishing. It would also help if the DNR had a "FREE FISHING DAY" for non licensed anglers. It could help push them towards buying a license and remember how great fishing can be.

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Hi mcaputo:

Just completed your survey. Thanks!

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Completed survey with my 2 cents...

Less young people fishing should mean less fishing pressure on lakes, right?

From what I can tell, it seems at least around here that fishing pressure has increased over the years, and with the increasing population in this state, it most likely will continue to increase, so I see no need to encourage young people that I dont know to fish, now that doesnt mean I am not going to try to get my kids into fishing, but I dont think I should be concerned about the overall number of young people fishing.

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Having more "free days" taking a kid fishing is a step in the right direction. I think more publicity is needed. Maybe having free fishing day on holidays would be incentive too where parents do not need to be licensed.

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My belief is that its the parents fault for the decrease in fishing licenses through the years. I know of many people that have don't have the time to take their kids fishing and introduce them to the sport. I was on the other end, I never got a chance to grow up fishing, but picked it up in my early 20's and spend way too much time and money on a this hobby. It's worth every penny!

I also agree with a previous post that the local fishing lakes get too much pressure, not necessarily from fishing, but from recreation. That goes for lakes outside the metro as well. Kids these days want the high octane, fast lane living entertainment. Fishing takes time to learn, time apparently kids these days don't have to appreciate the sport.

I am a big brother (through BBBS program) and I have introduced my little brother to fishing in the past few years. He loves the time when he catches fishing, but it can be tough to hold his attention to sport at times. I still appreciate the time spent with him teaching the skills around fishing.

I plan to complete the survey as well.

Look forward to more information as a result of the survey.

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Quote:

From what I can tell, it seems at least around here that fishing pressure has increased over the years, and with the increasing population in this state, it most likely will continue to increase, so I see no need to encourage young people that I dont know to fish, now that doesnt mean I am not going to try to get my kids into fishing, but I dont think I should be concerned about the overall number of young people fishing.


Right on!! Why should a drop in revenues push us to get more people fishing? Honestly, I can't think of a more screwed up reason to take kids out fishing. If it drops down to two old timers in a boat (Grumpy Old Men style) then the DNR won't need stocking programs. This goes along the same line of thinking as government departments spending all of their money each year so that they can get the same level of funding the next fiscal year.

I suppose we should start encouraging people to pollute the waters more so that the MPCA doesn't lose its funding. Maybe we should encourage more youth to commit crimes so that we don't have to cut our police forces.

I realize that I'm taking things a little of context, but it's to illustrate my point. There is a lot of fishing pressure already. We don't need to encourage people to do it for the wrong reasons. Like anything, do it because it's you enjoy it or it's relaxing.

If anything, let's encourage our youth to read so they want to use the libraries. Let's encourage them to be environmentally aware so that they help keep our streets, parks, and lakes clean which will reduce the cost of cleanups and water rehabilitation. Let's teach them moral responsibility so that when they are CEO of some big company, they decide against polluting just to make their stock rise. THAT'S what we need to encourage our youth to do.

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shocked.gif

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more water for us to fish i guess...

Ive never noticed this, but then again Im only 19.

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( Note from Admin, please read forum policy before posting again, Thank-you.)

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You can take my post however you want, I know what I meant. I dont condone fishing without a license, and I appreciate the DNR, that is not what this post is about, its about encouraging youth to fish and why are 10% less buying licenses then 5 years ago. I just suggested that maybe its not that less are fishing, but not as many are purchasing a license. I dont "witness" people that I know fishing without licenses, but I am mainly talking about people at my work that tell me about all the fish they caught the other day and then I find out they dont even have a license or follow other seasonal laws. Nothing I can do really other than voice my opinion, which I do. I understand the DNR needs money, and they get it, I doubt number of people buying fishing licenses will ever drop so low the DNR cant get done what they are doing today. I appreciate the DNR stocking programs, even though I dont think I ever fish for any fish that are stocked by the DNR. The stocking is needed because of the large number of people that are out there fishing and many lakes couldnt handle the pressure without stocking. My previous post may have been worded poorly to be taken out of context, I am proud of my outlook on fishing, no matter what you say, I fish several times a week year round for my enjoyment, not to fill my freezer, and not to beat out the competition in tourneys...only for relaxation and a healthy hobby.

Good Fishing

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If you know of someone that has broke the fishing regulations, turn them in. That will be more money for the DNR. Call the poachers hotline if you want to remain anonymous. Otherwise, you are not helping out the DNR by only voicing your opinion.

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Anyway, the reason less young people are fishing is accessability. Where does one go to fish from shore on Prior, Marion, Spring, etc., etc.,. I grew up in southern mn where we could walk the shoreline for miles. The reality is that people are moving to the cities for the almight $$$ and their kids will never get to walk a shoreline or a hunting management area. Also is it really feasible to go out on a saturday in a 12 foot lund with the family on Minnetonka? nuff said I'm taking my daughter golfing.

( Note from Admin, Please read forum policy before posting again, thank-you.)

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i think there are many reasons, kids today that are in sports are forced to play hockey all year. when i was growing up, going to a sports camp was out of the question. now you you better go or you wont even have the opportunity to play in the winter! i agree with fishinpapa, look at the rigs that are backing down our public accesses, its a rich mans game. i fish out of a 16 foot pro v tiller with a 60 horse motor, that boat is nothing compared to what is flying around the water today. i also beleive the decline of the family resort has its effect. a guy i work with is taking his family for a week up north next week, before he buys any food or drops 1 gallon of 3.00 gas in, he is looking at 1200.00 to rent a cabin for a week. are you kidding me! i also think the quality of fishing has declined. i have not fished a metro lake in about 10 yrs, and that is because the fish are small ( for the most part) and its a zoo out there! its not a quality experience when your fishing and jet skiers, water skiers and the cruisers are flying by and to many of them don't care how close they get to you. my 2 cents

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I agree that the families are busy. But, if one wants to go fishing, they can do it from shore without spending alot of money. Thats how our family fish 45 years ago.

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you hit it right on the head, when i was young we also fished from shore alot. my kids are longer entertained catching 3-5 inch sunnies anymore, other then springtime when fish come in to be in the warmer water thats all you catch.

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I think the decline in the opportunity to fish shore lines is one of the reasons for kids are not fishing so much. I grew up fishing a lot. In my 40’s now and some of my most enjoyable times is wading in cut offs and tennis shoes fishing bass. Lived across the street from White Bear Lake in the 70s and 80s and was fortunate to have neighbors that would give you access to fish. Fishing out of boats is too restrictive for kids. Fishing/appreciating the outdoors starts when you wade shoreline fishing but in a few minutes the poles are down and you turning rocks for crayfish ECT. with your buddy. Video games are not to blame…. that’s just a crutch for a lack of time with kids. As a father of a 12 year son it kills me to see how little time these kids are allowed now days to be kids and to have time alone with a friend or two. I have fished hard, got the skin cancer to prove it. (good type) caught some nice fish but have to look at an album to remember specifically, but the stories of the stuff that went on with a good friend or two while fishing fill my head. To me the story here is not the loss of fishermen, but the lost opportunities to fill their head with memories.

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I also believe that is the exact reason why less kids are getting into fishing these days. I'm not too old but closing in on the 30. All my younger cousins and their friends don't enjoy going fishing,sitting there for that bobber to go under, or the constant casting in hopes of a nice fish to return on the other end. I strongly believe its the loss shoreline fishing. I grew up in wisconsin and almost all the lakes or rivers where could hit the shorelines. And what an adventure that would be. They lose that touch of being in the outdoors and really getting to enjoy fishing. Almost all the lakes that you can fish from shore only has dock which probably has 6-7 other people on it. Not to mention mad weed growth in every direction you turn. I'm also scared enough of wacky peeps who fling their lure without looking back. Losing that shoreline capality loses their real experience of the fishing world. All my buddies my age, who used to walk miles along the river/lakes, looking for that perfect spot to cast to, or throw that creek chub we caught for bait into, are all hooked on fishing. The majority of kids these days are careless about the outdoors, they rather hit the mall, partys, and things that don't involve the outdoors. I've tried taking a bunch of teenagers fishing and it only lasted about 15 minutes until they got bored and wanted to leave. Pretty sad.

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I think this is a great discussion. Hopefully the MPR dude is still monitoring all of the thoughts and comments. I still think that there are two issues here:

1) Should we or shouldn't we encourage more people to fish

2) If we should, then why aren't younger people fishing.

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too many parents pushing their kids in hockey, soccer, basketball, volleyball, softball, etc. so the kids can either get a scholarship,(as if that is realistic), or so the kids can fulfill whatever dreams the parents couldnt accomplish when they were young. if you play any one of these sports and want to be competative, you must practice year round, get on traveling teams and compete nearly every weekend. with time short during the weekday and weekends chewed up being a hockey or swimming parent there is little time to get out and do other things with the kids on a consistent basis. a coach wanted my 7 year old daughter for a traveling soccer team last summer and i just had to say no. i may be wrong, but it seems to me that it is more fun to be a kid and do lots of different things other than practice soccer 4 times a week and travel to tournaments every weekend when you are 7.

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I think alot of good ideas and opinions on this thread have tied into why kids fish less these days.

Fishing is just not readily available or accessible to young people. And yes not everyone enjoys fishing. How many of you live by a lake or pond that is readily accessible with game fish? Not just panfish.

There are just too many things today that young people get to experience. When I take my little nephew fishing he is pumped! But an older newphew of mine doesn't really care for fishing even though he's fished, has a fishing pole, tackle box and all. He rather sit there and chat with his buddies or play video games.

Young people today have it good, rather too good and it's just getting better. They have Xbox, Sony Playstation. Ipod and state of the art computers. The entertainment experience is much broader today than it ever was and ever increasingly. What did you have or do as a teen? And think about what is available to young people today? Try to relate to what younger people today are doing and from that find a way to remind them to enjoy the great outdoors so that they don't forget.

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Let's try to remember something...it is NOT GOVERNMENTS job to fullfill peoples activities. If young people don't want to fish, it's up to the PARENTS to steer them in that or a different direction, not the government.

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Quote:

Young people today have it good, rather too good and it's just getting better.


I beg to differ. It's not better, that is just what big business wants you to believe so you will buy their latest products. Stuff like being able to watch TV on your cell phone isn't making anything better. The only thing TV on your cell phone does is make you dumber.

It might be nice to see more young people fish so they can learn to respect our diminishing natural resources. At the rate things are going, I wouldn't be surprised to see 'tonka filled in with concrete for more wal-marts and home depots in 50 years.

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I dont believe that anyone is saying that the goverment should cure these problems. I think we are just debating why younger people are not fishing and enjoying the great outdoors.

The numbers are dropping and I think everyone is wondering why.

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