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Wish-I-Were-Fishn

Why are fishing license sales dropping?

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Wish-I-Were-Fishn

The stats are in and fishing license sales continue to drop.

I'd like to know what you guys think the reasons are for the decline.

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JohnMickish

I'll be the first to chime in. I feel that the poor state of the economy, price of gas, and the war in Iraq are major players. Most people that I come in contact with don't see the job security that they had 10 years ago and are holding back on their spending, and by doing that they are fishing/golfing/racing/snowmobiling/vacationing/hunting/and so on less or none at all.

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Rivernut

Kid's are growing up on video games/television, and not enough exposer to the outdoor's. I grew up in my father's boat and played baseball since I could walk. I wish more parent's would expose their kid's to the outdoor's! As the kid's are getting older, they are not buying those fishing licenses. I belong to a group called Angler's Legacy. You introduce at least one new person(child or adult) to fishing each season. Trying to do my part to preserve the sport we all love. Just my view.

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harvey lee

I would also agree that kids today are very busy playing video games and computer stuff. There are also many 1 parent families and I also believe that might have alot to do with it.

I take out a few different youngsters every year and know plenty more that would love to go. All they need is the chance to go and the majority will.

As fisherman we need to introduce as many young people as we can to the sport of fishing. One doesnt really have to have a boat as I along with many of my friends started out fishing from shore.

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mnvikingsfreak

I think its the price of fishing as a sport its not like the old days anymore rods/reels,lures,boat,bait it takes alot of money to get into the sport of fishing and when you buy all this stuff and go out to a lake and there are no parking spots and 10,000 waterskiers and drama at the boat launch on busy afternoons would turn away anybody that is starting out its a sad thing but EVERYTHING costs money these days I know its convenient to launch at a marina but $10.00+ dollars? im new to fishing so im talking from experience with all these things but im stuck fishing all the metro lakes beacuse gas is so high to go up north but oh well I still love fishing the pros way outnumber the cons

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Weed Shark

I agree that video games and computers are part of the problem for kids.

There is a squeeze on family time. Both parents often work. Elementary school sports (and higher grades) demand more family time. They now eat up weekends. There are more sport opportunities, like soccer, and many more girls are in sports.

In the past, more people fished to eat.

I agree expense and the economy play a factor. Gear was less expensive. You didn't need a $5,000-20,000 boat, trolling motors, depth finders, and such, to feel like you fit in. Gone are the days of old wooden boats and cane poles.

We are just more urbanized. We suffer from nature deficit disorder. If you grew up in New York City, you’re not likely to feel the attraction. Suburbs can have a similar effect.

Fishing is a difficult sport to get into. There is so much to learn (and buy). Sharing knowledge with angling friends, or FM'ers, helps.

It can be a lot of work, too, so you need that strong passion to drive you. When I brought my family to Ontario recently, I fished a fraction of what I normally would; preparing boats and motors, rigging lines, filleting fish. I thought, a new angler would have a difficult time.

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Wish-I-Were-Fishn

Quote:

You didn't need a $5,000-20,000 boat, trolling motors, depth finders, and such, to feel like you fit in. Gone are the days of old wooden boats and cane poles.


Yeah, I always appreciate the guy in the small and very used boat out there amongst the 200+ hp crowd.

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196thDLR

I agree with everything said. I also believe, be it a one or two parent household, that it takes everything that the parents have, to keep it going with the present economy. Unfortunately, the costs of keeping body and soul together will keep increasing for the foreseeable future. Dollars that were able to be spent on recreation will now have to be diverted to food, heat and health costs.

Travel expenses have increased over 30% and families on tight budgets will not be traveling to Minnesota to enjoy our outdoor wonders. This is not going to end anytime soon. My fishing plans have changed because of the cost of traveling to my favorite fishing spots, and I will be fishing lakes that are in a 50 mile round trip area. At least I will be able to keep fishing.

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harvey lee

When it comes to a boat, one doesnt have to be in the big boat and motor club to go fishing. For many years I fished in a 14-16' regular Lund boat with a smaller motor and still caught fish. I do agree that with all the price increases for a family, its tough to find the extra dollars to go.

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Can'tFishEnuf

Now that it is pretty much expected to work 50-60 hour weeks, it's pretty hard to find time to fish. Add kids to the equation and it's almost impossible. I hear that the number of golfers is declining pretty fast too. Any activites that require a little money and time are going to suffer until things in our economy start to change. The experts say that the economy is doing so well, but trends like these seem to say differently.

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PierBridge

Overall fishing license sales are not dropping.

Younger people are buying less Licenses though.

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papabear

There are as many reasons sales are dropping as there are people not fishing. Video games are a big one. So are structures activities for kids. But I think the main one is the fact that wether you live in a big city or up north the draw to nature is wakening. Famlies are to stretched money and time wise to go fishing. We'll pick up Applebees on the way home from work or on our way to soccer. Moms got to work late so I got all the kids tonite. The rat race has become some folks favorite past time. Then add to that the cost of fishing. Rods reels bait tackle all adds up and for someone with limited time and income it aint worth it. unfortunately I think fishing will be viewed as an eletist sport. Only those witht the money and time to dedicate to the sport will take part. Some folks will still go down and fish off shore with a can of worms and a cane pole; but the image being presented is the big boat and motor rigged to the gills being driven by a middle aged man around a northern lake and to top it off too many fisherman are basing success solely on the number of trophies they can catch and release in a trip. Oh yeah if someone read some of these posts about guys getting upset about sharing structure with another boat or complaining about how long it takes someone to launch or load a boat they would have second thoughts about treading onto a lake. Kids and adults can be intimidated. If you want to save fishing take someone fishing from a simple rig or shore and have a nice long friendly conversation. I do believe that was one of the good things about fishing in the past spending time with a friend with no distractions other than a nibble now and again. Or am I being too sentimentel.

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Scott K

I dont know where you guys fish, but I know every where I fish there are alot more trucks at the landings, alot more boats in the water. In the winter time I bet there is 10 times the houses that were out there 10 yrs ago. So what that is telling me is every lake I go to is everyone elses choice for the day. Or there is alot of people fishing without a license.

Just for the record I fish alot of local small lakes, and head north to other lake. They are all busier today then they were 10yrs ago!

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PierBridge

Quote:

I dont know where you guys fish, but I know every where I fish there are alot more trucks at the landings, alot more boats in the water. In the winter time I bet there is 10 times the houses that were out there 10 yrs ago.


We don't sell less OVERALL fishing licenses, younger people are buying less licenses.

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Scott K

Sorry I didnt see that in the post.. If that is the case, the dnr should be out checking more people between the ages of 16, to whatever age they think is missing out here. I havent seen a lack of age group from 16 on up, and if there is its because they are on the jet skis, water skis, and atvs in the winter. If you are talking under 16, they didnt need a license to begin with. And the fact that if there is less younger people on the lake does that mean that more than 2 times the older people have decided to go on the lakes. Something needs to indicate the more people I see on the lakes.

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Hydra Sport

We as parents are partially to blame as is our society which now has many of our kids in hockey, baseball, soccer,gymnastics, dance, swimming etc. traveling from city to city with parents often taking one kid to Bloomington and another to Hopkins hey our kids don't organize their own time anymore we do. Can you blame a kid for wanting to veg for a while on the computer when they are competing all of the time. Its not just plain fun anymore it is competition for who makes the team and who gets to travel and which sibling gets mom's and dad's attention. I grew up in Coon Rapids and by the time I got to the end of my block we would have enough kids to play baseball all day. Now parents are afraid to let their kids go to the park because of all the risks. We need to lighten up on the organized sports and we need to learn to relax with our kids. Go camping, do a little fishing, teach them the value of taking pictures of the impressive things that can be experienced in our great outdoors. My kids will never forget the skunk that just insisted on coming into our camp in Door County. They still talk about how that skunk rubbed up against the tent after they got in it. Unfortunately I like many have failed to keep those kind of moments in the spotlight for my kids. Now they have their own lives developing and I can only hope for the best. Sorry for the soap box.

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wild_instigator

Video games, money and structured lives? Are you serious?

I grew up playing video games. You can still find me at 12am or later in front of my PS3 while my wife and kids sleep. As far as money goes - grew up with a single mom and didn’t have jack. Structure? To think all of my social security payments are going to fund these kinds of thoughts for the future…good lord.

My mom purchased a fishing license for herself, found some spare time and, on a moments notice, took me fishing when I was a boy. That’s why I fish today – my mom. Plain and simple. She didn’t have any of the items that have been listed here. I guess I’m just one in a million who made it through everything else you guys think holds the rest of the world back.

Why are your kids not fishing right now? Schools out. Better sign off your internet forum, unplug your entertainment center, hit up an ATM, document an agenda for your trip and get on your way. That’s what’s needed to take your kids fishing, right?

No apologies for my soap box.

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sparcebag

Hydra & Wild I feel you two pretty much sumed it up!

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Weed Shark

Maybe all the wrong reasons have been stated. But if fewer young people are fishing, then what IS the reason?

Parents on the Internet and watching cable/satellite TV?...could be.

I doubt it is just one reason that fits everyone, but a combination of factors that fit various people.

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Wanderer

Hi guys,

Thanks for this post. It makes me want to take my kids fishing at least as much as a buddy. smile.gif

I have one that wants to go every time for as long we can in whatever weather is happening. The other is a "catcher". If we're not catching she's not fishing. wink.gif The former is a girl also. She is the patient one.

I used to fish up to 40 hours a week when I was in my 20's. That was me then. Now, even trying to "get back into it" it'll take me 2-3 months to have that much TOTW.

It was MORE ME NOW and I fished aggressively. If you couldn't fish like I did, we probably wouldn't fish together much. I tried to make the kids fish like I did and it didn't work too well. I all but forgot how to bobber fish.

Now time is short from the career hustle and yes, fishing is expensive. Half the family decides whether or not we will go enough times in a year if buying a license is worth it. Buying one is still automatic to me though since in reality it is about the cheapest thing you buy all year.

We have a new place to go up north now and the 18' bass boat collects dust in the garage while the 16' Lund has fresh gas, new batteries and new depth finder on it. There are permanately rigged bobber rods and everyone has their own. THEY catch more fish now and want to go more. We all have a better time.

Its all about priorities and what experiences you value. I've caught mine. I'm content. Its time they start catching theirs. grin.gif

Maybe more people need to go through this cycle? I dunno, but I like the change.

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Weed Shark

Quote:

Quote:

I dont know where you guys fish, but I know every where I fish there are alot more trucks at the landings, alot more boats in the water. In the winter time I bet there is 10 times the houses that were out there 10 yrs ago.


We don't sell less OVERALL fishing licenses, younger people are buying less licenses.


There is an article by Doug Smith on page 1B of today's Star-Tribune which states the overall numbers of anglers (and hunters) in the US and Minnesota are declining according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife survey released on Monday.

It reports that, "Since 2001, the numbers of anglers nationally dropped 12 percent, from 34 million to 29.9 million..." In Minnesota, it showed "...an 11.7 percent decline in anglers - from 1.6 million to 1.4 million..."

Reasons cited by Ryan Bronson, hunter recruitment and retention supervisor for the DNR include: Urbanization, organized sports, parents saying they have less time, and baby boomers dying or moving to Arizona.

Federal officials say, "...higher gas prices and hurricanes also could be reasons..."

If you factor in our population growth, the numbers would look worse, as a percentage of the population.

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fishinJohn

You won't have to blame video games for long, pretty soon you will be able to buy a boat for less than a game system. I did not have someone teach me to fish and until fairly recently I did not know you could find great info. online, well I never thought to check. I admit it takes a lot of patience to keep trying at something when you seem to fail 19 times out of 20. I tried ice fishing for the first time this year with almost no knowledge and in about 15 different trips I only caught one fish, and I had a Vexilar the whole time! If I were a kid I would rather sneak in some more excitement.

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Shorelunch

The fishing industry is VERY concerned about this trend. Thus, there's take a kid fishing type programs trying to get a foothold.

I agree with the posts above: high boat prices, dad's and mom's who aren't sure about how and where to fish, net household incomes declining, video games, kids who now get "bored" so much easier and families with less free time all contribut to the decline.

The tough question that we're trying to answer is how to stop the decline? One answer is reaching ethnicities beyond whites and the other is making fishing a part of the classroom like, say, archery. Tough solutions and and even tougher probem to begin with . . .

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papabear

it would be great to see fishing and the outdoors part of the school curiculum. Teachers are often looking for ways to incorporate several classes into one project and the outdoors is an excellent way to do this. Science, PE, History, math, geometrey, and recess can be tught in one day of fishing. Hopefuly not first aid though.

My girls like to learn about why lakes are shaped the way they are or what part of a fish is the ear. You can keep a kids attention for a little while if you have something to keep thier interest in something other than the fact you cant catch a fish. And who knows maybe they will become better stewards of the land in the process.

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Jorgie

"Fishing for Anglers"

The above article mentions a lot of what has already been said, including the statistics.

I tend to think the decline comes from a lot of different things, but most significantly, parents. Parents either can't afford to take their kids out, don't won't to, or don't know how. I learned from my dad and I don't know if I would've without him. Without someone to introduce you to the sport, you have a harder time learning. And if you keep going out and not catching anything while trying to learn, you'll likely give it up quickly. I suspect this is also why less young people are hunting. I'm 22 and have never gone hunting before. Its not that I don't want to; I've just never had anyone introduce me to it. (That and it's expensive. I spend enough on fishing equipment.) Just my 2 cents.

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