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How Fishing Benefits Virginians

For less than the cost of a full tank of gas, a family of four can fish for a year.

With the increasing demands in the work place and busy schedules, people are learning that fishing is a great way to spend time with family and friends. However, with rising fuel costs and difficult economic times, many people are looking to stay closer to home. Fortunately for Virginians, there’s a lake, river or stream within an hour’s drive from any location in the state, making it easy and economical to get away from it all for a day on the water, fishing, and relaxing.

All Virginians Benefit

While many Virginians benefit from the recreational aspect of fishing, all Virginians benefit from the conservation and economic activity generated by anglers. Recent studies show that recreational anglers are major powers when it comes to the strength of the economy. Virginia is home to or a destination for more than 800,000 anglers each year. Fishing alone is responsible for more than $1.3 billion in economic impact in the state. In 2006, 13% of the U.S. population 16 years old and older, 29.9 million anglers, spent an average of 17 days fishing. Freshwater fishing remains the most popular type of fishing with over 25.4 million anglers devoting 434 million angler-days to the sport.

Virginia: A Nationally Recognized Destination!

With the Chesapeake Bay, our coastal waters, rivers, lakes, and our trout cold, clear streams of the Blue Ridge, Virginia is a nationally recognized destination for anglers. Recreational sports, such as fishing, are tremendously important to the strength of our state’s economy. Anglers in Virginia invest millions of dollars every year in fisheries conservation and management, much of this through the purchase of fishing licenses which are a primary funding source for most fish and wildlife agencies.

Fishing Supports Jobs & The Economy

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, fishing outranks football, baseball and tennis as one of America’s favorite outdoor pastimes. Nationally, in one year, anglers spent nearly $19 billion on bait, boat rentals, and other equipment, $18 billion on food and lodging during fishing trips and $5.5 billion on licenses, memberships and other resources according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Together, fishing related industries and recreational anglers support hundreds of thousand jobs and add millions of dollars to state tax revenues, providing significant support to the nation’s overall economy through recessions as well as booms, according to recent reports from several sources including the American Sportfishing Association and Southwick Associates.

When you purchase a fishing license, you not only buy quality time, but you also are investing in conservation. For less than the cost of a full tank of gas, a family of four can fish for a year—making memories that will last a lifetime.