U.S. Angler Expenditures in 2016
- May 4, 2018
- By Todd Whitesel
Fishing is one of America's most popular outdoor activities. Almost 36 million Americans 16 years and older went fishing in 2016. It's also an important revenue source that creates and supports thousands of jobs nationwide. Anglers took 383 million fishing trips during the year and spent $46.1 billion on fishing-related expenses. That's according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's 2016 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.
Of the $46.1 billion spent, anglers committed $21.7 billion to trip-related expenditures, $21.1 billion to equipment and $3.3 billion to other items, such as land leasing, memberships and licenses. On average, each angler spent $1,290 on fishing-related expenses in 2016.
Anglers spent $7.8 billion on food and lodging, $5 billion on transportation, and $8.8 billion on other trip costs such as bait cost, boating expenses, equipment rental, guide fees and land-use fees.
Participants spent more than $7.4 billion on fishing equipment - an average of $150 annually per angler. They spent $10.5 billion on special equipment such as boats, cabins and vans, and another $3.2 billion on auxiliary equipment such as binoculars, camping gear and fishing clothing.
Here's a breakdown of total fishing equipment expenditures by category:
- $1.4 billion – rods, reels, poles and rodmaking components
- $852 million – artificial lures, flies, baits and dressing for flies and lines
- $536 million – lines and leaders
- $459 million – depth finders, fish finders and other electronic fishing devices
- $444 million – other fishing equipment
- $367 million – hooks, sinkers, swivels and other items attached to a line except baits and lures
- $181 million – ice fishing equipment
- $93 million – tackle boxes
- $81 million – minnow traps, seines and bait containers
Freshwater fishing was the most popular type of fishing and accounted for the highest expenditures. Some 30.1 million anglers made at least one outing during 2016, while freshwater fishing expenditures for trips and equipment totaled $29.9 billion.
Anglers spent $5 billion in 2016 on saltwater fishing equipment, with $2.7 billion spent on fishing equipment, $2.1 billion for special equipment, and $291 million on auxiliary gear.
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