Fishermen are on the rise this year
There are more anglers on the water now than in the recent past, according to a new survey.
Research done by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and the Outdoor Foundation show that fishing — already the most popular recreational activity in the country — is growing in popularity. The groups regularly compile a “special report” tracking participation in fishing and boating.
This year, for the first time, it showed that fishing added more participants (8.8 million) than it lost, 8.8 million to 8 million. That brings the total of Americans who fish to 46.2 million, or 16.2 percent of the population.
“Fishing and boating are among the most important ‘gateway' activities that often lead people, especially youth, to pursue other recreation experiences,” said Christine Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation.
The greatest growth came from women and children ages 6 to 12. Not surprisingly, the research showed that most of those youngsters were introduced to fishing by their parents — and that adults with children fished more than those without.
The next step, it seems, is figuring out how to keep those kids fishing. Participation declines between the ages of 13 and 17, the report showed.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is providing support for a number of youth outdoor programs.
The group handed out $19,813 in grant money this year. Projects in 27 Pennsylvania counties will benefit.
The Armstrong County Sportsmen and Conservation League, Roscoe Sportsmen's Association in Washington County and Kingston Veterans and Sportsmen's Club in Westmoreland each got money for their youth field days. The Independent Mountain Men of Western Pennsylvania in Butler County got money for a Boy Scout Camporee to demonstrate black-powder rifle shooting and other primitive outdoor skills and Fayette Gun Club got money for its “invite a friend to shoot” day.
The Greene County scholastic clay target program and California Hill Gun Club in Washington County got funding, and Allenport Rod and Gun in Washington County got money for its children's fishing contest.
Paddle Without Pollution, the local nonprofit group dedicated to removing trash from the area's rivers and streams, conducted a successful cleanup on the Pittsburgh's three rivers recently.
Sixty people in kayaks and canoes and working on shore collected 4,300 pounds of trash from the shores of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers.
The total included 115 large bags of garbage, 25 tires and 60 large items, including shopping carts, car batteries, barrels, bicycles, a drum set, lawn chairs, a vacuum cleaner and a kiddie pool.
Signed into law
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has some new flexibility when it comes to selling licenses.
Gov. Tom Corbett recently signed into law legislation that will allow the commission to sell licenses good for more than one year and to offer discounts on licenses bought later in the year.
The legislation was initially sponsored by Sen. Rich Kasunic, a Fayette County Democrat.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-838-5148.