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PARTICIPATION- Anglers out number golfers two to one. Nearly 50 million people fish in the United States. Florida ranks first in the number of adult anglers with California second and Texas third. The top ten states for adult anglers are Florida, California, Texas, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Louisiana, North Carolina, New York and South Carolina.

Recreational fishing contributes more than $108 billion to the economy. If sport fishing were a corporation it woul rank 13th in the Fortune 500 list of America's largest busineses in terms of revenue placing it above Texaco and Dupont. 570,000 new boats were sold in 1998 with $19 billion in overall spending on boating. Recreational fishing creates salaries and wages totaling about $28 billion and contributes $3.1 billion in federal incime tax, about one third of the entire federal budget for agriculture.

The money spent by an angler when buying fishing equipment and motor boat fuels helps suport a Federal Program. Manufacturers of fishing equipment pay an excise tax that is passed along in retail price to anglers. Since 1950 state fish and wildlife agencies received more than $2.6 billion to increase recreational fishing and boating opportunities across the United States. The money from these funds helped to build more than 1,200 fishing and boating access sites and purchase over 260,000 acres of habitat and access sites. Also some money was used for research projects to improve fisheries management and educate children and adults about angling and aquatic resources. This allows fish and wildlife agencies to improve fishing and boating in their states. The results are more opportunities for the public to enjoy fishing and boating. The states rely on fishing license fees to provide 25% of the money received from the Federal program. License fees are to be use exclusively by their fish and wildlife agencies.

About 60% of US Anglers practice catch and release. Woman make up about 33% of fresh water anlers. About 85% of fresh water anglers begin fishing at 12 years old.

And, the top three reasons people fish are for:
1- Relaxation- A youngster, a fishing pole, a can of worms and you will hear them squeal, "I got one."
2- Be close to nature- There is no greater place to work or play than in the outdoors. Serenity of on the water, the slap of a beavers tail, the sound of a bullfrog and the hawks soaring.
3- Spend time with family and friends. Mom, dad, and the kids in a family boat enjoying fishing and a day together as a family.