RBFF provides over $300,000 to capitalise on 11% increase in fishing participation
Funding to support recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) initiatives driving participation in the US has been awarded to 15 programmes in 14 states.
The scheme, now in its seventh year, is operated by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) to provide funds to state agencies committed to customer engagement strategies in fishing and boating. This year’s grants total $308,000 and the 14 state agencies are contributing more than $380,000 in project funds and in-kind support, bringing the total to more than $688,000. State agencies across the country recorded an 11% increase in fishing licence sales in 2020 compared to the previous year, with resident licence sales up 15%. The growth indicates a net gain of 3.2 million licences.
Following the increase, the RBFF has focused the 2021 grants programme on retention efforts to keep the extra people engaged. “With millions of Americans taking up fishing or boating as new or returning participants in 2020, and our research indicating that 90% of new anglers want to continue participating, this represents a great opportunity,” said Stephanie Hussey, RBFF’s State R3 Programme Director.
“We are pleased to support these state agencies in implementing programmes focused on retaining these newcomers and keeping them out on the water.”
The 2021 grantees are:
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Iowa Department of Natural Resources; Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources; Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife; Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; Nevada Department of Wildlife; North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission; Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department; and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.