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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

 

 

September 18, 1998
Eric Eckl 202-208-5636

STATE REPORTS ON HUNTING, FISHING, AND WILDLIFE WATCHING NOW AVAILABLE

In Georgia, big bass boats rule the rivers and reservoirs, while fly fishermen stalk trout in Pennsylvania streams. Come fall, Michiganders begin looking forward to whitetail deer while Montanans prepare for elk season. With the first signs of spring, serious birders peruse brochures from their travel agents and ponder options for their next trip.

"Whether casting a fly or snapping a shutter, 77 million Americans find wildlife-associated recreation a source of lifelong enjoyment and renewal," said Jamie Rappaport Clark, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "America's great diversity of wildlife provides a wealth of opportunities for residents and tourists alike in every part of the country."

The 1996 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation showed that the public's interest in wildlife remains strong and detailed demographics of participation and spending on equipment, trips, meals, and other expenses. The survey has been conducted every 5 years since 1955. Comprehensive state reports based on the 1996 data are now available.

Each report details the whos, whats, whens, and wheres of wildlife-related recreation in that state: demographic information, preferred species and habitats, equipment purchased and used, and number of days spent pursuing these activities. This information is invaluable to elected officials, wildlife managers, hunting and fishing organizations, conservation groups, journalists, and others who manage or enjoy fish and wildlife.

Each state report is based on thousands of interviews conducted with U.S. residents about their fishing, hunting, and wildlife-related recreation, such as watching, feeding, and photographing wild animals. The reports focus on the activities of U.S. residents aged 16 and up. The methodology used was similar to the 1991 survey, so results from the two surveys can be compared.

The national and state reports from the 1996 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation are available at http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/fishing.html on the Internet. Printed copies are available by calling the Service's Publications Unit at 304-876-7203.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System comprised of more than 500 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands, and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state wildlife agencies.

 1996 NATIONAL SURVEY OF FISHING, HUNTING, AND WILDLIFE-ASSOCIATED RECREATION

Top Five States for:

Number of Hunters

1. Michigan        934,000
2. Texas             913,000
3. Pennsylvania  879,000
4. Wisconsin      665,000
5. New York     642,000

Proportion of Hunters

1. Montana        21.3%
2. Idaho             20.8%
3. South Dakota 20.3%
4. Wyoming        19.1%
5. West Virginia 17.5%

Days of Hunting

1. Michigan       18,408,000
2. Texas            17,050,000
3. Pennsylvania 13,173,000
4. New York    11,552,000
5. Wisconsin     10,042,000

Buyers of Hunting Equipment

1. Michigan        742,000
2. Texas             722,000
3. Pennsylvania   674,000
4. Wisconsin       574,000
5. Minnesota       561,000

Buyers of Guns and Rifles for Hunting

1. Michigan   224,000
2. Texas        211,000
3. Wisconsin 166,000
4. Missouri   162,000
5. Ohio         155,000

 Buyers of Ammunition for Hunting

1. Texas              636,000
2. Michigan        595,000
3. Pennsylvania   553,000
4. Wisconsin       470,000
5. Minnesota       450,000

Number of Anglers

1. Florida        2,864,000
2. California    2,722,000
3. Texas          2,613,000
4. Michigan     1,824,000
5. New York  1,706,000

Proportion of Anglers

1. Alaska               41.2%
2. Idaho                 32.0%
3. Wyoming          31.2%
4. South Dakota    31.1%
5. Minnesota         31.0%

Days of Fishing

1. Texas              51,329,000
2. Florida           45,465,000
3. California       36,914,000
4. New York     29,359,000
5. Michigan        28,709,000

Buyers of Fishing Equipment

1. California    1,938,000
2. Texas          1,754,000
3. Florida         1,565,000
4. Minnesota    1,106,000
5. Michigan      1,086,000

Buyers of Artificial Lures and Flies

1. California    1,448,000
2. Texas          1,208,000
3. Florida        1,068,000
4. Minnesota      836,000
5. Missouri        705,000

Buyers of Fishing Reels and Rods

1. Texas           1,040,000
2. Florida          1,018,000
3. California         974,000
4. Illinois              597,000
5. Missouri           546,000

Number of Wildlife-Watching Participants, by State of Residence

1. California      5,959,000
2. Texas           3,553,000
3. Pennsylvania 3,442,000
4. New York    3,169,000
5. Illinois           3,137,000

Proportion of Wildlife-Watching Participants

1. Alaska               50%
2. Vermont            48%
3. Montana            47%
4. Maine                46%
5. New Hampshire 44%

Number of Nonresidential Wildlife Watching Participants

1. California      2,362,000
2. Florida          1,846,000
3. Pennsylvania 1,559,000
4. Texas           1,439,000
5. Illinois           1,247,000

Days of Nonresidential Wildlife Watching

1. California        24,587,000
2. Michigan         16,162,000
3. Texas               14,838,000
4. Florida            14,658,000
5. Pennsylvania   13,123,000

Expenditures for Wildlife Watching

1. California        $2,396,809,000
2. New Jersey     $1,800,691,000
3. Florida             $1,677,170,000
4. Washington     $1,660,936,000
5. Wisconsin       $1,594,265,000


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