#06-248 September 18, 2006
Youth fishing survey finds angling gains popularity
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources recently received results of a survey of youth participation in and attitudes toward fishing and aquatic resources in South Carolina. The survey found a significant increase in overall fishing participation since 2001, and that fathers are the most common person to introduce youth to fishing.
Responsive Management, a natural resources survey research firm in Harrisonburg, Va., developed the telephone survey questionnaire cooperatively with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), partly based on and compared with a previous survey conducted in 2001. The S.C. Natural Resources Board, the policy-making body of DNR, will release the entire survey results to the public after full review. The study entailed a telephone survey of randomly sampled South Carolina youth, ages 8 to 18 in May through June 2006.
Some results of the survey include:
- A significant increase was noted in overall fishing participation in 2006 compared to 2001 findings. This included youth participation in freshwater fishing participation and/or saltwater fishing in the 12-month timeframe prior to the surveys.
- A father is, by far, the most common person to introduce youth to fishing, distantly followed by other male family members—grandfathers and uncles.
- When asked directly about parents’ participation in fishing, about three-fourths of South Carolina youth say that their father fishes, while about a third say that their mother fishes. Interestingly, males are more likely than are females to say that their father fishes. In follow-up questions, fathers are more avid than mothers in fishing, as fathers more often fish a lot than do mothers.
- Compared with 2001, there were significant increases in those saying their grandfather or a family friend taught them to fish. There was a decline in those saying their brother taught them to fish.
- Most commonly, South Carolina youth with fishing experience say that they fish for anything that bites. Bass, catfish, and bream (or sunfish) are the most commonly fished species.
- Fishing and biking are the most popular outdoor recreational activities among South Carolina youth, followed by visiting a state or national park, watching wild animals or birdwatching, motorboating, hiking, and camping in a tent.
Anglers in South Carolina spend almost $742 million to fish each year, making the sport, with economic multipliers factored in, a billion dollar business in the Palmetto State. Check the DNR page http://www.dnr.sc.gov/licensing.html for information on fishing regulations, licenses and more.