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Fishing in the North: The Growth of the Fishing Industry | fishing

One of the unexpected results of the current pandemic has been the growth in outdoor activities. Hiking, biking, skiing, and boating all saw growth over the 2020-2021 period.

Another activity that stagnated but had grown was fishing. Nationwide, the number of anglers grew to over 50 million and over 3 million tried their hand at fishing for the first time. Ninety percent of these new anglers are determined to continue the sport.

Anglers reached an all-time high with almost 18 million participants. Youth participation was over 11 million. There were over 7 million fly fishermen, another all-time high.

Anglers in New Hampshire saw similar growth. Fishing license sales rose 17 percent in 2020 and 2021 is on a similar path to 2020.

More and more anglers are coming to New Hampshire and more anglers are putting a strain on all types of services. Restaurants, accommodation, access, law enforcement and the number of fish available to anglers are all under pressure. Especially here in the Mount Washington Valley.

New Hampshire Fish and Game recognizes these challenges and is proactive in addressing the needs of the future of fishing. During the first half of 2021, the NH Fish Hatchery Advisory Committee held weekly meetings to determine the future direction of trout fishing for the state.

This committee tackled challenges such as modernizing the hatchery system, meeting the expectations of trout anglers, protecting wild fish in New Hampshire, and generating income to fund these programs.

I was honored to be a member of the Fish Breeding Committee. Here are some of the facts learned as part of the process.

Considering both licensed anglers and those who do not meet the required criteria for holding a license class, it is likely that over 200,000 anglers fish in New Hampshire waterways annually, of which 75 percent, or approximately 150,000, are New Hampshire residents.

Based on this data, New Hampshire residents fishing is one of the most engaging recreational activities in all age groups.

Fishing is a key part of the New Hampshire recreational experience. According to the 2021 report, 79 percent of respondents said they enjoy fishing along with other traditional outdoor recreational activities (camping 40 percent, cycling 30 percent, hiking 28 percent, running 26 percent, and hunting 22 percent).

In the Responsive Management Report 2016 by Fish and Game, 31 percent of respondents rated the importance of recreational fishing for them compared to other activities (on a scale from 0 to 10) with a 10 with a mean of 7.56.

For many New Hampshire residents and visitors, fishing is central to their recreational experience.

The American Sportfishing Association estimates that recreational fishing in New Hampshire contributed over $ 338 million to the New Hampshire economy in 2018, with anglers spending $ 209 million directly.

The data from the department on anglers’ preference show that the stocking program is broadly supported with 9 out of 10 support stockings.

The satisfaction of cold water anglers is highest among those who fish remote ponds (76 percent). Stocked brown trout and rainbow trout outperform wild brown trout by around 10 percent with 62 percent, 61 percent and 52 percent, respectively, while only brown trout and inland salmon have satisfaction rates below the median for all fish species.

By encouraging the population of busy rivers and ponds and increasing the availability of wild fish, New Hampshire can encourage more anglers to participate.

With Governor Chris Sununu’s announcement on Instagram this week that the hatchery modernization program is funded, are you ready to mount Mount Washington Valley? The fishing economy is just around the corner.

The higher water level of our brooks and brooks means that the fish move throughout the catchment area. When fish are not where they were yesterday, move upstream. You will find the fish.

Steve Angers is from the Conway area, is the author of Fly Fishing New Hampshire’s Secret Waters and runs the North Country Anglers.

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