OCTOBER 31, 2019

RBFF Announces New Research, Strategies for Angler Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation

ALEXANDRIA, VA The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced the release of new research, Actionable Strategies for Angler Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3). With support from the Multistate Conservation Grant Program, RBFF worked with Responsive Management to conduct national surveys and focus groups with U.S. residents and R3 professionals, with the intent of developing actionable strategies for angler R3.


With key recommendations, RBFF aims to assist state fish and wildlife agencies with actionable strategies for angler R3 that respond to changing demographics and new technologies.


Key findings and recommendations from this R3 research:

Support and expand urban fishing programs.

  • Bring the fishing experience directly to growing populations of Americans.

Include diversity in images & communications.

  • Implement outreach efforts that are representative of our diverse American population.

Promote local fishing opportunities.

  • Anglers do not typically travel more than a half-hour to go fishing; highlight places to fish that are close to home.

Target angler R3 efforts toward outdoor recreationists, particularly boaters and campers.

  • More than a third of U.S. residents say that they are very interested in fishing; many of whom are already participating in crossover activities like boating and camping.

Emphasize nature and family and friends in angler outreach efforts.

  • Top reasons to fish are to be out in nature and see scenery, to be with family and friends, and to relax.

Streamline license offerings to keep the process simple.

  • Participants reported that license purchasing is confusing.

Retain & reactivate traditional license buyers.

  • Encourage aging angler groups to participate and become mentors to others.


“We’ve said for years that R3 is critical to our 60 in 60 goal and to the success of our industry,” said RBFF President & CEO Frank Peterson. “Now, we have clear actions state agencies can take to better recruit, retain and reactivate anglers and boaters, including using inclusive messaging to welcome new and diverse audiences to the water – a theme our recent Marketing Segmentation Study echoed.”

While RBFF has highlighted these seven key findings and recommendations, the full report and infographic contain even more insights and implications for angler R3 efforts. Namely, the demographic trends called out in the full report will continue to have important implications on fishing participation for years to come.



About the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)
RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation's aquatic natural resources. RBFF's recently announced 60 in 60 effort strives to attract 60 million anglers to the sport by the end of 2021. To help recruit, retain and reactivate participants, RBFF developed the award-winning Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ campaigns creating awareness about boating, fishing and conservation, and educating people about the benefits of participation. These campaigns help boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan and equip for a day on the water. The campaign websites, TakeMeFishing.org and TakeMeFishing.org/es, feature how-to videos, information on how to get a fishing license and boat registration, and an interactive state-by-state map that allows visitors to find local boating and fishing spots.