One in five anglers surveyed by AnglerSurvey.com reported having to cancel or quit fishing a particular location last year because they had lost access to a favorite fishing spot.
While most were able to shift their fishing to a different location, about a third of the affected anglers – or 7 percent of all survey respondents – said it caused them to quit fishing altogether.
Access issues occur almost evenly across fresh and saltwater bodies of water. In fact, with three out of four anglers fishing freshwater, three out of four access problems affected freshwater anglers. Twenty-one percent affected saltwater anglers and less than five percent affected anglers fishing brackish waters.
While lost or reduced fishing access to prime fishing areas is a concern to all anglers, many anglers were able to find another place to fish. Of those who lost access to a lake, stream or other body of water, nearly 60 percent said they were able to continue fishing. Besides the seven percent who said it caused them to quit, 35 percent admitted they fished a little less frequently.
“While access issues can often be overcome by fishing somewhere else, we are still losing some anglers each year due to problems with fishing access. When we add up the anglers lost year after year, whether as a result of marine fishery closures or dilapidated boat ramps, access remains a major long term problem for sportfishing and fisheries conservation.” says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at AnglerSurvey.com.
To help prevent the loss of more fishing areas to development, budget cuts or government closures of fishing areas, anglers need to speak up and let leaders know that quality fishing access is important to them.
They should also participate in surveys such as the ones at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.comand AnglerSurvey.com. Each month, participants who complete the surveys are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.