America loves to fish

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Fishing fanatics: Between the years 2006 and 2011, the number of anglers in the Great Lakes region grew by 17 percent. | File photo

The number of anglers in the United States is growing — 11 percent overall from 2006 to 2011, the year of the last national survey. In fact, accounting for regional variations, some angling demographics actually increased by a larger percentage, including Great Lakes anglers, whose numbers grew by 17 percent and saltwater anglers, whose numbers increased by 15 percent.

Other interesting fishing facts:

Recreational fishing — both fresh and saltwater combined — ranks higher than bowling or playing basketball, softball or soccer, according to data from the National Sporting Goods Association.

More Americans fish than play golf (21 million) and tennis (13 million) combined.

If fishing were a company, the amount spent by anglers to support fishing-related retail sales would rank number 51 on the Fortune 500 list.

Fishing generated more revenue ($48 billion) than Lockheed Martin ($47 billion), Intel ($44 billion), Chrysler ($42 billion) or Google ($38 billion).

The economic activity generated by sportfishing is greater than the economies, measured in Gross State Product, of 17 states.

At more than 46 million anglers in 2011, more than twice the number of people fished in 2011 than attended every NFL game combined.

Source: American Sportfishing Association