Hunters and Anglers Make a Big Economic Impact in Louisiana
Wildlife-related recreational activities contribute substantially to the economy of Louisiana. A 2011 report by US Fish and Wildlife Service shows 40% of Louisianians participated in hunting, fishing and/or wildlife watching. The data is updated every 5 years and it’s clear from looking over past decades, outdoor recreation is a highly valuable annual factor in Louisiana’s economy, particularly in key areas of the state. Here’s a quick summary on spending: Residents and visitors spent a total of $2.2 billion on wildlife recreation in Louisiana, including $1 billion on trip related costs, and $1 billion on equipment. The remainder was spent on licenses, contributions, land ownership and leasing, and other miscellaneous costs.
It’s probably no surprise that fishing is a very popular outdoors activity in Louisiana. Approximately 825,000 people fished in Louisiana in 2011 for a total of 18.1 million days. This averages out to 22 days per angler per year. The majority of this fishing (97%) was done by residents. Anglers spent $807 million on fishing travel and equipment. More money was spent on saltwater fishing than freshwater fishing. Anglers spent about three times the amount on travel related expenses for saltwater as compared to freshwater.
Hunting is also popular in Louisiana. As many as 277,000 people went hunting in 2011, averaging 19 days of hunting per person per year. Hunters spent $245 million on travel related expenses, $178 million on equipment, and $142 million on other expenses, for a total of $564 million. “Other expenses” includes magazines, membership dues, licenses, permits, land leasing and ownership, etc. Hunting big game was the most expensive activity, followed by migratory birds and then small game.
The third wildlife activity included in this data report is wildlife watching. Many people who reported being hunters and/or anglers, also reported being wildlife watchers. One million Louisiana residents and visitors participated in wildlife watching in 2011. Wildlife watchers spent $543 million on activities in Louisiana in 2011. Of this, $222 million was spent on activity-related travel, $277 million was spent on activity-related equipment, and $44 million was spent on other costs.
Hunting, fishing and enjoying being outdoors is very important to Louisiana residents and the economic contribution is big. Decision makers need to hear from you about the values important to conserving and protecting Louisiana’s wildlife and natural resources. Join the LA Camo Coalition to stay up to date on opportunities to take action.