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trout stamp sales 1991-2017

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Since a lot of my interests outside of fishing and hunting have to do with data and numbers and interpreting that data and since it was trout season,  I took a look at the trout stamp sales on the division website for the following years.   

General fishing license sales from 1991-2017   dropped from 224,946 to 118,789 for a loss of 106,157 almost a 50% drop.    The numbers below are by year as you can see, red are the trout stamp sales.   

I don't what to make of the data other than to say interest in fishing in general and trout fishing in particular have fallen off a cliff, the numbers tell the story.  Despite what DFW says about great trout fishing in the state it was a lot better in the 70's, 80's and 90's  and it explains why I see a lot fewer fishermen on streams and lakes.  By the data trends, in the near future the only people buying NJ licenses for freshwater will be trout fishermen as the difference between general fishing licenses sales and trout stamp buyers is only 21,501 and going down.  The national trend has held  steady since 2003 for paid fishing license holders thank goodness but NJ based on the data has dropped like a falling lead ball.  Hunting license data is even worse. 

 

1991            1992          1993         1994           1995          1996           1997              1998               1999        2000

145,438    135,190   131,072     122,805      119,634      113,495       110,129         106,929         98,927      82,949

2001              2002        2003           2004         2005         2006           2007          2008         2009           2010

81,624      77,672      77,599      77,069        74,787      77,237        82,161      87,309      91,757      88,502

 

2011            2012            2013             2014             2015          2016          2017

87,164        89,590        89,737          84,581          87,537       85,998      84,656

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Your data seems off.  While not trout stamp sales, this compilation done by US Fish & Wildlife shows very different numbers.....however, it only goes back to 2003 - 2013 (ten years).  But in '03, NJ sold 166,708 freshwater fishing licenses.  The last year of the study was 2013, and in that year, NJ sold 177,335 licenses which is an increase obviously.  I likely won't have time to dig further, but USFWS should have additional data. 

https://asafishing.org/uploads/Fishing_License_Buyers_1975-2013_via_USFWS.htm

And more where the numbers might be held.....

https://asafishing.org/facts-figures/

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The data is from NJ, by year and for resident fishing licenses because the far majority of people fishing in NJ live in NJ.  I didn't post any data from USFWS.   I  pulled it from the NJDFW license sales page that has breakdowns by year. Does USFWS use just state resident data or do they lump in non-res, 7 day etc...?

http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/license_sales.htm

The 224,946(1991) to 106,157(2017) is for resident freshwater license sales (not including trout stamps)from 1991 to 2017 and from the DFW web page which I attached, and that trend is definitely going down.  If DFW numbers are off then my numbers are off. 

Here is a snap shot from the NJDFW webpage for 2001 2010. Resident fishing licenses in 03 was 134,553 .     And another snap shot from 2011 to 2017, in 2013 resident freshwater sales were 133,214 not 177,335.   I am not counting non-res, all around, 7 day, 2 day or senior.   If I counted all of those I come up with 175,969 which is still less than 177,335 for 13'.   

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Neat to see the numbers from year to year, Thanks

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A lot of my buddies are fishing PA now. When the division stopped putting in brookies and browns they had enough of NJ. 

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On 5/13/2018 at 7:53 AM, gillripper said:

A lot of my buddies are fishing PA now. When the division stopped putting in brookies and browns they had enough of NJ. 

You can count about 5,000 other NJ fishermen as well since 2013 who decided the same thing.   But don't worry, as soon they put solar panels over the raceways they will start stocking browns and brookies again.   When will that be?  In about 5-10-15-20 years.  But until then, PA is my trout destination. 

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There's a difference in what constitutes one individual license holder that causes the difference in data between the division site and if you look at data reported by the FWS. It's for federal funding purposes as far as I recall. Each state has to report total licenses, permits, stamps, etc related to fishing (and hunting) but that may equate to a number of anglers that does not necessarily reflect how many individual anglers there were due to one individual buying multiple things, replacement licenses, etc. All the 2-day, 7-day, nonresident, resident; they all come into play for funding purposes.

What I can tell you, is that when you do look at the numbers, there are a couple of things going on. There is no doubt declines in both hunting and fishing in New Jersey, but also nationwide. There is no other state out there not having funding issues, issues with folks lapsing out or aging out of these sports. Those that are hunting, angling, etc are actually spending more money on licenses, permits, stamps, etc. What does that mean? Less people are footing more of the bill. We (I say we as in current hunters and anglers) really do need to step up and create new, lifelong hunters and anglers to alleviate these strains on 1) ourselves and 2) the agencies. Guys going out of state to hunt or fish because they aren't happy with how things are here are only doing what could be done in their own state a disservice by not supporting their own agency.

There are some really good articles out there detailing this as it has becoming a more alarming issue. One that sticks out, is if the 10 million hunters out there each created a new hunter, we would be on our way to resolving this epidemic in a little over a year. (a YEAR).

 

Edited by chenrossi

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4 hours ago, chenrossi said:

There's a difference in what constitutes one individual license holder that causes the difference in data between the division site and if you look at data reported by the FWS. It's for federal funding purposes as far as I recall. Each state has to report total licenses, permits, stamps, etc related to fishing (and hunting) but that may equate to a number of anglers that does not necessarily reflect how many individual anglers there were due to one individual buying multiple things, replacement licenses, etc. All the 2-day, 7-day, nonresident, resident; they all come into play for funding purposes.

What I can tell you, is that when you do look at the numbers, there are a couple of things going on. There is no doubt declines in both hunting and fishing in New Jersey, but also nationwide. There is no other state out there not having funding issues, issues with folks lapsing out or aging out of these sports. Those that are hunting, angling, etc are actually spending more money on licenses, permits, stamps, etc. What does that mean? Less people are footing more of the bill. We (I say we as in current hunters and anglers) really do need to step up and create new, lifelong hunters and anglers to alleviate these strains on 1) ourselves and 2) the agencies. Guys going out of state to hunt or fish because they aren't happy with how things are here are only doing what could be done in their own state a disservice by not supporting their own agency.

There are some really good articles out there detailing this as it has becoming a more alarming issue. One that sticks out, is if the 10 million hunters out there each created a new hunter, we would be on our way to resolving this epidemic in a little over a year. (a YEAR).

 

I think we're all aware of the decline in number and if we could bring more people into our sport we would.  The problem in NJ with hunting is available land per hunter in addition to severe restrictions on where you can hunt. Remember that we are 1% of the state population and have little influence.   There's more to the hunting issue but I have not the desire to 'splain.   

As to the agency support,  if I don't like what is going on in my state or I have better opportunities and more freedom to hunt-fish in other states then I will and so will thousands of others, it's called freedom. Other states that have better hunting and fishing are doing what hunters and fishermen like and that's why they go there.  You may not like it and NJDFW may not either but they make certain decisions that are not popular or don't fix problems they could fix to attract more sportsmen.   Everyone at NJDFW says they know better than the people buying the licenses so if numbers are going down they only have themselves to blame, they know what they should be doing to fix certain problems but they avoid doing so. 

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