Impact of sportsmen should not be overlooked
Based upon the most recent surveys by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Southwick Associates surveys, the American Sportsfish Association and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, here are some interesting results: There are about 398,000 Massachusetts resident anglers and 99,000 anglers who are from out-of-state. They spend 7.2 million days on the water, spend $772 million on their sport and create 13,100 jobs.
There are 57,000 Mass. resident hunters and 16,000 from out of state. They spend 1 million days afield, spend $71 million on their sport and create 1,300 jobs. Because of them, approximately $481 million is generated in salaries and wages, $124 million in federal taxes, $94 million in state and local taxes.
There is a ripple effect on our state economy of $1.3 billion.
One out of 11 residents hunt and fish and the majority are "likely voters" who say that candidate position on sportsmen's issues is important in determining for whom they vote. \ Sportsmen support more jobs in Massachusetts than Massachusetts General Hospital (14,400 jobs vs. 14,000) \ Annual spending by Massachusetts sportsmen is more than the revenues of Airvana, Granite Telecommunications, Virtusa, and Au Bon Pain - the State's fastest growing companies ($843 million vs. $788 million). \ Massachusetts sportsmen spend nearly twice as much as the cash receipts from the state's commercial seafood landings ($843 million vs. $437 million). \ Massachusetts sportsmen annually spend $122 million on outboard boats and engines to get out on the water and around the marshes for fishing and hunting. \ Massachusetts sportsmen outnumber the populations of Worcester, Springfield and Lowell, three of the state's largest cities (472,000 vs.431,000).
Many thanks go to Brian Majewski of Dalton for forwarding this information to us. This scribe hopes our elected officials take these statistics into consideration when doing their legislating and budgeting for funding and staffing of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. If they don't, then sportsmen should contact them and ask them why.
Nationwide, there are approximately 30 million anglers who spend $1 billion on their sport, create 1.6 million jobs, generate $60 billion in salaries and wages and generate $25.6 billion in federal, state and local taxes.
There are approximately $12.5 million hunters who spend $23 billion on their sport, create 600,000 jobs, generate $21 billion in salaries and wages and generate $9.2 billion in taxes.
Southwick Associates' AnglerSurvey.com also recently announced the brands and products anglers purchased most frequently in 2010. This list has been compiled from surveys completed by anglers who volunteered to participate in last year's polls: \ Top rod brand: Shakespeare (12 percent of all purchases) \ Top reel brand: Shimano (19.4 percent of all purchases) \ Top rod and reel combo brand: Shakespeare (23.6 percent of all purchases) \ Top fishing line producer:
Berkley (12.8 percent of all purchases) \ Top hard bait brand: Rapala (25.7 percent of all purchases) \ Top soft bait brand: Zoom (13.3 percent of all purchases) \ Top spinner bait brand: Strike King (16.7 percent of all purchases) \ Top hook brand: Eagle Claw/Lazer Sharp (28 percent of all purchases) \ Top sinker brand: generic (29.7 percent), Water Gremlin (12 percent of all purchases) \ Top fly rod brand: LL Bean (25.6 percent of all purchases) \ Top fly reels brand: Orvis (17.5 percent of all purchases) \ Top fly combo brand: Pfleuger (6.5 percent of all purchases) \ Top fly line brand: Rio (32.1 percent of all purchases) \ Top fly leader brand: Rio (31.2 percent of all purchases) \ Top fly tying material brand: Wapsi (14 percent of all purchases) \ Top fish finder or sonar brand: Humminbird (34.7 percent of all purchases) \ Top tackle box brand: Plano (45.5 percent of all purchases) \ Top landing net brand: Frabill (33.4 percent of all purchases) \ Top fishing knife brand: Rapala (22.4 percent of all purchases) Nationally, largemouth bass remain the number one targeted species of freshwater fish, with 48 percent of fishing activity targeting them.
There was a similar survey dealing with hunting products which will be covered in a future column.
The results of the Lenox Sportsmen's Club ice fishing derby which was held last month are: Adults: First place - Stan Sawicki, 4.3-pound pickerel; second place - Larry Caritto, 4.3pound pickerel and third place - Mark Borgi, 3.7-pound pickerel. Juniors: First place - Lucas Zwinglestein, 2.2-pound pickerel, second place - Isaac Anello, 2.0-pound pickerel and third place - Cooper Shepardson, 1.8-pound pickerel.
The coyote hunting season ended on March 8 and the winners of Dave's Sporting Goods Coyote Contest were as follows: Trent Gaylord of Cheshire bagged the largest coyote, one weighing 431 2 pounds. Dan Gaylord of Lanesborough bagged the most with a tally of 25. Both hunters were winners in the prior two years.
A total of 49 coyotes were entered into the contest this season. Alan Bongini won the random draw.
State taxpayers are asked to help protect box turtles, Peregrine falcons and other endangered wildlife by supporting the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Fund when filing the state income tax this year. (Line 32a on our tax returns: "Endangered Wildlife Conservation"). All contributions go directly into the fund, which protects endangered species and their habitats in Massachusetts.
With our contributions to the fund, we directly help to study, protect, and restore endangered animals and plants and their habitats. Donations help restore populations and conserve and maintain habitat for many vulnerable kinds of wildlife, from raptors to reptiles.
Contributions can also be made directly to the Fund by sending a check payable to: "Comm. of Mass-NHESP Fund" and send it to: NHESP, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, 1 Rabbit Hill Rd, Westborough, MA, 01581.
To reach Gene Chague: Berkwoodsandwaters@roadrunner.com, (413) 637-1818.
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