Nearly 16 percent of United States anglers found one of their fishing spots closed to their use last year, and of that group, the single leading reason cited for that closure was that the area was posted as "no trespassing." The findings were part of a monthly survey of recreational fisherman conducted by AnglerSurvey.com.
Just over 32 percent of survey respondents said the water they fished or the land they used to access a particular body of water had been posted preventing them from fishing that location. The government no longer allows fishing at the location was the second most cited reason, claimed by 23.8 percent of survey respondents. That cause of closure was followed by development of the area by 15.7 percent and then pollution by 7.2 percent. An assortment of lesser or "other" reasons was collectively cited by 32.8 percent. Respondents could provide more than one answer to the question as some anglers may have lost access to more than one fishing location last year.
"These findings should sound an alarm that lost access to the waters they fish is a very real problem for a number of our nation's anglers," said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com. "New lands posted as no trespassing are the top reason, but government closures of boat ramps or waterways due to lack of funds or environmental reasons and development along shorelines also greatly factor into limiting angler access. Once these areas are lost to fishing, it's usually permanent."
Those who hunt, fish and target shoot are invited to participate in the surveys conducted on HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com. Each month, participants who complete the survey are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.
Launched in 2006, AnglerSurvey.com, and HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com are non-scientific surveys designed to help the outdoor industry, government fisheries and wildlife officials and conservation organizations track consumer activities and expenditure trends. The information above represents only a small sample of the vast amount of data collected from the complete survey results and available to government agencies, businesses, the media and other interested parties. Results are scientifically weighted to best reflect the attitudes and habits of anglers and hunters across the United States.