Fish and Wildlife Economics and Statistics
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Who Do Recreational Anglers Trust?

fishingpicThere are many factors that influence a person’s decisions and activities, especially in today’s information age of websites, social media and 24-hour news cycles. The question is who do anglers trust to provide the most reliable information on which they base their decisions? AnglerSurvey.com, an online bi-monthly survey conducted by Southwick Associates, the nation’s leading outdoor market research and economics firm, took a look at who has the most influence on recreational anglers’ purchase and fishing decisions and the results were split depending on what decision was being made.

When asked who respondents felt were the three most credible sources of information about issues related to fisheries, state or federal wildlife agencies were the most trusted and influential picked by 66 percent. Fisheries scientists followed at 48 percent and fellow anglers’ input either in person, through online forums or over social media were third at 41 percent. These sources won out, on a scale of 2:1, over non-profit organizations, outfitters and guides, professional tournament anglers, celebrity anglers, company spokespeople and any other sources of information.

But when it came to buying products and deciding which ones were best, it seems the anglers seen in the trenches were the most trusted and influential sources of information. The opinions of fellow anglers—either in person or online—by far outweighed all other sources of information and were selected by 71 percent of the survey respondents. Outfitters and guides followed chosen by 40 percent and professional tournament anglers were third selected by 31 percent. Despite being the go-to source for most anglers when it came to fisheries information, in this area, state and federal fish and wildlife agencies were seen as far from expert on what products to use, getting only 10 percent of the vote.

“It appears to come down to who anglers see as being the most knowledgeable about an aspect of angling on which they are seeking information. With actual locations and fisheries information, the agencies and biologists who work directly with them are critical influencers. When it comes to the best products to buy, people who use the products directly are a top choice for information,” says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at HunterSurvey.com and ShooterSurvey.com.

To help continually improve, protect and advance hunting, shooting and other outdoor recreation, all sportsmen and sportswomen are encouraged to participate in the bi-monthly surveys at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and/or AnglerSurvey.com. Every other month, participants who complete the surveys are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.

Southwick Associates is a market research and economics firm, specializing in the hunting, shooting, sportfishing, and outdoor recreation markets.  For more than 25 years, Southwick Associates has established a proven record for delivering comprehensive insights and statistics assisting business and strategic decisions across the entire outdoor industry; from government agencies, industry associations and non-profit organizations, to affiliated businesses and manufacturers.  Aside from custom market research, Southwick Associates also provides syndicated participation, media consumption and equipment purchase tracking studies utilizing their proprietary sportsmen panels.