The U.S. Department of the Interior announced a new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that shows that 101.6 million Americans — 40 percent of the U.S. population 16 years old and older — participated in wildlife-related activities in 2016.
The survey illustrates gains in wildlife watching — particularly around the home — and fishing, with moderate declines in the number of hunters nationally.
The findings reflect a continued interest in engaging in the outdoors, the National Marine Manufacturers Association said.
These activities are drivers behind an economic powerhouse, where participants spent $156 billion — the most in the last 25 years, adjusted for inflation.
The report found that more Americans went fishing, with an 8 percent increase in angling participation since 2011, from 33.1 million anglers to 35.8 million in 2016.
The greatest increases in participation, 10 percent, were seen in the Great Lakes area. Total expenditures by anglers nationwide rose 2 percent from 2011 to 2016, from $45 billion to $46.1 billion.