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Fishing ranks number one in Oklahoma according to "Sports Illustrated"

While most Oklahomans certainly enjoy tuning in to a college football game or attending a high school basketball game, Oklahomans have a clear preference when it comes to participatory sports. When "Sports Illustrated" magazine asked their readers their favorite sport to play, fishing came in number one ahead of all others, including golf, baseball and swimming.

The survey is supported by an unrelated report on fishing statistics published by the American Sportfishing Association. The report, "Sportfishing in America Values of Our Traditional Pastime," shows how fishing remains a popular activity that not only provides a relaxing pastime but also creates a significant economic impact.

Here in Oklahoma, fishing statistics support the national trend. According to the report, more than 44 million Americans fish - 774,254 of which fished in Oklahoma.

The report shows that an impressive $484 million in retail sales were generated by Oklahomaís anglers, which rippled through the economy to generate $992 million in economic output for the state.

The Oklahoma fishing industry supports over 11,000 jobs and those workers earned $245 million in salaries and wages.

Fishing-related purchases in Oklahoma generated $27.5 million in state tax revenues and $25 million in federal income tax.

Fishing also greatly supports our nationís conservation efforts through the Sport Fish Restoration Program. Special federal taxes on fishing gear and motorboat fuels channel hundreds of millions of anglersí dollars toward state fish and wildlife conservation and recreation programs each year.

The American Sportfishing Associationís analysis is based on data from the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, conducted every five years on behalf of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The survey data is collected by the Census Bureau and complied by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The full report is available online from the American Sportfishing Association at www.asafishing.org/content/statistics/economic<.

For more information about fishing in Oklahoma, log on wildlifedepartment.com<.





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