June 7, 2011
[Editor's note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, DNR has modified the promotional giveaway program so that anglers who pledge online to introduce someone new to fishing will be entered in a drawing for fishing-related prizes, including a personalized custom-carved fish sculpture. The prize list will not include tickets to see a baseball game in Milwaukee.]
MADISON -- A trio of initiatives to get more people out fishing in Wisconsin will net some lucky anglers big prizes beyond the fun they have and the fish they catch, the state's fisheries director says.
"There's great fishing all across Wisconsinites," says Mike Staggs, Wisconsin's fisheries director. "We hope these new promotions can lure more people out onto the water to cast a few and to introduce someone new to the fun of fishing."
Wisconsin has 15,081 inland lakes, 44,000 miles of perennially flowing streams, two Great Lakes and 260 miles of the mighty Mississippi River. The Take Me Fishing pages of the DNR website are a great place to start finding the fishing experience you're after, Staggs says.
The promotions are also aimed at helping connect new people to fishing, Staggs says. "It's important to get the next generation out fishing so they will begin to understand and appreciate the state's valuable fisheries and aquatic resources," he says.
Getting more people out on the water is also important for providing the funding necessary to help sustain and improve fishing and fish populations in Wisconsin. That's because its funding comes from fishing license sales and a federal grant from federal excise taxes on the sale of fishing gear that sends $9 to Wisconsin for each fishing license sold.
In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, license sales and federal grants account for 99.5 percent of the $26.8 million fisheries budget, with general purpose tax revenues contributing $140,000.
Wisconsin typically sells about 1.4 million fishing licenses. Fishing generates a $2.75 billion economic impact in Wisconsin, supporting more than 30,000 jobs and generating more than $200 million in tax revenues for local and state government, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Related Recreation and the American Sportfishing Association's "Sportfishing in America," report [www.asafishing.org] (PDF; exit DNR).
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Staggs (608) 267-0796; Karl Scheidegger (608)267-9426