Study: Fishing Licenses in GA Increase 13% in 5 Years, 7th Most in U.S.

Friday, May 17th, 2024

Fishing is among the nation’s most popular pastimes, with more than 50 million Americans going fishing each year. The growth of fishing has also become an important component of conservation and habitat restoration efforts in the U.S., as revenue derived from fishing licenses helps finance federal, state, and local programs for wildlife protection.

Some U.S. states have seen more rapid growth in the popularity of fishing recently than others. Researchers calculated the percentage change in the number of fishing license holders per capita over the last five years, then ranked states accordingly.

These are the key takeaways from the report:

  • According to Google Trends data, search interest in the term “fishing rod” has increased by more than 90% since 2004. Searches for “how to fish” are up nearly 250%, and searches for “where to fish” are up by almost 400%. Each of these search terms also saw pronounced spikes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Since the late 1960s, the total number of fishing license holders in the U.S. has risen by more than half, from 20.5 million to 31.0 million.

  • Over the same span, total revenues derived from fishing license sales have more than doubled after adjusting for inflation from $424 million to $898 million in 2023 dollars.

Source: Captain Experiences analysis of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service data

And here are some of the stats for Georgia:

  • Over the last five years, Georgia experienced a 13.1% increase in fishing license holders per capita.

  • Fishing license revenue in Georgia grew by 19.0% during that span.

  • Overall, Georgia ranks 7th on the list of states where fishing is growing most in popularity.

For the full results visit