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Outdoor Recreational Activity Survey – 2017


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Every 3 years since 2008, Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) has surveyed Albertans 18+ on their support for, and participation in a variety of outdoor recreational activities. The results of the 2017 survey were published in May 2018. Here’s few highlights particularly about fishing that may be of interest:

  • Recognition of active conservation groups in Alberta was found to be low, with 61% of Albertans unable to name a single conservation organization active in the province. Ducks Unlimited was the most frequently recognized at 25%, Alberta Fish and Game at 7%, ACA at 3.83%, and TUC at 0.75%.
  • Catch and release fishing, and catch and keep fishing, maintained a high level of support amongst Albertans (83% and 75%, respectively). Based on the limited difference seen between rural and urban respondents, it appears that recreational angling enjoys a high level of acceptance across Alberta.
  • 9% participation in fishing would be expected based on license sales; however, 26% of urban respondents and 42% of rural respondents indicated they had participated in fishing in the previous 12 months. ACA speculated that many people are self-associating as “participating” in hunting or fishing when they have accompanied a hunter or angler or perhaps participated in processing wild game or fish. For instance, a mother may take her children fishing at a stocked pond and, although she does not fish, she may consider herself “participating” in fishing as an activity. In addition, no fishing license is required for people 65 years of age or older. As such, there are likely people who have directly participated by having a rod in hand, but had no legal reason to purchase a licence
  • A large proportion of Albertans (80%) indicate that they have participated in fishing at some time in their life; however, 71% of respondents that did not fish in the past 12 months said they had fished in the past .Many of the “fished in the past” responses may relate to fishing at some time in their childhood, which provides an opportunity for conservation groups to capitalize on those memories and promote a return to fishing. “Cost” was not identified as a major factor for lack of participation; “Lack of time” and/or “Lost interest” were the top reasons why people did not participate. This is where increased stocking of urban ponds could bring a large number of people back to fishing if opportunities can be created closer to home.

You can read the complete survey results at:



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