U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program

National Survey - Overview

The National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation is a partnership effort with the States and national conservation organizations, and has become one of the most important sources of information on fish and wildlife recreation in the United States. It is a useful tool that quantifies the economic impact of wildlife-based recreation. Federal, State, and private organizations use this detailed information to manage wildlife, market products, and look for trends. The 2011Survey is the twelfth in a series of surveys conducted about every 5 years since 1955.

The Survey is conducted at the request of the state fish and wildlife agencies. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service coordinates the Survey, and the U.S. Census Bureau collects the data by computer-assisted interviews.  It is funded by grants from the Multistate Conservation Grant Program authorized by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs Improvement Act of 2000.

The following types of data are presented in the reports:

  • Number of anglers, hunters, and wildlife-watching participants, by type of activity.
  • Trips and days spent on different types of activities.
  • Expenditures (trip, equipment, etc.), by type of fishing and hunting and wildlife-watching activity.
  • Number of participants and days of participation by animal sought.
  • Demographic characteristics of participants (including age, income, sex, race, and education).

The 2011 national report is available for downloading, as are the 2011 state reports (when they become available). The national and state reports for 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006 reports are available for downloading.

CDs containing data for SAS or other software use are available for the 1991 to 2011 Surveys. CDs can be obtained by contacting:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
NCTC Publication Unit
698 Conservation Way
Shepherdstown, WV 25443
(304) 876-7203 or email: pubs@fws.gov