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Anglers spend $2.4 billion in Minnesota

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The anglers who enjoy Minnesota's waters are a powerful engine for the state's economy, according to new survey data released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Direct spending of resident and nonresident anglers in Minnesota totaled $2.4 billion in 2011, the latest year for which information is available.

That amount included $1.4 billion on equipment, $925 million on trip-related expenditures and $41 million on various items such as magazines and fishing organization membership dues. Angler spending supports about 35,000 jobs.

The federal survey found angler spending has declined by $315 million since 2006. The average amount spent per angler was $1,537, down from $1,843 in 2006. The average angler fished 14 days per year. Collectively, anglers fished 21.7 million days.

The 2011 survey ranks Minnesota second in the nation for angling participation. Thirty-two percent of residents age 16 or older have a fishing license. Minnesota has about 1.5 million licensed anglers.

Hunting expenditures by residents and nonresidents totaled $1.1 billion. Direct spending by Minnesota hunters totaled $725 million. The average hunter spent $1,412 up from $889 in 2006.

The survey determined the average hunter hunted 12 days. Collectively, hunters hunted 5.6 million days. Minnesota ranks ninth in the nation for resident hunter numbers. It has about 570,000 hunters age 16 or older.

The federal survey of hunting, fishing and wildlife-related recreation listed total direct expenditures by hunters and anglers at $3.3 billion, about $300 million less than 2006. Together, hunting and fishing supports 48,000 Minnesota jobs.