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Good Morning,

I thought this would be of interest. It would stand to reason that the 'powers to be' would work with us and not what seems now more than ever against us to protect the 4.4 billion a year economic boon we fishermen and women provide for the State of Florida. I also think if there was anyway possible to include 'all' the other ancillary spending this figure would surely be higher.



Team Git' Down<H1 id=articleTitle>Fisherman's Paradise </H1><H4 id=articleSubTitle style="MARGIN-BOTTOM: 10px">Florida ranks first in U.S. for anglers; $4.4 billion industry </H4><H3 id=storyAuthor>By MLADEN RUDMAN </H3><H3 id=storyDate>Sunday December 2nd, 2007 </H3>

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<DIV id=articleText> Federal statistics once again indicate that Florida ranks first as the place for, and of, fishermen.

The U.S. Census Bureau conducts its National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation every five years.

In the poll, Florida was ranked as having the most fishermen 16 years of age and older ? 2.8 million.

It?s also the country?s top earner of fishing dollars ? $4.4 billion in 2006, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission?s analysis of the survey. About a quarter of those expenditures were fishing tourist dollars.

The numbers didn?t surprise Mike Sanders or Glynn Gissendanner of Half Hitch Tackle in Navarre.

?Well, we have so many different types of fishing that you can do so easily,? Sanders said about local angling. ?We have real good weather. We have a long fishing year.?

?And,? added Gissendanner, ?you have the entire peninsula in Florida. If it gets too cold here, you can go to Miami, to the Keys.?

It isn?t all good news. The survey also indicated the number of anglers in Florida has dropped since 2001 from 3.1 million to 2.8 million.

Texas was second in both of the major categories. The Lone Star state had some 2.5 million folks take part in fishing last year, which generated $4.3 billion in economic impact.

Measured in terms of percentage increase in license sales, saltwater fishing in Florida is more popular than freshwater. License sales in both categories, however, are up from 2001. <DIV style="FLOAT: right"></DIV><DIV style="CLEAR: both"></DIV></DIV>
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