The Into the Outdoors Syndicated broadcast television network impacts 7 states in 32 markets on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and PBS affiliates reaching 260,000 viewers each week. This educational television series is the only program to earn 16 Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the top youth educational series in the Midwest. Your show (content funders) is aired three times a year for two years impacts over 1,560,000 viewers, about half over 18 years of age.
The comprehensive R3 study by he Aquatic Resources Education Association and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation revealed that; “More that 55% of all anglers were initiated to angling by the time they were 15 years old.” It also showed that; “Over the past 20 years, the fishing initiation rate for children has declined steadily. That fact is compounded by the alarming 70% churn-lapse rate of these first-time anglers.” The most significant fact revealed in another recent study is that the biggest new growth potential in anglers is today’s youth 6 to 17 years old. So clearly, the future of fishing depends on recruiting our next generation of anglers. That sounds simple enough… but there’s some serious psychology required to make that happen.
It’s very unlikely that simply telling a kid to, “try fishing” will result in recruiting a new angler. Most experts agree that recruitment education is a multi-step process that first requires a young person, using their own value system, to decide for themselves that fishing could be a fun and safe outdoor activity they would like to try. Then they need realistic pathways to try fishing for the first time.
So if the process of recruiting young people first begins with them deciding for themselves to try fishing, what tools can effectively make that impression? Research supports that today’s youth are greatly influenced in their lifestyle and recreational decisions in two ways: 1) Peer-hosted media that entertains, engages and educates them, 2) Peer-driven classroom activities where they share in a process of discovery and self expression. And once kids form their own value-based decisions, they have a major influence on their family’s recreational activities… such as fishing.
Unfortunately, few R3 or boating agencies or organizations have the multi-million dollar staff, infrastructure, personnel, budgets or today’s technical experience to produce and distribute broadcast mass media and educational curriculum that can inspire kids to want to go fishing… or to practice proper boating safety when they do go fishing.
Fortunately, the Getting Families Fishing Education Initiative was launched by the Future Angler Foundation in 2017 in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, the Into the Outdoors Education Network and KidsFishing.US. The success of the pilot expanded in 2018 as state DNRs and the RBFF also partnered in the program. In 2019 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joined the program through a Sport Fish Restoration grant.
The end result so far is 6 half-hour Getting Families Fishing television shows distributed nationally on 40 networks in an Emmy-winning youth education series. The program has also produced and is distributing 22 classroom angling videos with hands-on lesson activities and pathways that inspire and empower kids to try fishing. All of this is projected to impact over 13 MILLION kids and their families over the next 5 years. Judge the youth engagement for yourself and recruitment techniques by watching some of these youth fishing programs… with more coming online each month http://intotheoutdoors.org/aquatic-angling-science/
Whew! So it looks like the fishing industry, marine industry, boating safety advocates, and related agencies can sit back and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the tide is about to turn on recruiting our next generation of safe-n-smart anglers… right?
Sorry, not yet. The funding partners so far have been critical in creating this national movement that can inspire millions of youth to want to try fishing for the first time. But as we head into 2020, the founding underwriters can no longer be expected to fund a program for the entire industry. It’s now time for the rest of the fishing industry, marine industry, boating safety, and R3 Community to support the continued success of this one-of-a-kind program that’s benefiting the fishing and boating industry’s collective future. So please take a moment to see all the ways this program inspires and empowers our future anglers and boaters. Then stand alongside your peers in helping fund the program for 2020. Simply fill in your pledge below, or contact us to learn how your funding can earn your organization, brand, or story actual content in the program.
Partner With Us
By now you can see how this program uses three proven pillars that engage today’s generation – television, online videos and peer-learning classroom activities combined with key R3 strategies to create pathways for kids and their families to try fishing while practicing boating safety. And when you look at the partners below, you may notice that one of the most important things missing from this program right now… is you.
So please take a moment to make a pledge below or discover your vital role in recruiting our next generation of safe-n-smart anglers by contacting us for details on how you can join your peers who have already supported the fishing community for the past two years. Plus, download this PDF to discover all the in-show recognition you can earn when becoming a “Content Partner”.