RFRI Socio/Economic Survey

RFRI Socio/Economic Survey


This study, profiled the population of anglers that participate in fishing rodeos and investigated the economic impacts of these recreational fishing rodeos on local, regional, and state economies. The survey provided insight on the types of anglers who participate in competitive fishing events, their motivations, expenditures, and their overall economic impact. The RFRI participated & facilitated this survey in 2004.


Louisiana's claim to be the "sportsman's paradise" is arguably supported by the size and extent of its saltwater recreational fishery. According to the US Fish & Wildlife Service, 386,000 Louisiana residents and 118,000 nonresidents participated in saltwater fishing in Louisiana in 2001, spending, collectively, 4.7 million days and $279 million in the state.  A more recent estimate of participation from the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries (DWF) counts 336,398 resident and 90,478 nonresident recreational saltwater fishing license holders in 2004.

Most of the saltwater recreational activity takes the form of groups of family and friends or of the solitary individual fishing for food, recreation, or relaxation.  Periodically, however, recreational angling assumes a more collective or even competitive form: fishing tournaments or rodeos, in which anglers match their luck and skill against others in catching fish for recognition or reward.

At least 60 rodeos were identified in 2004. Some are large, some are small. Some last a few hours, some last a few months. Some offer cash prizes, some offer nothing but a trophy or bragging rights. They are as variable as the people and communities that host them, united only by the participants' and organizers' passion for fishing.

It is believed that many of these rodeos offer not only recreational opportunities to the people who attend them, but also economic opportunities to the communities in which they are held. Since many of the fishing rodeos' participants do not reside in the events' host communities, their expenditures create an additional economic resource that may not otherwise have been available.

It was hoped that a survey of the rodeos' participants would broaden the understanding of the people who attend these functions and the economic contribution they bring to the local communities. 

To that end, the Recreational Fisheries Research Institute (RFRI) with the help of the LDWF identified two saltwater fishing rodeos for examination during 2004. Both were held in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.  The Faux Pas Lodge Invitational Rodeo, Venice, and the RFRI Fishing Rodeo, Port Sulphur.

Survey results revealed that both rodeos drew into the Parish scores of anglers, most of them men and most of them residents of southeastern Louisiana. They are for the most part avid anglers who spend more time fishing in saltwater than in freshwater, they have more formal education, and higher household incomes than most Louisianans.

More importantly the survey revealed that the Faux Pas Rodeo participants’ expenditures represented an estimated economic gain of $100,000 to $400,000 to the local community and the RFRI participants spent an estimated $19,000 in Port Sulphur and $8,000 elsewhere in the state. Major expenditures were fuel, travel, tackle, and food.

The economic evaluation of these two fishing rodeos demonstrates their potential to local economies. Together they attracted over 600 anglers and $140,000 to $450,000 to the parish over the course of two summer weekends. To read full report click here: RFRI Survey 2004

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