L.D.W.F. To Participate in Lapsed Angler Program
In an effort to lure former Louisiana anglers back into the ranks of recreational fishing license holders, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has joined the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Lapsed Angler Program.
LDWF will launch the campaign on May 28 and target approximately 70,000 lapsed anglers across the state. Lapsed anglers are those who have purchased a fishing license in previous years but do not currently hold one. Anglers who have not recently bought a license will be sent targeted mailings reminding them to purchase a license and support fisheries management. Recreational fishing licenses for the 2008-09-license year go on sale June 1, 2008 and are valid until June 30, 2009.
“The Lapsed Angler Program gives the department a great chance to reconnect with past fishing license holders,” said Thomas Gresham, LDWF Public Information Office assistant director. “These former anglers are experienced fishermen and women and already own most of the equipment and tackle. We just want to remind them how enjoyable it is to spend a day fishing in Louisiana.”
Nationwide figures established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show that only 15 percent of anglers renew their license every year for a five-year period. The latest survey on Louisiana angler retention conducted in 2004, revealed that 43 percent of anglers bought a recreational fishing license only once out of a three-year test period. For the 2006-07-license year, LDWF sold 428,003 resident basic fishing licenses, which follows a continual decline from the 592,942 basic fishing licenses sold during the 1995-96 license year.
The direct mail marketing program will employ an oversized postcard with a message encouraging anglers to purchase a fishing license. As a motivational incentive, LDWF will offer a free “I’d Rather Be Fishing in Louisiana” bumper sticker to those individuals who respond before July 1. Those who do not respond to the initial mailing will be sent a follow-up postcard in mid-July. The cost of the mailings will be shared by LDWF and RBFF.
“Our state has countless fishing opportunities ranging from freshwater to saltwater, and it is our agency’s duty to stay connected to the angler,” said Ashley Wethey, LDWF public relations and marketing coordinator. “We see this new program as a way of connecting to the lapsed angler, increasing license sales and inviting new anglers to the sport of fishing.”
RBFF will also be coordinating radio advertising to coincide with the mailings promoting the sport of fishing and encouraging people to purchase a fishing license. In addition, RBFF has launched a new Web site that provides individualized information for each state. Anglers can find tips on fishing tackle to use, fishing techniques, fish identification, maps showing lakes and rivers suitable for fishing and boating, and information on a multitude of other fishing related topics at www.la.takemefishing.org.
Anglers can purchase licenses at various vendors throughout the state including discount stores, tackle shops and sporting good stores. Licenses can also be purchased by calling 1-888-765-2602 or visiting the LDWF Web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov.
RBFF is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting participation in fishing, boating and aquatic stewardship. RBFF is funded primarily through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
For more information, contact Ashley Wethey at 225-765-5113 or awethey [at] wlf [dot] louisiana [dot] gov.