Angling for more Anglers in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Angling for more Anglers in Iowa

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GUTTENBERG (KWWL) -- Fishing reels in hundreds of millions of dollars for Iowa's economy. But lately, that catch has been getting smaller.

In 2001 -- an American Sportfishing Association report found fishing landed more than $741 million for Iowa's economy.

But in 2006 -- that same report showed fishing had just a $530-million impact on Iowa's economy.

That coincides with a drop in anglers fishing in Iowa -- from 541,000 to 438,000 in 2006.

In 2001 -- fishing in Iowa supported more than 7000 jobs.

In 2006, it supported about 6,300. DNR officials say the number of fishing licenses sold plummeted last year, too -- mainly because of the floods.

But with warm weather approaching, they expect to lure more anglers to Iowa.

"oh I've fished most of my life. This about the 3rd time this year we've been out here. Got start sometime," said Brian Briggs.

Briggs and his son sit at the edge of the Mississippi, near Guttenburg, hoping for a bite.

"Fish poles and bait," he added.

Nearby Tom Maier celebrates his spring break with this catch.

"You gotta kinda go off experience. If you know the area you know what fish like to bite on," said Maier.

"You can trout fish, you can fish on rivers, you can fish farm ponds, you can fish lakes, you can ice fish. You can do that a year round for less than a round of golf," said Kevin Hanson a fisheries technician for the Iowa DNR.

You'll pay $17.50 for an Iowa fishing license. $11 more to fish for trout. Hanson thinks that low cost will lure people to fishing after a big drop last year.

"I think a lot of those people who didn't get to fish last year are missing it a bit," he said.

Avid fishers like Briggs and Maier say this hobby is economy proof -- for now.

"Today i got worms and minnows. It cost me $5. A lot of cheap entertainment when they're biting," said Briggs.

"I've done it for so many years. I don't fee like stopping," added Maier

The DNR can stop and ask to see your fishing license any time. You only need one, though, if you have a line in the water.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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