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Central Texas Local News | kcentv.com

New survey says fishing, boating has become the safest outdoor activity since the pandemic began

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, there were more than 500,000 fishing licenses issued in Texas during the 2019-2020 season.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A new study reveals that fishing and boating are among the safest outdoor activities when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. More than 55 million Americans picked up a pole in 2020. 

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, there were more than 500,000 fishing licenses issued in Texas during the 2019 through 2020 season.

"It’s a safe environment," said Johnson. "You aren’t in close contact with others outside of your household, and that’s why I think we’ve seen such an increase in fishing since the pandemic started."

Captain Jesse Torres, owner of Capt. Jesse Torres Guide Service, said at first, the pandemic slowed business down, but now he’s getting plenty of bites.

"When it first happened last year, March and April were dead," Torres said. "Everyone was scared didn’t want to travel. Then in May, a light switched, and you couldn’t have a day open. Everyone was fishing then boat sales skyrocketed and everyone was buying boats!"

Johnson said Texas Parks and Wildlife hope to see this trend continue on because funds that are generated from license sales go directly back into helping TPWD with habitat restoration, fish restocking, and keeping recreational spaces available for Texans to utilize.

"The more fisherman that get out there -- the more funds are generated to go back into our environment," said Johnson.

Capt. Torres also agrees that the increasing interest is good for the fishing industry as a whole.

"COVID didn’t hurt as that much it actually helped a lot of us -- a lot of out of people coming in from out of town, fishing was good, business was good it's been good," said Torres.

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation expects this participation uptick to continue throughout 2021.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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