What do you think about when you go fishing? Common responses usually include, "How big are the fish?", "What are they biting on?", or "Wow, it's a beautiful day!" What you probably weren't thinking about is the impact you have on the state of Oklahoma everytime you go fishing, but you are having an impact, a very positive one!
Fishing-related activities contribute to over one-billion-dollars spent annually in both retail and trip-related expenses in Oklahoma alone! That money has a direct impact on local economies across the state. It drives and supports local businesses. It fuels fish habitat restoration, fishing access and other fishing-related projects. But how?
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is a non-appropriated state agency. What does that mean? It means we receive ZERO Oklahoma tax dollars. We are completely funded by fishing/hunting license sales, donations, public land agricultural/oil leasing and federal grant funds. Those federal funds are paid for indirectly by you. How's that? Well, everytime you buy a fishing rod, lure or other fishing-related product, a small percentage of the tax on that product is thrown into a huge federal pot, known as the Sport Fish Restoration Program, reserved for redistribution to state fish and wildlife agencies annually to fund projects that ultimately will benefit you the angler. Those projects include purchasing land for access, building/renovating fishing amenities like boat ramps, improving fish habitat and much more!
Want to learn more about how your fishing and hunting-related purchases contribute to your hunting and fishing experience in Oklahoma? Click Here
That's why it is so important to support your local bait/tackle shops and guide services. Every dollar you spend locally contributes to improving your future fishing success, and in doing so, you are helping drive your own state and local community's economy, which benefits all Oklahomans! Utilizing a local guide on a body of water you have never fished before will help teach you things as an angler that will contribute to you being successful on your next solo fishing trip to that body water. Stopping in at the local bait/tackle shop allows you the opportunity to get relevant fishing tips. You might end up spending a few extra bucks on equipment, but the information gleaned is invaluable.
So as you plan your next fishing trip, remember . . . fish local, buy local!