Fishing participation increasing in Idaho; how it can benefit your mental health

Posted at 10:42 AM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 12:50:23-04

IDAHO — Like a lot of other outdoor activities fishing participation in Idaho is on the rise during the pandemic.

“Across the country fishing license sales for resident licenses are up about 10 percent, and here in Idaho resident sales are up about 32 percent,” said Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Stephanie Vatalaro.

Being on the water, casting a line, all while relaxing waiting for a catch are all parts of fishing that can benefit anyone's mental health during these stressful times.

“We have all been stuck inside, and we need something to do and something that can be done easily, close to home, with your loved ones and safely,” said Vatalaro.

Fishing hits all those categories.

The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation is working with psychiatrist, Dr. Sue Varma, who says fishing fits perfectly into the four M's of mental health.

“Number one is mindfulness, so you got that because you’re focused, you’re in nature, you’re mindful. Then, movement. It’s a way you can be outside and active without being an athlete," said Vatalaro. "Mastery is the third one, you can learn a new skill and focus on something else for a little while. Lastly, meaningful engagement and that’s the part where you get those great memories hanging out with your friends and family.”

She says that there are a lot of perceived barriers when it comes to fishing.

That it's too technical and takes a lot of effort, but really anyone can do it.

“It can seem intimidating at the beginning, but all you really need is a rod, a reel, a bucket, and even dig some worms out in the back yard,” said Vatalaro.

The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation launched its Get On Board campaign, and they have everything you need to know whether you're new to fishing or a seasoned angler.

“There’s no better time than now if you ever thought about giving fishing a try to go try it out," said Vatalaro.

To learn more or to get started fishing, click here.