AKRON -- More people around Ohio are getting hooked on fishing after two decades of decline for the sport.
Numbers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service show fishing has become more popular over the past five years, with the number of Ohio anglers reaching 1.4 million. That's an increase of 11 percent during that time.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports the number of fishing licenses issued in Ohio also jumped last year to more than 865,000, or roughly 52,000 more than the previous year.
Wildlife experts hadn't anticipated the uptick in popularity and aren't sure of the cause.
Suggested factors include that it's a relatively inexpensive sport for tight economic times and that the industry is increasingly geared toward families, not just men. Promotional programs also might play a role.
The Associated Press