Harmful algal blooms (HABs) in western Lake Erie are causing millions of dollars in lost economic activity annually from Michigan anglers, charter captains, boaters and business owners.

The study estimates $2.4 to 5.9 million dollars in lost economic activity for the Michigan portion of Lake Erie alone. On average, anglers said they canceled five trips in 2019 due to HABs.

The study, commissioned by Michigan United Conservation Clubs and undertaken by Michigan State 

University researchers with support from the C.S. Mott Foundation and private donations, aims to understand what impacts blooms are having on recreational anglers, fishing activity and the regional econmy.

The full study can be read HERE.

2019 Economic Impact Study

A first-of-its-kind study released Monday by Michigan United Conservation Clubs shows Michigan ranks first among the Great Lakes states for jobs created from hunting- and fishing-related purchases – and generates more than $11.2 billion annually.

The data also show 171,000 jobs are created and supported annually across Michigan by hunting and fishing, putting those related activities in the top 10 percent of the state’s job-creation industries. The greatest impact occurs in Southeast Michigan.

The economic overall effect is more than twice as much as previous estimates from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, according to the report.

Michigan United Conservation Clubs commissioned the groundbreaking study in partnership with the Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business and with funding support from the C.S. Mott Foundation. The project’s goal was to more accurately quantify the impact sportsmen and sportswomen have on Michigan’s economic well-being.

You can read an overview here and the full report here.

Changing Seasons

Michigan’s rich history of hunting and fishing helps the state maintain one of the most robust outdoor recreation economies in the United States. Hunters and anglers in Michigan contribute more than $11.2 billion annually to the state economy and support 171,000 jobs in retail, manufacturing, and conservation — putting the industry in the top ten for job creation in the state. Maintaining this economic driver and our outdoor heritage depends on healthy and sustainable populations of fish and wildlife both now and into the future.

However, all is not well with the future of hunting and fishing in Michigan. Adding to the numerous challenges to the health and abundance of Michigan’s game species, changes in climate threaten to disrupt generations of fish and wildlife and their habitats.

Released in 2021, Changing Seasons compiles a slew of problems that our outdoor enthusiasts in Michigan have seen on the landscape over the last 10 to 20 years. Michigan hunters and anglers hold a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field and on the water. Involving them in policy decisions that deal with managing energy and wildlife will be critical moving forward so that future generations will enjoy the hunting and fishing experiences central to Michigan’s outdoor legacy.

Read the full report here.