Do you think lakes and forests are more crowded than they were five years ago?

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service sure thinks so, based on the agency’s newest national survey of fishing, hunting and wildlife-related recreation, the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle reported.

The study, which compares 2011 activity with the last round of statistics gathered in 2006, shows a sharp rise in both hunting and fishing with some major differences in spending trends.

Here are findings from the preliminary results, which will be supplemented with state-specific data later this year:

  • About 33 million people 16 and older fished in 2011, spending $41.8 billion on trips, equipment, licenses, and other items, an average of $1,262 per angler, representing an increase of 11 percent from 2006.
  • While participation in fishing increased, total fishing-related expenditures declined 11 percent, but purchases of equipment such as rods, reels and tackle did not decline.
  • Overall hunting participation increased 9 percent, with 13.7 million people 16 years old and older hunting in 2011.
  • Those 2011 hunters spent $34 billion on trips, equipment, licenses, and other items in 2011, an average of $2,484 per hunter.
  • Total hunting-related spending increased 30 percent between 2006 and 2011, with purchases of hunting equipment such as guns, decoys, and ammunition increasing 29 percent
  • The category with the biggest increase was land leasing and ownership, which rose 50 percent. Trip-related spending rose 39 percent.
  • Overall spending declined 7 percent, with the greatest decrease (–44 percent) involving big-ticket items such as boats and recreational vehicles.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has been conducting the national survey every five years since 1955.