Always known, now verified: Minnesotans love to fish.
Figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicate that only Alaska has a greater percentage of its residents who fish or hunt — 45 percent for Alaska to Minnesota's 34 percent.
The information was included in the latest batch of data released by the service in conjunction with its 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.
Minnesotans also spend a lot of money on their outdoor sports.
State residents rank third behind Florida and Michigan anglers in money spent on fishing.
Floridians forked over $4.6 billion for bait, rods and reels and other gear, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service, while Michigan anglers barely edged out their Minnesota counterparts, $2.42 billion to $2 billion.
More information from the service's five-year survey will be released in coming weeks.