Catch-and-release rates of sport fishes in northern Wisconsin from an angler diary survey.
North American Journal of FIsheries Management. 33(3):606-614. Abstract
Abstract Recreational freshwater fisheries are key components of local economies in many regions. The quality of these fisheries can be affected not only by harvest but also by catch-and-release practices. Documenting catch and release among sport fish taxa is, therefore, important to fisheries researchers studying sport fishes and managers regulating these fisheries. We used an angler diary survey to assess taxon-specific effort, catch, harvest, release, and reason for release during the 2011 open-water season. Our study included information on 5,007 fishing trips taken by 652 anglers. These anglers visited 279 lakes spanning 11,761.5 km2 of northern Wisconsin. Muskellunge Esox masquinongy, black bass (i.e., Smallmouth Bass Micropterus dolomieu and Largemouth Bass M. salmoides), Northern Pike E. lucius, Walleye Sander vitreus, and panfish were released at rates of 99, 97, 86, 67, and 67%, respectively, when targeted by anglers. This study is the first to document black bass catch-and-release rates in the region and corroborates previous findings of Muskellunge and Walleye catch-and-release rates based on creel surveys. Voluntary catch and release was the most common reason for release. Our findings suggest that regulations may be much more generous than the harvest rates practiced by anglers and that catch-and-release angling practices may be an important factor affecting these sport fish populations. Received July 18, 2012; accepted March 12, 2013
Evaluating the ability of specialization indicators to explain fishing preferences..
Leisure Science. 35(3):273-292. Abstract
Understanding the predictive ability of recreation specialization to explain behavior is important for wildlife and fisheries management given the widespread use of specialization to capture diversity among outdoor recreationists. Using allocation of days among fishing opportunities in a discrete choice experiment, we studied the extent that specialization predicted preferences for attributes describing the opportunities. Latent class modeling revealed that three groups of anglers optimally captured preference diversity in our sample. To this base model, we sequentially added 11 metrics of angler specialization and used information theory to select the metric that best predicted group membership, namely centrality to lifestyle. Weaker evidence existed for the specialization dimensions “importance of catch,” “specialized gear use,” and a multidimensional self-classification approach, whereas indices of skill, media use, trophy fish, and harvest orientation were not supported. General specialization constructs such as centrality to lifestyle, therefore, might be best suited for predicting general fishing preferences and subsequent behaviors of anglers.