Analysis of Angler Preferences and Fisheries Management Objectives with Implications for Management

Fisheries managers have long operated under the assumptions that time spent fishing (angler-days) or pounds or numbers of fish caught (maximum sustained yield) were accurate measures of fisheries output. However, many fisheries managers today advocate development of a multidimensional output measure which would incorporate social, aesthetic, and psychological factors. The present srndy was undertaken to delineate and determine the relative importance of 10 items affecting the quality of angling as perceived by Virginia fee-fishermen. A self-administered questionnaire employing a modified Likert scale was used to evaluate the 10 quality related items. A factor analysis was run which resulted in four factors relating to the quality of fee-fishing. The factors were (1) attractiveness ofthe fishing site, (2) amount of fishing, (3) satisfaction, and (4) improvements needed. The four factors, when combined with the mean importance scores, indicate that the quality of fee-fishing is multidimensional and not dependent solely on catch. A portion of the survey was devoted to determining the relative importance of 9 fisheries management objectives as indicated by fisheries managers employed by the 50 state recreational fisheries management agencies. An analysis ofthe most important objectives, maximizing sustained yield (pounds) and catch (numbers), and the most important angling factors, revealed that a disparity exists between angler desires and managers' objectives. Some recommendations for eliminating this difference are given.

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