Multiple Survey Evaluation of a Kentucky Commercial Trotline Fishery

The commercial trotline fishery on the Kentucky portions of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley was evaluated by a telephone survey, an onboard survey, and from market data. Results indicate that the telephone survey was a reliable source of economic information based on high correlations (r ≥ 0.89) of effort and harvest data among the 3 data sets. Data obtained from the onboard survey overestimated economic impact of the fishery because of bias toward full-time fishermen. However, the onboard survey did yield accurate species composition information. Thirty-five percent of the respondents in the telephone survey were full-time fishermen, 44% were part-time, and 21% fished for non-profit reasons. Although the annual estimated harvest in the trotline fishery (745,500 kg) was valued at $0.8 million, fishermen reported an income of $1.5 million, nearly twice the value of their harvest. Ninety-seven percent of total catch (both kept and released) and harvest, by weight, was catfish. Fishermen who sold their catch grossed $46.23 per trip ($61 for full-time, $43 for part-time) and $4,629 per year ($8,475 for full-time, $3,200 for part-time). Operating expenses reduced gross income by 47%. Automobile expenses accounted for 49% of annual expense, followed by 24% for gear and 20% for boat motor fuel.

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