Freshwater and Saltwater Anglers: A Comparative Analysis of Differences in Attitudes Toward Management Tools

Philosophies of fisheries management have evolved through time and have affected, and been affected by, traditional uses of various (different) fisheries. Because of historic differences in management and utilization of freshwater and saltwater fisheries, we expected to find differences among freshwater and saltwater anglers in their support for (attitudes toward) management regulations. Using results from a statewide questionnaire of anglers in Texas, basic social and demographic characteristics and attitudes toward management tools were compared for 3 groups of anglers: those who fish in fresh water only; those who fish in salt water only; and those who fish in both fresh and salt water. Significant group differences occurred for age, income, boat ownership, tournament participation, and years of previous experience. Angler attitudes toward management tools showed significant differences for 5 of the 7 regulatory measures that were compared. Familiarity with regulatory tools appears to be strongly associated with the support that anglers give to any specific regulatory measure. Through understanding angler attitudes towards regulations, managers can better predict behavior towards regulations and adopt strategies that encourage adoption and diffusion of management tools.

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