Comparison of Texas Recreational Reef Fish and Non-reef Fish Anglers

Social and economic data comparing reef fish and non-reef fish anglers from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's routine on-site creel intercept surveys and annual statewide mail survey were summarized. Reef fish anglers differ significantly from non-reef fish anglers in that they report being more consumptive-oriented in their fishing motivations, spending less per trip and less on durable goods, and rate themselves lower in their fishing skills compared to their peers. Both user groups support catch and release areas while opposing saltwater stocking, although reef fish anglers indicate less support for size limits and gear restrictions as management tools. This study indicates that reef fish and non-reef fish anglers should be considered independently by fishery managers contemplating regulatory changes affecting these fisheries. Additional work is needed to determine whether there are more distinguishable subgroups within the reef fish and non-reef fish angler groups.

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