Characteristics of Respondents and Nonrespondents to Mail and Telephone Angler Surveys

We conducted a screener telephone survey of 5,209 anglers in Mississippi to recruit participants for a statewide, 5-year, longitudinal angler survey that will administer a total of 10 surveys (waves), 2 per year. Of these 5,209 anglers, 4,393 agreed to participate in future surveys. Of these 4,393 anglers, 52% responded to a mail survey and 76% participated in a telephone survey. Twenty-four demographic and fishing preference variables were selected from the initial screener survey to compare data from respondents and nonrespondents. A greater percentage of respondents to both surveys were generally Caucasian, married, in higher income brackets, and tended to be employed full-time. A greater percentage of respondents to both surveys fished more days and preferred to fish for black bass (Micropterus spp.) than did the original screener population. Although the telephone survey produced higher response rates, the similar sociodemographic characteristics between mail and telephone survey respondents indicated both survey methods obtained information from similar types of anglers. Furthermore, even though significant differences occurred between respondents and nonrespondents for several variables, the magnitude of these differences was small enough to conclude that information from respondents to both surveys will be useful for fisheries management purposes.

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