Trip Characteristics, Expenditures, and Economic Value of a Trophy Largemouth Bass Fishery: Lake Fork Reservoir, Texas

Anglers who fished Lake Fork Reservoir June 1994-May 1995 were intercepted during creel surveys conducted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and asked to participate in a follow-up, self-administered mail survey. Anglers were asked questions about their fishing activity at Lake Fork, and their motivations, satisfaction, and expenditures on the trip they were intercepted. Lake Fork anglers could be characterized as high specialization anglers, indicating they had been fishing in fresh water for an average of 28 years, and fishing an average of 62 days in the previous year. Additionally, 34% of anglers belonged to a fishing club, and 57% indicated they participated in fishing tournaments. Lake Fork anglers had an average of $13,174 invested in fishing equipment, twice as much as the average black bass (Micropterus spp.) angler in Texas. About 89% of anglers targeted largemouth bass (M. salmoides) on their trip which lasted an average of 1.74 days. Most anglers indicated both catch-related and non-catchrelated items were important reasons for fishing the reservoir. About 10% of anglers indicated they caught what they consider a trophy bass on their trip; 86% were moderately to extremely satisfied with their trip. Anglers spent an average of $137 on various triprelated items and were willing to pay $5 3 over actual trip expenditures (consumer surplus) before they would have not made this trip. Total consumer surplus was $10,826,598. When added to total trip expenditures ($28,073,812), the resultant total economic value of the reservoir for fishing was estimated to be $38,900,410. Fishery managers and surrounding communities can utilize information from this survey to determine who their customers are and what customers desire from fishing at the reservoir.

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