2002 Alabama Freshwater Anglers Survey

We conducted a mail survey to evaluate the demographics, attitudes, and practices of Alabama licensed freshwater anglers. The survey consisted of 36 questions that largely paralleled the most recent (1987) previous angler survey conducted by Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Of the 2000 surveys mailed to randomly-selected licensed anglers, 31% (628) were returned before the stated deadline. Responses were similar to those in the last statewide survey. Tournament anglers represented only about 5% of respondents. The most sought freshwater fish species by respondents was largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). Anglers demonstrated a greater desire to release rather than harvest fish, with reasons for releasing fish including the expectation of improving fishing and fear of contaminants. Anglers were generally aware of management and outreach activities by the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (ADWFF), ranking the “hands-on” management programs as most important. Anglers were not certain of the sources of funding for ADWFF. While opinions and practices of respondents has not shifted dramatically since the 1987 survey, targeted surveys would be valuable to determine biases in the results and better represent important under represented groups.

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