Demographics, Attitudes, Preferences, and Satisfaction of Texas Freshwater Catfish Anglers

In 2010, we conducted a follow-up survey of anglers who responded to the 2009 Texas Statewide Angler Survey and indicated that they fished for catfish in the previous year or listed catfish as a preferred species. The follow-up survey assessed demographics, fishing methods, areas fished, species preferences, attitudes, and satisfaction of Texas catfish anglers. Only 26% of respondents considered catfish to be their primary species sought. We grouped anglers by their preferred species, but observed few demographic differences among these groups. Most (≥70%) catfish anglers preferred to catch and harvest the fish they caught. Most respondents (82%) lived within or close to urban centers and preferred to fish in areas that were close to home as long as they were free of litter, noise, and other people. Most catfish anglers (62%) were satisfied with their catfishing experience; overall satisfaction was strongly correlated with the number of eating-size catfish caught (r = 0.699), the average size of catfish caught (r = 0.668), and the availability of places for them to fish for catfish (r = 0.680). Only 32% of respondents were very to extremely satisfied with the number of trophy catfish they caught. Based on these results, fisheries managers should focus on maintaining catch and harvest attributes for catfish but should recognize that anglers also value other fisheries. Also, managers should focus on opportunities to provide more quality catfish fisheries near urban centers.

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