Social and Cultural Aspects of Paddlefish Anglers at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

An exploratory study was conducted on paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) anglers at Lake of the Ozarks near Warsaw, Missouri, to learn about their social and cultural aspects, such as activity involvement and place dependence in relation to travel distance. Although Lake of the Ozarks is a premier fishery in the state of Missouri, little is known about these participants. An on-site survey was completed and returned by 423 out of 595 anglers (71% response rate). Respondents were middle-aged men who lived in rural areas in Missouri, and traveled a median distance of 179.3 km (one way) to this location. The average angler started this activity at age 25.9 and had been a participant for 11.2 years. Socialization and harvest were important reasons for angling participation. Significant differences were found between proximate and distant paddlefish anglers on activity involvement and place dependence. Since activity involvement and place dependence scores were higher for distant anglers as compared to those traveling shorter distances, implications focused on marketing Lake of the Ozarks as a destination fishery.

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