Black Bass Tournament Characteristics and Economic Value at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Texas

Recent studies have shown that black bass (Micropterus spp.) tournament angling continues to increase. The magnitude and implications of tournament-fish mortality have been studied often; however, the economic value of tournament angling has rarely been assessed. We determined the economic value of black bass tournament angling at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Texas. A total of 25,396 participants competed in 405 tournaments occurring from November 2007 to October 2008. The majority of tournaments (75%) had <50 participants and required an organization membership (bass club). Lower open tournaments (50 participants) accounted for 40% of tournament participants. Total tournament angler expenditures ($23.7 million) accounted for 74% of total angling expenditures ($31.9 million). One 3-day tournament with 3892 participants was responsible for 27% of total tournament expenditures and 20% of total angler expenditures. The annual total economic value of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir fishery was estimated to be $46.7 million, of which 66% was due to tournament angling. Understanding the economic value of tournament angling allows fisheries managers to weigh economic consequences of management actions that could be detrimental to tournament angling (restrictive harvest regulations and tournament permitting). Furthermore, economic information for tournaments can be important to local municipalities for justifying local infrastructure improvement and tournament recruitment costs.

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