Relationships Among Catch, Angler Satisfaction, and Fish Assemblage Characteristics of an Urban Small Impoundment Fishery

Urban fisheries provide unique angling opportunities for people from traditionally underrepresented demographics. Lake Raleigh is a 38-ha impoundment located on the North Carolina State University campus in Raleigh. Like many urban fisheries, little is known about angler use and satisfaction or how angling catch rate is related to fish availability in Lake Raleigh. We characterized the recreational fishery and fish assemblage with con- current creel and boat electro fishing surveys over the course of one year. In total, 245 anglers were interviewed on 68 survey days. On average, anglers spent 1.7 h fishing per trip and caught 0.385 fish h-1. A large proportion of anglers (43.9%) targeted multiple species, whereas 36.5% targeted largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), 10.0% targeted panfish (i.e., sun shes [Lepomis spp.] and crappies [Pomoxis spp.]), and 9.6% targeted cat fish (Ameiurus spp. and Ictalurus spp.). Most anglers (69.4%) were satisfied with their experience, and overall satisfaction was unrelated to catch rate. Pulsed-DC boat electrofishing was conducted on 25 dates, and 617 fish were sampled. Angler catch rate was unrelated to electrofishing catch rate, implying that anglers' catch rate was independent of fish density or availability. Our results demonstrate that even minimally managed urban fisheries can provide high angler satisfaction, with limited dedication of management resources.

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