Date of this Version
Fisheries Research 224 (2020) 105463
Recreational angler surveys typically collect information on how anglers access a fishery. Yet, it is unclear how this information is useful for fisheries management and conservation. The objective of this study was to compare behavior (e.g., party size, time fished, and numbers of fish released and harvested) of bank and boat anglers, representing two angler-access types. Bank and boat anglers were surveyed across 29 Nebraska waterbodies from April through October, 2007–2017. We documented behavioral differences between bank and boat anglers that varied as a function of waterbody size and season. Patterns of party size, time fished, and numbers of fish released and harvested for bank and boat anglers differed across extra small, small, medium, and large waterbodies and across spring, summer, and fall. How anglers choose to access a fishery appears to be a source of heterogeneity within angler populations. Accounting for these spatial and temporal behavioral differences between angler-access types will be important for designing and implementing management regulations. We predict that angler-access types may respond uniquely to different management actions (e.g., size and bag limits, access maintenance, and cleanliness of amenities) that could lead to local and regional changes within and across fisheries (e.g., shift the composition of angler-access types). Continued collection and assessment of angler-access information is warranted and should lead to improved management and conservation of recreational fisheries.
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