Evaluating Coverage Bias On Internet-Based Angler Surveys

Thursday, September 12, 2013: 8:00 AM
Izard (Statehouse Convention Center)
Kjetil Henderson , Natural Resource Management, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD
Larry M. Gigliotti , South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, United States Geological Survey, Brookings, SD
Agencies need to determine how to collect stakeholder information most efficiently.  Angler surveys are valuable for monitoring agency performance, determining management actions and describing angler heterogeneity.  Randomly selected anglers are generally sampled via mailed surveys from addresses collected during license purchase.   Complete address coverage enables probability sampling as every individual has an equal opportunity to participate. 

Internet-based surveys have garnered attention for quick and inexpensive data collection. In fact, some populations with Internet access, complete email lists and digital literacy are surveyed more efficiently via Internet.  However, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (SDGFP) angler email coverage has been approximately 45% since 2010.  Most SDGFP limited-issue license applications (>95%) are completed online.   License holders providing email addresses benefit by emailed receipts and deadline reminders for pending opportunities.  Email coverage varies by license type.

Angler information collected online is representative if similar values are observed throughout the population.  Data suggests differences between anglers with and without email addresses collected by SDGFP.  Determining the extent and annual stability of coverage bias in SDGFP surveys could permit implementing corrective formulas garnering representative stakeholder information.  More efficient collection of stakeholder information ultimately enables more reflexive and interactive resource management.