Economic Impact of a Recreational Striped Bass Fishery

Monday, September 9, 2013: 4:20 PM
Fulton (Statehouse Convention Center)
Ryan Lothrop , Fisheries Management, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, WA
Terry Hanson , Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Steven M. Sammons , Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Diane Hite , Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Mike Maceina , Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Striped bass Morone saxatilis are stocked in numerous southeastern U.S. reservoirs to provide additional angling opportunities.  Many of these reservoirs are located near rural communities where expenditures by anglers provide economic benefits.  This study estimated the value of the recreational striped bass fishery at Lewis Smith Lake, Alabama to the local counties surrounding the lake and the State of Alabama using surveys; further, we calculated generated tax revenues and estimated the demand and consumer surplus for the striped bass fishery.  Annual striped bass angler effort represented 23% of the total effort with 53,000 hours (standard error, 3,800 hours) or approximately 10,200 trips.  Catch and harvest effort for striped bass anglers was 0.40 fish per hour and 0.18 fish per hour, respectively.  Annual aggregated expenditures by striped bass anglers were US$0.7 million, with 84% of expenditures occurring within the local counties.  A cost-benefit analysis determined that for every $1 spent in stocking costs, $2 were generated in taxes for local county road maintenance, education, and general funds and $7 were generated for statewide tax funded programs; thus, striped bass stocking costs were justified through the increase in resulting angler expenditures.  The demand estimation showed an increase in travel cost to fish at the site and party size was found to decrease the number of visits an angler would make to fish for striped bass at Lewis Smith Lake.  Consumer surplus was estimated to be $1.3 million for the striped bass fishery and $164 per angler visit.  In conclusion this work has shown that the economic impact assessment for a fishery should be taken into account when total fishery management plans are being considered.