Excerpts and Abstracts of Relevant Literature on Socio-economic Aspects of Sport Fishing, Planning and Methodology
(SFI bul. No. 135, February 1963)
An excellent 20-page study report describing characteristics and needs of statewide boatowners, entitled “Pleasure Boating in Oregon”, is available from the State Marine Board (R.F. Rittenhouse, Director), Salem 10, Oregon. This first survey of boating activity is hailed by Governor Mark Hatfield as a guide to future action, showing the demand for more and better boating facilities and suggesting utilization of unrefunded state marine fuel taxes to defray the cost of needed launching ramps, channel dredging, and other facilities.
The report shows that over 95 per cent of all pleasure boats registered in Oregon (45,628 as of January 1962) are under 21 feet long, and that 89 per cent of all registered boats are outboard types. Among boats under 21 feet, over 92 per cent are outboards, and over 5 per cent are inboards. Among those 21 feet or longer, over 20 per cent are outboards (usually twin-motored) while nearly 71 per cent are inboards. The median horsepower is 25 among the smaller boats (principally outboards) and is 100 among the larger boats (largely inboards).
Average annual consumption of gasoline was about 125 gallons per boat under 21 feet (principally outboards) and made up about 81 per cent of total gallonage consumed by all pleasure boats. The longer boats (largely inboards) consumed nearly three times as much gasoline per boat (averaging about 346 gallons per boat and accounting for nearly 19 per cent of the total). It was interesting to note, therefore, that payments of refunds on gasoline used in pleasure boats made up about 19 per cent of total tax collections. Therefore, it seems a fair conclusion (ours) that most such tax refunds are made to owners either of inboard boats or of twin-motored outboards both of which characteristically “tank up” large gallonages at a time. It seems more than coincidental that these figures compare so closely. In Oregon, which has a 6-cent state tax, the annual net revenue due to gas taxes derived from pleasure boating is about $300,000.
As would be expected from the foregoing, trailers are the primary means by which boats travel to available waters, with about 81 per cent of boats less than 21 feet being hauled to the launching site. Only 21 per cent of boats 21 feet or over are hauled by trailer, with the remainder moored or stored at the launching site.
Exhibiting a closely logical relationship to requirements of the predominant boat uses, the most needed types of improved boating facilities as indicated by the owners of the smaller pleasure boats are: (1) more launching ramps; (2) paved or improved launching ramps; (3) camping areas near mooring or launching sites; and (4) sanitary facilities. Owners of larger pleasure boats indicated that the most needed boating facility improvements are: (1) overnight mooring facilities; (2) more piers and docks; (3) improved law enforcement and safety regulations' enforcement; and (4) breakwaters to shelter mooring areas.
Fishing accounted for much the most important segment of time spent in use of all boats under 21 feet, with over 86 per cent engaged in fishing at least part of the time and over 47 per cent devoting over half of the boating time to fishing. Only some 14 per cent do no fishing whereas about 96 per cent do no skin diving, 85 per cent do no hunting, 55 per cent do no water skiing, and 34 per cent do no “cruising and sightseeing”. The picture was somewhat different in the larger boats (constituting only 11 per cent of all registered boats, however), with “cruising and sightseeing” forging up close behind fishing and far eclipsing other activities. Again only some 14 per cent of these engage in no fishing whatsoever, whereas all but about 18 per cent become involved in “cruising and sightseeing” at one time or another.
Fishing, moreover, is the principal use (over half of all boat-time involved) of the smaller boats, whether in rivers (46%), lakes and reservoirs (53%), or coastal waters or ocean (84%). With respect to the much smaller numbers of larger boats, fishing ranks behind cruising as the over-all principal use (over half-time), especially in river situations (10%), but forges to the forefront again on lakes and reservoirs (35%), and in coastal waters or ocean (78%). Interestingly, the data show that all of the larger boats are used to some extent for fishing in the latter situations.
Other data showed that the large majority (76%) of owners of smaller boats use their boats on fewer than 60 days annually, while the average is 45 days and the median or “typical” use is 30 days. By comparison, the large majority (83%) of owners of larger boats use their boats on fewer than 120 days annually, with an average use of 76 days and median or “typical” use of 60 days. This 2 to 1 ratio (of time afloat, also) nearly reflects the average daily gasoline consumption. The outboards burn up about 2.8 gallons of fuel per day of use; the inboards and twin-outboards burn up about 4.6 gallons of fuel per day of use.
(SFI bul. No. 159, February 1965)
Research Services, Ltd. (London) predicted the outcome of Britain's recent General Election within the proverbial hair's breadth, by means of its highly refined system for polling public opinion. According to an article by Ken Sutton, in “The Fishing Tackle Dealer” (Peterborough, England) for December 1964, a national survey by the same public opinion research organisation sets the current number of anglers in Britain at 2,200,000 male adults (16 years and over). The survey was carried out for Angling Times, Ltd. (FTD Publishers) in May and June 1964, utilising 19,400 interviews in nearly 200 different population centers in Britain.
Sutton states that all are male anglers and that, if anglers under 16 were added, the total number of anglers of all ages would surely reach 2½ million. He made no direct mention of lady anglers, leaving one to conclude that there are very few English girls who fish. One knowledgeable Britisher of our acquaintance confirmed this upon our inquiry, especially for coarse fishing, although noting that the salmon record is held by a woman.
Our friend suggested that not many more than one in a thousand British women actually fish; in England, it seems fishing is very much a man's sport. Indeed, it is widely regarded as a useful means of getting away from the women on the “tight little isle”, at least by the working men. This differs decidedly, of course, from custom in at least one Commonwealth nation, Canada, where 198,000 or more ladies fish. In the U.S., fishing is very popular with the fair sex, where some 4,555,000 ladies of corresponding ages indulged last year in this form of recreation (including younger girls of all ages who fish, the total probably exceeded 8,000,000).
Fishing, as elsewhere, nevertheless proved to be Britain's most popular sport. Sutton said it is “more popular than soccer, twice as popular as golf and tennis, and three times as popular as cycling.” Interesting, too, is the finding that “coarse fishing” (for all fishes other than trout and salmon) is most popular among club members (one-fourth of all anglers - compared to one-twentieth in the U.S.). Only one in twenty game fishermen over take part in the popular fishing competitions known as “match angling”. More than half of all anglers became interested in fishing through introduction to coarse fishing; 23 per cent took up sea fishing first; exposure to fly fishing first brought 10 per cent of the fishermen into the sport.
(SFI bul. No. 138, May 1963)
A 1962 study by American Forest Products Industries, Inc. (Washington, D.C.) of recreational uses of industrial timberlands up-dated a similar survey two years earlier. It confirmed that recreational use is a very substantial by-product of well-managed industrial forest lands. A policy statement of AFPI states, in part: “Multiple use, including public recreation, is encouraged on industrial forest land consistent with the primary objectives of forest management”. More than 92 per cent of industry lands are open to hunting, according to AFPI's chief forester James C. McClellan, and yield more than 150,000 big game animals annually.
Sport fishing is permitted in streams, lakes and ponds on about 97 per cent of all industrial forest lands. These facilities included 2,436 natural lakes, with 497,666 acres of water; 37,255 miles of streams; and 370 artificial lakes, with 237,034 acres of water. Also, there were 67 fish farms with 1,112 acres in farm ponds. The 46 companies with cooperative fish management programmes all required permits, but only five companies charged for fishing privileges.
(SFI bul. No. 134, January 1963)
A nationwide survey of the habits and preferences of Americans engaged in outdoor recreation was conducted in 1960–61 by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. It was analyzed and reported by the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission staff (special project director Abbott L. Ferris) and is now available as ORRRC Study Report 19 ($2.00, U.S. Govt. Printing Office, Washington 25, D.C.). It contains a welter of information, based on four separate seasonal samples, each involving about 4,000 very detailed interviews.
Included are participation rates in 17 outdoor activities, preferences, expenditures and analyses of socio-economic factors involved. The data are categorized by region, age, sex, residence, eduction, occupation and race. Activity rates are also shown by state of health, physical impairment, and size of community. The study provides much grist for the mill of fish conservation administrators, managers and planners.
The survey determined that about 35 per cent of the U.S. population 12 years of age and over (133,000,000) fished at least once during the period June 1960 – May 1961. These 47,000,000 anglers fished an average of 11.9 days per year, with participation rates being highest in the South, and lowest in the Northeast. The estimates are comparable to those computed by the Michigan Survey Research Center which appear in ORRRC Study Report 20.
In the Census Bureau survey, fishing was found to be the preferred outdoor activity among 33 per cent of the population. It ranks second, with picnicking, to swimming in order of preferences. As a preferred activity on vacation fishing ranked third, behind sightseeing and swimming. These three activities by far exceed all others as preference for the outdoor vacation.
Fishing is preferred by males (47 per cent) over any other outdoor activity. It is highest in the 25–44 age group. Twenty per cent of those living in large urban areas expressed a preference for fishing compared to 45 per cent in rural areas. More people in the South express a preference for fishing (44 per cent) than any other activity. In the North Central region swimming (39 per cent) is slightly preferred over fishing (36 per cent). In the West, fishing is equalled by picnicking, and surpassed in preference only by swimming. In the North-east, picnicking, driving for pleasure, and swimming exceed fishing as preferred activities. It was also reported that about 1,240,000 persons leased fishing rights during the year, over one-half of them in the South.
From the tabulated material, it was determined that about 26 per cent of all fishing activity (man-days) occurred in the spring, 47 per cent in summer, 18 per cent in the fall, and 9 per cent in winter. In the South fishing participation during the winter was 16 per cent compared to 4 per cent in the Northeast, 6 per cent in the North Central and 7 per cent in the West. There were about 3.7 million persons who fished during the December, January, February period in the North Central and Northeast regions. Undoubtedly, the great majority were ice fishermen.
Data on water-skiing indicated that anglers outnumber skiers by 6 to 1 during the summer months. During the fall months, man-days of fishing (100 million) slightly exceeded man-days of hunting (97 million). The study estimated total annual man-days of fishing equalled about 560 million, compared to 760 million man-days of swimming, 480 million man-days of picnicking, 260 million man-days of boating, 240 million man-days of hunting, and 50 million man-days of water-skiing.
One-fourth of these who prefer fishing reported they participated as freely as they would like. Forty per cent mentioned lack of time as a reason for not fishing more often; 13 per cent stated that facilities were too crowded, inadequate or distant; 12 per cent listed lack of skill and 7 per cent lack of money.
Regarding motivation, the report authors concluded (emphasis added) that the angler is inspired by “any number of incentives. He seeks food and the better the catch the more rewarding the experience. Once fishing skill is acquired, for example in casting, the exercise of the skill becomes a motive …. The fisherman may seek the peace and tranquility of the shady cove or he may join with others and find the sociability of the occassion more rewarding experience.”
(SFI bul. No. 173, April 1966)
An illuminating study report, entitled “The Economic and Social Values of Hunting and Fishing in New Mexico”, has been prepared by Thomas O. Kirkpatrick (College of Business Administration, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque). In 1963, it turns out, 145,569 fishing licenses (98,445 resident and 47,124 non-resident) were sold in New Mexico. Besides license holders, there were an estimated 81,000 children under 14 years of age and not required to have a license, who also fished - an additional 55 per cent!
Almost one-third of the licensed “fishermen” were women. Compared with the average for all residents of New Mexico, anglers had higher incomes (nearly half earned more than $7,000 per year) and were better educated (a greater percentage of high school and college graduates). License sales were predicted to increase 116 per cent by 1975, far exceeding the predicted increase in population.
About 84 per cent of all fishing was done by family groups. Wives went along on family fishing trips 70 per cent of the time, but actually fished on about one-half of these trips. Approximately 2.1 million days were spent fishing in 1963. Resident fisherman averaged 18 days out fishing that year; non-residents averaged 9 days. Half of the fishermen contacted planned on spending more time out fishing during the following year. Ninety-five per cent of the fishing trips involved the use of automobiles. About 47 per cent of the licensees also fished outside of New Mexico.
Approximately $31.8 million was spent for fishing. Expenditures by residents averaged $13 per day. Non-residents spent about $29 per day out fishing. Cost of a fishing license accounted for only 2.3 per cent of the total fishing expenditures. About $5.5 million was spent by New Mexico fishermen fishing outside of the state. An economic survey made in 1956 revealed that daily angling expenses then averaged $9.61. By 1963, corresponding daily expenditures had increased by $3.81 (nearly 40 per cent).
Most fishing was done on days off rather than during vacations. Also, most fishing was carried on in areas where the fishermen lived. Participation in boating and camping increased the demand for fishing (or vice-versa). Contrary to studies which report below average rates of fishing participation by urban residents, the city of Albuquerque exhibited a higher percentage of fishermen than the state generally.
The proximity of fishing areas and facilities was believed to be responsible. Professor Kirkpatrick concluded that the most important single controllable factor affecting license sales is the existence of facilities (fishing streams, lakes, boat launching ramps, picnic tables, camping areas, toilet facilities, etc.).
Copies of this report are available from the Bureau of Business Research, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, at $2.00.
(SFI bul. No. 130, September 1962)
In the vital job of planning sport fishery action programmes, conservation agencies must first establish existing use-patterns, and angler habits and attitudes. This is usually determined by creel censuses and mail questionnaires submitted by licensed anglers. After this information has been laboriously gathered and analysed, fishery personnel then attempt to predict future demand, primarily by projecting calculated trend lines. However, available statistics usually do not indicate possible influence of other forms of outdoor recreation on fishing activity, nor the motivating effects of more leisure time, paid vacations, and higher incomestrends of the present. Such information is vital to sound preparation for the future.
To provide some of these answers, the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission sponsored a special study which was conducted by the University of Michigan Survey Research Center. The results appear in ORRRC Study Report 20 “Participation in Outdoor Recreation: Factors Affecting Demand Among American Adults”, by Eva Mueller, Gerald Gurin and Margaret Wood. It is based on 2,759 personal interviews of a representative (multi-stage area) sample of American adults (18 years or older). The report is for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D.C., price 50 cents.
The study which constituted the kernal of the basic ORRRC report, revealed that 20 per cent of all those interviewed fished “often” (5 or more times) and 18 per cent “a few times” (1 to 4 times) during the year 1959. On this basis, nearly 43 million adults wet a line during the year. Engagement in eleven outdoor activities considered by the survey ranked as follows:
|Activity||Per cent who engaged|
|Often||A few times|
|Auto riding for sightseeing and relaxation||47||24|
|Swimming, or going to beach||26||19|
|Boating and canceing||12||16|
|Nature or bird walks||6||8|
|Skiing, other winter sports||2||4|
At the top are activities like pleasure driving and picnics, which take minimal preparation, skill or exertion. Most of the other activities require a good deal of skill, training, preparation, money and effort.
The report authors also ranked the activities according to “involvement” based on spontaneous mention of activities by the interviewes. Fishing and hunting were found to be the most “involving” activities and hiking, nature and bird walks, pleasure driving and picnics to be the least “involving”.
To determine potential needs for facilities, the survey attempted to define the extent to which people would like to increase the various activities in the future. In response to the query “If you could do as you please, are there any things on the list (of 11 activities) which you would like to do more often or enjoy taking up in the future?” The responses were as follows:
|Activity||Per cent who would like to do more often or take up|
|Total||Did not do at all last year|
|Swimming, or going to beach||14||5|
|Auto riding for sightseeing||13||3|
|Boating and canceing||11||6|
|Skiing, other winter sports||5||4|
|Nature or bird walks||4||2|
From these data, the authors concluded that “where the people wishing more of the activity equal or outnumber those that are presently actively engaged in it - fishing, boating, hunting, camping, horseback riding and skiing and other winter sports - are activities where a relatively large potential of interest is not being fully realised as yet. In these cases there are barriers keeping people from participating to the full extent of their desires.”
What are the barriers to participation? Lack of time (for the activity itself or for the trip necessary to reach suitable facilities) was the reason most often given, with 52 per cent of the people mentioning it. Two other prominently mentioned factors which play a major role in holding outdoor recreational activities below the desired level are “lack of money and lack of facilities…. Since incomes are likely to rise and leisure time may also expand in the future, some increase in participation rates seems to be in prospect. It would appear that in the future, facilities will have to be increased not only in accordance with population growth and to relieve present overcrowding, but also to allow for some rise in participation rates.”
Other survey data concerning anglers and angling are included in the following table:
|Fishing participation by region, place of residence, sex and age||Per cent who engaged|
|Often||A few times|
|Cities (50,000 or more)||13||16|
|Adjacent areas (within 50 mi.)||22||16|
|65 and over||11||9|
From these findings, the authors deduced: “Fishing is most frequent South …. Camping, fishing and hunting - the activities that most involve ‘roughing it’ in the outdoors - seem to be more congenial to the people in outlying areas. With the increasing homogeneity of our national culture, many value and interest differences between city and country people are disappearing and decreasing differences in outdoor leisure patterns would seem to be part of this trend…. Where men and women are compared on the 11 specific activities, striking differences appear only with respect to fishing and hunting. These, particularly hunting, are the only clearly ‘masouline’ activities….” With respect to fishing, picnicking, pleasure driving and hiking, people remain fairly active until at least early middle age. Participation in swimming, boating, hunting, horseback riding and skiing seems to decline fairly regularly with age.
Sixteen per cent of the parents interviewed reported that their children fished “…. the spread of experience with outdoor recreational activities among young people will mean that interest in these activities will persist at a high level or even grow.”
The interviewers first asked the people “How do you usually spend most of your leisure time?” in order to focus on the regular day-to-day leisure patterns. Fishing was the most frequently mentioned of all active sports, and was exceeded in all leisure activity mentions only by (1) looking at TV, (2) reading, and (3) gardening or working in the yard. Fishing exceeded “visiting with friends or relatives; participating in clubs, organisations, church work; spectator sports; playing cards; and going to movies.” Conclusion: “....swimming, hunting and especially fishing seem to be of the greatest importance and salience…. That one out of six Americans spontaneously mention fishing in the context of questions asking about activities they engage in ‘quite a lot’, would seem to attest to the importance of this recreational activity.” It surely would.
The ORRRC report findings suggested that one appeal of outdoor recreation is the opportunity it affords for fellowship with family, relatives, friends and colleagues. “This image of outdoor recreation as an activity with a decided social appeal stands in contrast to the wilderness lover's image of outdoor recreation. For a minority of people, the appeal may lie in the possibility of getting away from people - to nature and solitude; but for the majority a major attraction of outdoor recreation seems to be the opportunity to be with people and share leisure activities with others.”
Roughly three-fourths of those who took up fishing and camping as adults gave social reasons (as a family activity, primarily). Many people who started to fish in childhood and continued as adults stated that fishing meant “fun and relaxation”, or that they enjoy competition and a chance to develop skills. The report poses the possibility that outdoor recreation plays a social role, partially explaining its rapid growth.
The authors mention the problem of possible changes in preferences, but make no long-run predictions. They do emphasise that leisure preferences are conditioned by locational factors-the time and distance required to reach the preferred activity location. For instance, fishing, camping, hunting and skiing were found to be more common on weekend than on vacation trips. Therefore, facilities are needed that can be reached conveniently on a 2- or 3-day weekend from the major population centers.
The report concludes with an analysis of camping, observing that proximity to water sport facilities is an important factor to consider in planning the location of additional camping areas. Three-fourths of the campers interviewed went fishing, two-thirds went swimming, more than half went boating.
(SFI bul. No. 127, June 1962)
A comparative study of the economies of 17 reservoir counties and 8 non-reservoir counties in the Arkansas-White-Red River Basins has strikingly revealed the impact of large-scale recreation expenditures on relatively undeveloped areas. Prepared by Arthur L. Moore for the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission (Economic Studies of Outdoor Recreation, ORRRC Report 24), the analysis revealed that in counties bordering reservoirs, per capita income increased, population losses were less, tax levies were up, and bank deposits gained impressively.
Of the seven large reservoirs involved, three were 15 years old, three 8 years old, and one was filled in 1960. From 1949 to 1959 annual per capita income in Arkansas reservoir countries increased 57 per cent compared to 23 per cent in the non-reservoir counties. Ten Oklahoma reservoir county tax collections increased 64 per cent compared to 4 per cent in two non-reservoir counties. Bank deposits were up 60 per cent in the reservoir counties in the period 1949 to 1958, compared to 40 per cent in non-reservoir counties.
Economist Moore found that investment in overnight accommodations in 14 reservoir counties rose from $1.4 million in 1945 to $20.8 million in 1959. Investments in lake shore homes and cabins currently average about $3.2 million annually.
In some reservoir counties, outdoor recreation has changed almost the entire way of life. New schools and better public services have, in turn, brightened other economic prospects. The ORRRC summary report concludes that these cases are special in that large-scale expenditures came to a comparatively depressed area in a rather short period, but that they do clearly illustrate the power of the recreation dollar.
To date very few European studies of recreational activities such as sport fishing have been made. In Sweden, however, several studies have been carried out with regard to sport fishing and outdoor recreation in general. A summary of this data is now available in a report issued by FAO in Rome: EIFAC/OPl, February 1968, Appendix: Norling, I. Socio-Economic Studies of Sport Fishing in Sweden (13 p.).
Data is reported from studies made by members of the Swedish Anglers' Organizations (1); citizens in a mining area in Northern Sweden (2); and a state-wide study of the whole outdoor recreational area (3).
In studies 1 and partly 2 the following variables were studied: incomes; place of habitation; water-type fished and preferred; time spent on different phases in the recreational activity; equipment used and preferred; varieties of fish fished and preferred; size and type of catch; what happens to catches; expenditure; total distribution and willingness to pay for low to high quality and even “fish for fun” waters (Hazzard plan type); journeys to near and distant waters; summer cottage and fishing and fishing with the family.
In the state-wide survey, for example, it was discovered that with regard to angling, 41 per cent of the population living in urban centres with more than 10,000 citizens went fishing at some time during 1963 and that 29 per cent fished six times a year or more. The activity is fairly evenly distributed throughout the different generations and fishing with the family seems quite common. Fishing is a popular and much sought-after activity.
Comparisons were made between data received from studies of sport fishing in the United States and Canada and data received from Swedish reports. These comparisons made between Swedish and North American data show that a strong similarity exists.
(SFI bul. No. 161, April 1965)
An article in a several months' old issue of “The American Legion Magazine” indicated that there were in excess of ten million anglers in the U.S.S.R. It also indicated that all the fishing was controlled through small collectives or fishing clubs and that all would-be anglers must be card-carrying members of the Communist Party. It would appear now that both the total number of anglers and their total identity with the Communist Party may have been somewhat exaggerated.
We have been advised by Dr. Donald E. Bevan, Associate Professor, Fisheries Research Institute, University of Washington College of Fisheries (Seattle), that “quite a number of people fish outside of the clubs or collectives and a Party membership is not required for club membership.” Dr. Bevan also advises that President Kuznetzov of the Federation of Sport Fishing of the U.S.S.R. recently estimated that there were about 1½ million organized fisherman in the Soviet Union of January 1, 1964. He estimated there were six million more outside the organizations.
(Fish Conservation Highlights 1960–62; Sport Fishing Institute, Washington, D.C.)
Well over half a million U.S. citizens probably look to our great northern neighbour for something special in the way of fishing experiences. It may be the chief motivation for annual excursions, or it may represent a once-in-a-lifetime expedition. Either way, Canada has a special lure matched by few other countries because it contains vast areas of virtually untrammelled “frontier” lands. For the vast majority of U.S. citizens (at least 75 per cent of them), it has been established that one of the chief motivations for visiting wilderness areas is to go fishing. According to the 1960 National Survey of Fishing and Hunting (U.S.), at least 438,000 anglers fished in Canada during 1960 in addition to fishing in the U.S. This represents a minimal figure for across-the-border angling as those U.S. citizens who do all their fishing in Canada (none at home) were excluded from the count. This compares reasonably with the statistics for sales of non-resident angling licenses in the Canadian Provinces (Table), which totalled over 593,000 in 1962.
A recent economic survey by D.A. Benson, entitled “Fishing and Hunting in Canada”, 1961 (published by the Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ontario), represents the first nationwide appraisal of the economic and social significance in Canada of these leading forms of outdoor recreation. He determined that 10.8 per cent (1,311,000) of Canadians 14 years of age or older fished (including the younger kids who fish, the total no doubt considerably exceeds 1½ million). Men anglers numbered 1,058,000 and outnumbered some 198,000 lady anglers six to one (in the U.S., less than three to one). The highest participation was found in Ontario where 37.9 per cent of all sportsmen (579,000 persons) occurred. Prairie provinces supported 20.5 per cent, Quebec 17.9 per cent, Atlantic maritimes 11.1 per cent, and British Columbia 12.6 per cent of the sportsmen.
The latter distribution of outdoorsmen (preponderantly anglers) strongly reflects the finding that freshwater sport fishermen (about 1,256,000) outnumbered their saltwater bretheren (about 149,000 - of whom some 64,000 apparently fished exclusively in saltwater) by more than eight to one. To a lesser degree, it reflects the further finding that Pacific saltwater anglers (about 92,000) outnumbered Atlantic saltwater anglers (about 57,000) somewhat less than two to one. Fewer than 10,000 ladies braved the Atlantic to fish, while some 17,000 did so on the Pacific waters.
All in all, sport fishing provided some 20 million man-days (no doubt, plus several million kid-days, as well) of recreation for Canadians in 1961. Anglers travelled about 570 miles each, on the average, or a total approaching 750 million man-miles in private vehicles to enjoy their sport. More than 60 per cent of all anglers fished within 100 miles of home; more than 90 per cent did so within 300 miles.
Canadians spent $188 million to go fishing in 1961, for an average of $143 per fisherman. Expenditures for freshwater fishing averaged about $138 per angler, whereas those for saltwater fishing averaged higher - apparently something over $171 annually, possibly approaching $214 per saltwater angler. Of the combined average expenditure per angler ($143 annually), less than one per cent was invested in perpetuation of the resource through purchase of fishing licenses. Capital items of fishing equipment - boats, motors, trailers, fishing tackle, camping gear used primarily for fishing, etc. - accounted for 51 per cent of the expenditures. Expendable items, including accommodations where utilised, food, supplies of various nature, consumed something under 27 per cent. Costs of operating private vehicles (averaging 7½ cents per mile), made up the 21-plus per cent remaining.
In Canada, the Federal Government maintains full responsibility for all fish in the Maritimes - Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and the Territories (Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory). It has like responsibility for marine and anadromous species in British Columbia. It discharges this responsibility through the Department of Fisheries. By agreement with the Federal Government, however, British Columbia administers its inland sport fishery resources. Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan, by similar agreement with the Federal Government, administer all fishery resources within their boundaries and promulgate appropriate regulations under various Federal acts and regulations. In the National Parks, responsibility for the fish rests with the Canadian Wildlife Service of the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources.
(SFI bul. No. 141, August 1963)
According to an item in the July issue of “Florida Wildlife”, the value of the St. Johns River sport fishery is substantial. A Florida game and freshwater fish commission survey team interviewed public fishing camp owners and asked how many boats had been rented during 1962. The estimated number of private boats fishing on the river during the year were added. The total was then multiplied by the average number of fishermen observed per boat.
The minimum amount it is believed that fishermen would be willing to pay if a charge were made for fishing privileges is two dollars per angler trip. Multiplying this minimum figure by the number of anglers calculated (above), gave an estimate of the recreational value of the sport fishery. The latter amounted to more than $2.3 million for 1962 - and may represent net value - added to the economy.
This excludes all other expenses a fisherman normally incurs, such as cost of fishing tackle, bait, fuel, meals, lodging and transportation. It is estimated that each angler spends, on an average, at least ten dollars a day on such items. The value of the St. Johns River sport fishery, in terms of gross business generated, was at least $10 million during 1962.
(SFI bul. No. 179, October 1966)
According to the just released 1965 National Survey of Fishing and Hunting (USESF and W Resource Publication 27; copies at 75∅ from Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Gov. Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402), a mass of some 33 million habitual (“real” or “substantial”) anglers and hunters - those folk 12 years or older who participated at least three times or who spent at least $5.00 - devoted 700 million recreational days, travelled 31 billion passenger miles, and spent $4 billion in the process of indulging their favourite outdoors pursuits during 1965. Compared to a reasonably comparable earlier survey for 1960, these data reflect a substantially increased demand for fishing in particular and its economic significance - up some 3 million sportsmen, about 55 million recreation days, and over 3 billion passenger miles (note illustration for fishing participation trend)!
Habitual anglers 12 years or older, who alone numbered some 28,348,000 last year, devoted 522,759,000 recreational days out fishing and spent $2,925,304,000 on their preferred means of outdoor recreation. In addition, it was determined - long urged by the Sport Fishing Institute - that at least 3,241,000 youngsters of ages 9 through 11 years also fished during some portion of 28,265,000 recreational days in 1965. Although comparable numbers of youngsters under 9 years old probably also fish, these were not surveyed.
Thus, well over 31,589,000 habitual anglers 9 years or older fished during a total of more than 550,974,000 recreational days. These statistics do not include data for incidental anglers - those fishing less frequently than some part of three days or spending less than $5.00 during 1965 - who, it is clear, number many additional millions of people.
Freshwater areas supported 426,922,000 recreational fishing days by 23,962,000 anglers. They spent an average of $89 per person during the year or $4.98 per day. Saltwater supported 95,837,000 recreational fishing days by 8,305,000 anglers. They spent an average of $96 per person in 1965 or $8.34 per day. Freshwater fishing generated $2,125,652,000 of gross business activity, compared with $799,656,000 generated by saltwater fishing. The overall total of angler expenditures for necessary goods and services was very nearly three billion dollars. It was comprised of primary fishing equipment (11.0%); auxiliary equipment (26.9%); food and lodging (15.2%); transportation (14.7%); licenses and privilege fees (4.5%); and baits, guides, and other expenses (27.7%).
Among the 8,305,000 saltwater anglers, it appears that 4,486,000 fish exclusively in coastal marine waters. The remaining 3,919,000 fish extensively in inland freshwaters as well. Because of dual fishing activities by the latter there are dual expenditures for some goods and services. These are sufficiently extensive to raise the overall average annual angler expenditures to $103.19.
Among saltwater anglers, too, there are significantly different average angler expenditures in accordance with the coastal region fished. Over half of all saltwater anglers (4,178,000) and angling (55,950,000 recreational days) occurred on the Atlantic Coast, where annual angling costs, averaging $79.27 (about $5.92 per angler-day), are lowest. Roughly one-fourth of all saltwater anglers (2,084,000) and angling (22,390,000 recreational days) occurred on the Gulf Coast, where annual angling costs, averaging $84.50 (about $7.87 per angler-day), were intermediate between East and West coasts. The nearly one-fourth of saltwater anglers (2,043,000) and one-fifth of angling (17,497,000 recreational days) remaining were found on the Pacific Coast. Angling costs there averaged $143.11 for the year (about $16.71 per angler-day).
This wide range in average cost of saltwater angling by region is reflective, for the most part, partly of the frequency of fishing on each coast and partly of substantially greater expenditure for auxiliary equipment, principally boats and boat motors, on the Pacific Coast. Atlantic anglers averaged 13 to 14 days, Gulf anglers averaged 10 to 11 days, and Pacific anglers 8 to 9 days out fishing throughout the year. The latter spent over four times as much per angler on boating equipment. This is undoubtedly due to the radically different fishing conditions on opposite coasts. For example, 72.5 per cent of Pacific Coast anglers fished in part in the open ocean (39.7% in bays and sounds, 22.9% in the surf, and 14.0% in tidal rivers and streams). Howover, only 57.5 per cent of Atlantic and Gulf anglers fished in part in the open ocean (57.6% in bays and sounds, 32.1% in the surf, and 25.1% in tidal rivers and streams).
Freshwater anglers also exhibited decided differences in their customary fishing places, for the most part at least also reflective of their availability. Man-made waters were fished in most often by 35.3 per cent of inland fishermen, some 8,461,000 in all. Less than one-third of these, 10.8 per cent of all, fished in farm and ranch small ponds (less than 10 acres), while over two-thirds, 24.5 per cent of all, fished in larger reservoirs. This compares with 34.7 per cent or 8,313,000 anglers who fished most often in rivers and streams and 30.0 per cent or 7,188,000 anglers who fished in natural lakes and ponds.
Primarily because of various legal exclusions (too old, too young, property owners, disabled, active servicemen, aborigines, specified waters, etc.), only 59 per cent of anglers 12 years or older are licensed. These include saltwater fishermen who are now licensed in seven states. In 1960, about 61 per cent were licensed; in 1955, some 66 per cent were licensed. One among every 10 women and girls fish while one among every three men and boys fish. One among every four anglers is a woman or girl. These 28,348,000 habitual anglers 12 years old or older travelled a total of 22,111,249,000 passenger miles (9,993,683,000 car miles) in private autos, usually in groups of two or three anglers. About 97 per cent of all travel for fishing purposes was by this means.
Many anglers dragged boat trailers behind them, for they made 10,124,000 boat-launchings at places where they were required to pay launching fees (totalling $15,563,000). These were in addition to uncounted additional millions of boat launchings made without payment of fees in public areas. Some 601,000 anglers fished in Canada (up 37% since 1960), 138,000 fished in Mexico, and 57,000 fished elsewhere, in addition to fishing in the U.S.A. The less urbanised regions of the country exhibit a significantly higher ratio of population participation in recreational fishing than do those regions that are extensively urbanised and industrialised. Consistently high ratios of anglers in the population are found in the South Region, ranging from 23 to 26 per cent in the various subgroupings involved. These ratios are equalled in the Mountain states (25%). They are exceeded only in those North Central states running from Minnesota and North Dakota south to Iowa and Kansas. The 28 per cent average of the population noted there is the highest in the U.S. The Pacific coastal states are next with 21 per cent. They are followed by 19 per cent average participation in the North Central states of the Great Lakes.
Least fishing participation is evident in the heavily urbanised and industrialised North-east region. This is especially evident in the Middle Atlantic states of New York, New Jersey and Pennaylvania where only 10 per cent of the population engage in sport fishing. A somewhat greater, if relatively low, ratio of angling participation is evident in the New England states, where 16 per cent of the population fish.
Generally speaking, urbanisation was correlated with less angling, doubtless largely a function of less availability of fishing opportunity. This is probably complicated to some extent by the competitive effects of increased availability of cultural and indoor recreation opportunities in the urban environment. In any event, fishermen made up 12.0 per cent of “big city” populations (500,000 or more), 19.1 per cent of “small city” and suburban populations (places within urbanised areas having 2,500 to 500,000 population), and 23.5 per cent of towns and rural areas (all places with fewer than 2,500 and those with 2,500 or more not within urbanised areas).
Not all anglers necessarily fished in their state of residence although the strong majority (76.5%) apparently did so. In all, some 6,674,000 anglers fished in states in addition to or other than their states of residence. About half of these purchased non-resident licenses, tags, permits or stamps to do so (3,399,717 such were sold by the 50 states in fiscal year 1965). Most of the balance of out-of-state anglers represents saltwater fishermen (2,898,000 total) who can fish unlicensed in all but the 7 coastal states that presently license various segments of marine anglers. The remaining few hundred thousand anglers who fish unlicensed undoubtedly do so, for the most part, by virtue of privileges accorded property owners in most states.
This impressive and worthwhile study was paid for by Federal Aid funds derived from manufacturers excise taxes paid on certain principal items of fishing tackle and on sporting arms and ammunition. The report provides information needed by all conservation agencies in carrying out their restoration, management and research programmes. The International Association of Game, Fish and Conservation Commissioners requested this survey as well as the two earlier comparable surveys (1955, 1960) of sport fishermen and hunters.
(SFI bul. No. 185, June 1967)
The Tennessee Valley Authority now has a 20-year (1947 through 1966) cumulative record of the extent of recreation development and use of TVA lakes and lake front property. During 1966, some $22 million were added to investments in recreation facilities and improvements at TVA lakes and lakeshores, the highest annual increase to date. The increase made a year-end cumulative total investment amounting to somewhat more than $215 million. Estimated recreation visits to TVA lakes in 1966 totalled a record 52,067,928 (11,470,517 being to dams and steam plants) - up 2,354,167 or 5.4 per cent over 1965.
Kentucky Reservoir, with the greatest value of recreation developments ($45,695,000), attracted the greatest number of recreation visits during 1966 (12,174,000). This largest TVA reservoir also floated the greatest number of inboard boats (721) as well as outboard-propelled and other recreation boats (11,862). It also offered over five times as many over-night rental units (5,561) as any other TVA lake and is surrounded by much the greatest number of private summer cottages (3,888). Accordingly, Kentucky Reservoir supports considerably the greatest number of man-years of employment (688.4), through operation and maintenance of recreation facilities and services, which represents many more actual people employed seasonally.
The entire 25-reservoir TVA system, of course, supports many more boats, visitor accommodations, and man-years of recreation-related employment. Overall, there are 3,382 inboard boats and 47,687 outboard and other recreation boats on all TVA waters. Collectively, these are valued at $48,662,885, with inboard having an average value per boat amounting to some 11-fold plus that of other recreational water craft. Even so, with 5,258 boat houses, some of the latter are obviously well worth looking up when not in use, in addition to inboards. Altogether, too, 4,068 houseboats occur on TVA waters, the greatest number on any one lake (830) being found on Boone Lake, with Norris Reservoir a close runner-up (803). A total of 12,872 overnight rental units are available to transient visitors, while a closely similar number of private summer cottages (12,652) also occur at TVA waters. Recreation at TVA waters supports a total of 2,248.9 man-years of employment for operation and maintenance of facilities and services. This is equivalent to several times as many people on a seasonal employment basis.
(SFI bul. No. 136, March 1963)
Publication in December of two special study reports of the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission brings the total released to 26, with only one left unpublished to complete this vitally significant series. Copies of the reports may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D.C., vis:
“A Look Abroad: The Effect of Foreign Travel on Domestic Outdoor Recreation and A Brief Survey of Outdoor Recreation in Six Countries”. ORRRC Study Report 18 (82 pages; price 50 cents per copy). Fishing is extremely popular in every country surveyed. Denmark's sport fishing by her nationals emphasises saltwater, while there is excellent “coarse fishing” for tourists. Fishing is virtually the national pastime in France with over 2½ million registered anglers in 1957.
In Great Britain, fishing is the most popular of the country sports “because it costs less”. Many more people fish than hunt or shoot. Coastal and deep sea fishing are free to all (except for salmon and sea trout fishing in Scotland) but as a rule, freshwater fishing rights are privately owned and have to be paid for. Most coarse fishing is to let to angling clubs; trout and salmon fishermen either rent a stretch of river, join a club, stay at a hotel with its own fishing rights, or pay for the right to fish by the day, week, or month. The cost of salmon fishing is often high.
In Germany, the holder of the right to fish - whether it be the land or private owner - is responsible for fish stocking and protection. A fishing license is required. In addition, to fish in waters where rights are privately held, permission from the owner is required. Sport fishing is an ancient form of recreation in Japan, widely indulged. Fishing with well trained cormorants is still popular. Net fishing in many forms is a form of sport fishing in Japan, also.
“Projections to the Years 1976 and 2000: Economic Growth, Population, Labour Force and Leisure, and Transportation”. ORRRC Study Report 23 (434 pages; price $2.00 per copy). Contains a wealth of data and explains the basis for projecting Commission conclusions into the future.
(SFI bul. No. 142, September 1963)
Water utilised for fishing and related recreational activities (camping and picnicking) in New Mexico adds $200 to $300 per acre-foot to the economy of that state while an acre-foot of water used by agriculture adds only $50. The value added by industry is from $3,000 to $4,000 per acre-foot. These were some of the conclusions reached by Nathaniel Wollman and his Special Study Committee of geologists, biologists, engineers, agricultural economists, and economists in a sophisticated economic analysis of the benefits from different, often conflicting, uses of water which has recently been published (“The Value of Water in Alternative Uses”, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, price $10).
This study was undertaken to determine the best possible uses that may be made of New Mexico's share of the San Juan River water. The water will be obtained for the Rio Grande River basin by way of the San Juan-Chama diversion that is included in development of the Upper Colorado River which Congress recently approved. Proper allocation of this new water in the semi-arid Southwest is of extreme importance to the future economic growth of the area. In this study, allocations of water for agriculture, recreation and industry were made in eight different proportions and the future values of each allocation were projected. To do this, the present values of water were determined.
Of special significance were the economic values attributed to fishing, camping and picnicking. Other important recreational uses including boating, hunting and swimming, were not covered because of the difficulty of obtaining reasonable measures of their values. It was pointed out that in spits of sharply increasing demand for fishing facilities (which will probably double in the next 20 years) the natural preserves have been shrinking. Other water uses are normally emphasised to the detriment of recreational facilities. Prior rights have usually been exercised by agricultural and industrial users since they represent well-defined corporate or personal entities that can protect their raw materials while the recreational industry, which depletes very little water, is diffuse and disorganised. Because the recreation industry is composed of a wide variety of trades, services and government facilities, no well-defined user interest can be mobilised - except perhaps the consumer himself.
The complexity of obtaining a proper evaluation of recreational use of water is well demonstrated by the present study. Fishing, according to Wollman, “is an activity that includes but goes beyond the acquisition of fish”, therefore the surface area or stream length was used as a physical measure of the recreational resource of “fishing” rather than the number of fish awaiting capture - or fish creeled. The value-added per acre-foot of new water allocated for fish and wildlife was estimated from the amount of such water, the total traffic in fisherman-days and the value added that could be attributed to the average fisherman-day. To establish a base for projection, areas of known fishing waters were established, traffic surveys of fisherman-use were made and questionnaires were mailed to 3,000 licensed fishermen including resident, non-resident seasonal and non-resident five-day permit holders. These questionnaires asked for detailed information concerning expenditures made for fishing.
Wollman states that since the primary product of the recreational industry is “bliss”, or at least escape, the value-added cannot be measured directly as products from farming or industry or in the catch as from commercial fishing but it may be measured indirectly from the fee paid by the consumer for a day's fishing, the fee to include food, shelter, transportation, equipment and use of water. In New Mexico, total expenditures per fisherman-day amounted to $11.93 (resident $9.93; non-resident season $19.02; non-resident five-day $31.93). The percentage breakdown of angler expenditures for fishing (exclusive of license fees) was as follows: vehicles 25.2 per cent; food 16.5 per cent; transportation 15.5 per cent; boats and motors 12.7 per cent; camping equipment 9.8 per cent; fishing tackle 7.8 per cent; lodging 6.5 per cent; special clothing 2.2 per cent; horses, etc. 1.1 per cent; fees 0.5 per cent; other 0.6 per cent; and “bribe of wife” 1.6 per cent.
By integrating fishing days per season, fishing intensity, amount of water and amount of money spent per fisherman-day (in New Mexico), the value-added per acre-foot of water is $264, which is indeed a measurable contribution to economic welfare. And this is in addition to the beneficial restorative powers that may be obtained from some contact with nature.
While the present study applies specifically to the value for New Mexico, it may apply to other areas of the Southwest. In general, it seems true that water is becoming a more and more precious commodity and it is hoped that detailed studies of the economic values of different water uses (which are above and beyond the immeasurable but well-recognised assthetic values) will be made in other areas.
(SFI bul. No. 164, July 1965)
Gross economic value of the Oregon salmon-steelhead sport fishery was approximately $ 18 million in 1962, say Oregon State University economists W.O. Brown, A. Singh, and E.N. Castle. The net value was estimated to be from $ 2.5 to $ 3.1 million.
Increased demands for utilisation of fivers and streams for hydroelectric power, irrigation, flood control, navigation, pollution disposal, and other purposes often conflict with their use for migratory fishes. While monetary benefits may be estimated for most uses, administrators face a difficult task when trying to place a monetary value on the fishery resource. Such estimates are necessary, however, when the economic feasibility of fish protective devices are being considered, or when the value of the fishery to be affected is compared with benefits from alternative uses of the streams. While economic considerations are not the only or most important justification for preserving the fishes for future generations, knowledge of their economic value is helpful in making decisions affecting the future of the fishery resource.
The present study “An Economic Evaluation of the Oregon Salmon and Steelhead Sport Fishery” (Technical Bulletin 78, Agricultural Experiment Station, Oregon State University, Corvallis), was undertaken (1) to determine annual expenditures by salmon-steelhead anglers, and (2) to determine the “net” economic value of this fishery resource. The net economic value is the estimate of the monetary value of the resource which might exist if it were owned by a single individual and a market existed for the opportunity to fish for salmon and steelhead.
Estimated expenditures for durable items by Oregon salmon and steelhead anglers was between $ 6.7 and $ 12 million. The breakdown on expenditures was: tackle and gear $1,904,800 (20.4 per cent); boat equipment $5,493,900 (58.8 per cent); special clothing $362,600 (3.9 per cent); camp equipment $1,434,700 (15.3 per cent); other equipment $150,500 (1.6 per cent); total $9,346,500.
Current expenses, those costs associated with fishing trips made during a particular month, were estimated to range between $7.0 and $ 9.3 million. The breakdown on expenditures for current items was: transportation $2,391,000 (29.3 per cent); lodging $511,300 (6.3 per cent); charter boats and guide service $912,600 (11.2 per cent); bait, lures, and other tackle $796,700 (9.8 per cent); boat and motor rental $260,200 (3.2 per cent); tackle and gear rental $105,200 (1.3 per cent); other $330,300 (4.0 per cent); total $8,155,000.
The total durable expenses, plus the total current expenses, were estimated to be $17,501,500. Using the 95 per cent confidence interval the estimated total was between $ 14.4 and $20.6 million. In addition, angling license fees would add approximately $500,000 to the total figure.
As pointed out by the authors, this study was not a management study, although their estimates have relevance to management. A complete analysis of the fishery problems would include problems on biology, conservation and other implications. Obviously, economic considerations are by no means the entire story. However, they are important and those responsible for this excellent and detailed study are to be commended.
(SFI bul. No. 143, October 1963)
A report on an economic survey by D.A. Benson, entitled “Fishing and Hunting in Canada, 1961”, published recently by the Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ontario, gives information somewhat comparable to that developed for 1955 and for 1960 in the United States, on numbers of participants, recreation days and expenditures by participants. It is the first nationwide assessment of the economic and social significance in Canada of these leading forms of outdoor recreation.
Of Canadians 14 years of age or older, to whom the survey was limited, 10.8 per cent (1,311,000 persons) fished; 12.6 per cent fished, hunted or did both; and 6.5 per cent hunted only. Men anglers (1,058,000) outnumbered lady anglers (198,000) six to one (in the U.S., less than three to one). The highest concentration of fishing and hunting participation was found in Ontarie where 37.9 per cent of participants (579,000 persons) occurred. Prairie provinces supported 20.5 per cent, Quebec 17.9 per cent, Atlantic maritimes 11.1 per cent and British Columbia 12.6 per cent of the sportsmen.
The latter distribution of outdoorsmen, heavily weighted as it is by the preponderance of fishermen in the combined total, strongly reflects the finding that freshwater sport fishermen (about 1,256,000) out numbered their saltwater brethren (about 149,000 - of whom some 64,000 apparently fished exclusively in saltwater) by more than eight to one. To a lesser degree, it reflects the further finding that Pacific saltwater anglers (about 92,000) outnumber Atlantic saltwater anglers (about 57,000) somewhat less than two to one. Less than 10,000 ladies braved the Atlantic to fish, while some 17,000 did so on Pacific waters.
All in all, sport fishing provided some 20 million man-days of recreation for Canadians in 1961 and hunting some 11 million more. Anglers travelled about 570 man-miles each, on the average, or a total approaching 750 million man-miles in all in private vehicles to enjoy their sport. Hunter-travel brought the total to more than one billion miles. More than 60 per cent of all sportsmen fished and hunted within 100 miles of home; more than 90 per cent did so within 300 miles.
Anglers spent $188 million on their sport in 1961, for an average of $143 per fisherman. Expenditures for freshwater fishing averaged about $138 per angler, whereas those for saltwater fishing averaged higher - apparently something over $171 annually, possibly approaching $214 per saltwater angler. Of the combined average expenditure per angler ($143 annually), less than one per cent was invested in perpetuation of the resource through purchase of fishing licenses (only 40 per cent of freshwater anglers were required to buy them). Capital items, i.e. fishing equipment such as boats, motors, trailers, fishing tackle, camping gear used primarily for fishing, etc., accounted for 51 per cent of the expenditures. Expendable items, including accommodations where utilized, food, supplies of various nature, consumed something under 27 per cent. Costs of operating private vehicles (averaging 7½ cents per mile), made up the 21 per cent plus remaining.
(SFI bul. No. 164, July 1965)
Trout fishing within a half hour's drive of a big city has been extremely popular where it has been tried. In an illuminating article on urban trout angling in the April 1965 issue of “Outdoor California”, fish chief Alex Calhoun pointed to Lake Murray, a 150-acre San Diego water supply reservoir, as a good example. Lake Murray formerly furnished sufficiently good bass and sunfish angling to support 7,000 angler-days of recreational fishing annually. Visitors were charged a daily fee of $1 for patrol and sanitary services.
In 1959, trout were stocked in the lake. By 1961, attendance increased to an astonishing 50,000 angler-days in spite of a two-thirds reduction in the length of the open season. The catch jumped from 7,000 to 50,000 pounds of fish. Catches averaged nearly a pound of trout per angler-day. The entire operation was financially self-supporting, with no increase in fees, because increased attendance spread the costs over a broader base.
Factors that Calhoun said contributed to the popularity of Lake Murray included: (1) unusually successful fishing sustained by heavy stocking, (2) convenient location, (3) low fee, and (4) large trout (up to a pound) stocked. Irvine Lake in Orange Country and Wohlford Lake in San Diego County, managed under a similar programme, are exhibiting a degree of success similar to that at Lake Murray.
Lack of funds for urban trout angling programmes has forestalled their extensive development. The pay-as-you fish approach toward financing trout angling could provide two or three million more days of trout angling in California each year near big cities, says Calhoun. The lack of certain intangible qualities commonly associated with mountain trout angling appears to be compensated to some degree by the comparatively large catches experienced in urban trout lakes.
(SFI bul. No. 187, August 1967)
An editorial in “Michigan Out-of-Doors” for July asks the highly pertinent question, what is outdoor recreation? Everyone talks about it but no one will officially say what it is. As a result, the editor keenly notes, outdoor recreation is getting all tangled up with the new Conservation, Natural Beauty, and the Great Society. Outdoor recreation must be woven through all of these, of course, but it should also have a distinct identity. The editor observes, rightly in our view, that we must have a working definition so that citizen and government can understand each other.
Few concepts have appealed to Americans as dramatically as outdoor recreation. A new Bureau of Outdoor Recreation was created - and Congress provided the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act as its major tool kit. Every state is busy planning outdoor recreation projects. These must be approved by the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation before federal funds can be made available for suitable projects. Once the plans are approved, they are not easy to change. And this poses two key questions: what do the planners consider “outdoor recreation” to be and what do they plan?
To some, the editor notes, outdoor recreation is almost anything related to outdoor pleasure. This can include baseball parks, golf courses, swimming pools, band shells and highway beautification. One state planning group was asked to build an Olympic stadium with outdoor recreation funds; other states have been asked to build floral gardens. But outdoor recreation should mean something more. President Johnson in September 1964 said: “We began a new Bureau of Outdoor Recreation so that our children will have a place to hunt and fish and glory in nature”.
One thing is certain to the editor (and to us as well) - when the average outdoorsman thinks of outdoor recreation, he isn't thinking of floral gardens. Yet, with the current emphasis on landscape beautification, a big part of available state recreation funds can be siphoned into such projects. Though these things are desirable, we agree with the editorial view that they are cultural projects that can be built at man's convenience. Far more important are the natural projects for outdoor recreation - places in which the main attractions are based on natural resources, and which provide forms of recreation not available in cities.
Even if outdoor recreation should be defined to include cultural projects, priority must still be given to natural resource areas. Most of the federal money for outdoor recreation comes to the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act from taxes on motorboat fuels and admission fees to natural and semi-natural recreation areas. They do not come from outdoor band concerts or gasoline taxes used for highway construction.
In a national meeting, the MOOD editor said, a top official of the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation told a group of conservationists that “he hoped they wouldn't ask him to define outdoor recreation.” Nevertheless, as the editor wisely stated, we must have an official definition so that we can plan properly on a state level. Otherwise, we cannot assure ourselves that priority is given to natural projects for which there are no man-made substitutes - or that limited funds are not siphoned off to unrelated projects, however worthy in their own right.
(SFI bul. No. 181, December 1966)
The Delaware River Basin Commission (P.O. Box 360, Trenton, New Jersey 08603) recently published a set of 10 Delaware River Recreation Maps of the non-tidal segment of the Delaware River. These are available as a packet in an attractive carrying folder, from the Commission (only) at one dollar per set. The 10 maps show state parks, forests and game land, river access and recreation areas, where to fish, swim and boat, rapids, pools and riffles, channel locations and depths, and stream-flow characteristics.
According to the DRBC executive director (James F. Wright), his Commission's purpose in preparing the recreation maps has been to make the user aware of the variety of recreational opportunities this unique river provides and to invite the user to take full advantage of all it has to offer, while remembering that the Delaware River is a public resource to be enjoyed by all. When using it, he admonishes, it should be treated with the some respect ordinarily to be given to any personal object of value, including respect for the property rights of others and an effort to help keep the river and landscape free of litter.
It seems to us that what applies to the non-tidal portion of the river should apply equally to the tidal portion, although many industries along this reach of the river seem to think otherwise. Apparently, they consider it to be their prerogative to maintain a continuing high level of pollution at the expense of abundant aquatic life and associated recreational use. To our way of thinking, this does not adequately reflect the broad public interest involved nor the high-minded objectives enunciated by the DRBC - at least as applied above Trenton.
This limited-use philosophy of local industry was clearly evident in a Water Quality Conference on the Delaware River Estuary, held in Philadelphia during late July. Four alternative objectives for water quality were discussed relative to comparative costs, reduction of waste discharges, and benefits to fish life. These boiled down, essentially, to how much dissolved oxygen would be provided for support of fish life - in comparison to the costs estimated to be involved.
Objective I would assure presence in the water of 4.5 ppm average dissolved oxygen in critical areas at estimated cost of $490 million. Objective II would provide 4 ppm average of dissolved oxygen, alleged to give migratory Atlantic shad 95 per cent average chance of survival, at a cost of $ 230 – $ 320 millions. Objective III would assure 3 ppm average content of dissolved oxygen, with 85 per cent average chance of shad survival postulated, and cost $ 130 – $ 180 millions. Objective IV, providing average dissolved oxygen levels of 2.5 ppm, slightly better than present, would cost $ 100 to $ 150 million. Merely to prevent further deterioration from prevailing conditions in the estuary, Objective V would cost $ 30 million more than present expenditures.
R.H. Stroud, of Sport Fishing Institute, commented for fishery interests on the various alternative objectives, as a member of a discussion panel at the conference. He noted, in his remarks, that costs of accomplishing pollution abatement are generally emphasized by engineers at the expense of substantial fishery values, which they ridicule. They customarily rebut the valid demand by conservationists and the general public for water pollution abatement by asking: “What do you want? Jobs or fish?” Senator Muskie, Chairman of the Senate Water Pollution Sub-Committee, has rightly answered: “Both”.
The water quality of the Delaware River Estuary directly influences the quality of man's total environment in that region. The well-being of the fish, besides providing direct recreational and economic benefits, is a good indicator of the quality of man's total ecology. Let us bear in mind, Stroud said, that it is the latter which principally governs whether Americans will have a truly Great Society. Moreover, he noted that Senator Muskie recently commented: “The preservation of America's natural beauty boils down to proper resources development and use.” A reference to President Johnson's unprecedented Congressional “Message on Natural Beauty”, early last year. Tragic little natural beauty may presently be found in the sewer-like environment of the Delaware estuary.
FWPCA enforcement chief Murray Stein has publicly stated his conviction that “oxygen in the water naturally belongs to the fish”. It is a truism that if water is o.k. for fish, it is o.k. for most other uses as well. Thus, Stroud stated, the national mood clearly rejects the outmoded philosophy that there is an inherent right to pollute. It is no longer conscionable - or legal - to devote waterways to the principal use function of waste transport. Yet, if less than maximum technically feasible pollution abatement occurs in the Delaware River Estuary, serious deficiencies will remain in this respect. The average values of dissolved oxygen content provided by any alternative below Objective II are such that the extreme lows expected to occur in summer will prove severely limiting to fish life and associated recreation. Even with attainment of Objective I, the midsummer dissolved oxygen lows are clearly minimal in these respects. Their precise effects upon aquatic life would depend on the extent, duration and rate of on-set of these extremes.
In the session preceding the panel discussion, DECB's chief engineer, Herbert A. Howlett, had described the proposed 12,000-acre Tocks Island Reservoir. He estimated that 10,000,000 visitor-days of recreational use will occur there. Without challenging this estimate, Stroud pointed out that the 80-mile long Delaware Estuary between Trenton and Port Penn already offers over 51,000 surface acres of immense potential recreational significance. To realize it requires principally that water pollution be substantially controlled.
The estuarine area, over four times the size of planned Tocks Island Reservoir, currently supports only about two angler-days of recreational fishing per acre. On a conservative basis, given maximum pollution abatement, this potentially productive area may be eventually capable of supporting up to 100 angler-days per acre. This would be equivalent to a 50-fold increase in recreational fishing opportunity alone, after achievement of Objective I - from the presently estimated 102,000 angler-days to 5,100,000 angler-days!
Based on average daily angler expenditures of $5.80 (as generated recently by the fairly comparable Potomac estuary), this amount of angling would stimulate gross annual expenditures for related goods and services totalling $29,580,000. At a five per cent interest rate, a capital investment of $571,600,000 would be necessary to provide such a yield to the economy otherwise. On the basis of net value added to the economy (at the $2.00 per angler-day value determined for use in the cost-benefit ratio calculations of the Feather River Project of the California Water Plan), the corresponding figures are $10,200,000 and $204,000,000 respectively. The point, regardless of the method employed in the calculation, is that the estuarine fishery resource has a substantial “plant value” that cannot be dismissed lightly.
In the morning session prior to the panel discussion, Dr. Robert Thomann, Technical Director of the Delaware Estuary Comprehensive Study, had discussed findings of the DECS report. In the process, Stroud commented, he oversimplified the definition of an anadromous fish as one that lives in salt water and ascends for spawning to the upper freshwater reaches of a river system. Correct for American shad, which the report stresses, while overlooking the other species, the important anadromous white perch and striped bass ascend into the tidal freshwater section of the estuary to spawn. Their young use this section as nursery grounds, even as do the juveniles of American shad after descending from their upstream spawning and nursery areas. These facts focus new significance on the estuary with respect to its vital role in the ecology of fishery resources.
Moreover, Stroud pointed out, the tidal freshwater section of the estuary is also utilized as a vital nursery area by the juveniles of a number of non-anadromous species that are important both in the estuary and in the bay below. These include bluefish, weakfish, porgies, drum, croakers, spot, catfish, winter flounders, and menhaden, as well as striped bass and white perch. Thus, the pollution of the estuary also has a direct and vital effect upon the well-being and abundance of the most important fin fishes of the half million-acre Delaware Bay, which have declined substantially since the turn of the century, as well as such now rare species as sturgeon. Stroud's conclusion was that “the only conscionable course to serve the broad public interest requires the maximum pollution abatement that is technically feasible, both now and in the future.”
(Cit. from Clawson, M.: Economic Aspects of Sport Fishing in Canad.Fish.Rep. No. 4, 1965)
A few words may well be said about the recipients of the expenditures made by fishermen. Their expenses are income for someone. Who the recipients are and where they are located, depends in part upon the items of expenditure included in the study. As we have noted, most of the equipment is purchased in the home town of the recreationist. For short trips, he buys his gasoline and groceries here also. For longer trips, he must spend more money en route or at the site of his recreation. But even for the longest trips, the expenditures at or near the site may be a small part of the total. While fishermen or other recreationists from relatively distant parts do bring some additional money into the local recreation area, yet more of the business they generate is likely to be in their home towns. The makers of automobiles, cameras, film, motorboats, motors, and much other equipment owe much to the national parks and other prime vacation areas, for instance. It is this disparity between place of expenditure and place of recreation which makes it difficult for local units of government to provide recreation opportunity at a profit to themselves and their citizens. In the United States, this is part of the rationals for federal grants in aid to states and from states to cities and other units of local government; in this way the burden of supplying recreation opportunity is more widely spread, and perhaps rests more equitably on those benefiting from it.
Some of the expenditures made in a local area pay wages or profits to local people, but a large part goes to buy supplies or raw materials imported into the local area. When a fisherman buys a tank of gascline, some part of his expenditure pays the wages of the service station attendant as well as other local costs. But much is used to import the gasoline from a more distant refinery. The same is true of other items of expenditure. On the other hand, the local recipient of these expenditures in turn buys other goods and services, some part of which is provided locally and some is imported. The relative proportions supplied locally and imported vary considerably depending in part upon the nature of the local economy but also upon the size of the area under consideration - how big is “local”? For the typical vacation type recreation area, it seems probable that less than half of the direct expenditure by recreationists is for locally provided goods and services and that more than half is for “imported” goods; but consideration of the second, third, and possibly later rounds of expenditures generated by this initial outlay may raise the local proportion substantially.
(SFI bul. No. 181, December 1966)
A year ago, at a Montans State University Outdoor Recreation Seminar, Dr. J. Alan Wagar of the Utah Cooperative Recreation Research Unit (cosponsored by the U.S. Forest Service and the Utah State University), discussed the troublesome question of quality in outdoor recreation. As he noted, the chief difficulty is that most folk define the latter very subjectively tending, at the same time, to believe that they have revealed the fundamental truth for everyone.
In discussing the problem in terms of accommodating in necessary land management policy decisions the elusive element of quality, however subjective and indefinable it may be, he suggested that three premises underlie any effort to provide quality recreation for other people (not just ourselves), vis:
First, the sole purpose of all land management is to provide benefits for people - including keeping some whooping cranes because people like to see them (not per as because cranes have a “right to live”). This premise argues for conservation of resources simply because future generations will need them.
Second, recreation, like all other human behaviour, is motivated by needs - some being, like water, food and air, issutable physiological needs, but most if not all other needs being learned - thereby including almost anything.
Third, the quality of recreation depends on how well it satisfies the need that motivates it - an experience that thoroughly many needs being of higher quality than one that only partly satisfies a few needs. The following ten categories of needs, roughly reflective of broad human psychology, seem to Dr. Wagar to explain most outdoor recreation:
Self-esteem and social prestige
Freedom of choice
Early traditions and conditions
Change and escape
Thus, Dr. Wagar suggests, in planning a recreation complex, a good approach would be to list the kinds of recreational opportunities that seem to be needed and then to see where you can fit them in. Too often, professional land managers tend to plan area by area instead of opportunity by opportunity. A flat spot is likely to be made into a campground when a visitor center or golf course may be the thing that's really needed. It isn't nearly so important to use a specific area for a specific purpose as it is to insure that a needed opportunity is included somewhere in the total scheme of things. Many recreation sites are still planned in a vacuum without reference to other areas.
Dr. Wagar summed up his constructive analysis by reiterating that quality is a human concept based on highly subjective criteria. It depends on the satisfaction of needs, which are mostly learned and therefore extremely varied. However, by using a few categories of needs, we can fairly well predict what people are likely to want. The important thing is not to expect everyone to want the same type of recreational opportunity. By providing a variety of opportunities, soning, managing the areas, and interpreting the attractions, we should be able to provide benefits from recreation from now on.
Zoning can be an essential part of planning for quality in a recreation complex. Otherwise, people with different interests will spoil each other's experiences. Fishermen and water skiers illustrate the point. Sometimes they can be separated in space by giving one area to fishermen and another to water-skiers. They can also be separated in time. In some areas, water skiing is permitted only between 10.00 in the morning and 4.00 in the afternoon, giving fishermen the early morning and late afternoon when fishing is better anyhow. Zoning can also insure granny of an opportunity to see some of the world's most spectacular scenery from her automobile, without eliminating all the wild places that other people might want to see afoot.
(SFI bul. No. 143, October 1963)
A report of the state biological survey of Kansas, by fishery biologists Claude E. Hastings and Frank B. Cross, analyses “Farm Ponds in Douglas Country, Kansas” and their use in fish production (University of Kansas, Museum of Natural History, Lawrence; Miscellaneous Publication No. 29). Of 1,316 farm ponds in 1954, over 89 per cent were one-half acre in area or smaller, and less than three per cent exceeded one acre. In contrast to expressed interest in fish production in the ponds, only half had been stocked, fewer were fished often, and only three of 22 ponds sampled provided good fishing. Muddy water appeared to be the most important factor of detriment to fish production, in addition often to being too small (under one acre) and too shallow (under eight to ten feet maximum depth). Use of channel catfish coupled with supplemental feeding and fertilisation in existing small ponds would yield up to 2,000 pounds per acre.
Having particular application to southeastern states, three useful new farm pond management booklets have also appeared recently. One of these is “Management of Farm Ponds in South Carolina”, by Jefferson C. Fuller, Jr., fish chief, available from the South Carolina Wildlife Resources Department, Columbia. Another is “Farm Pond Management”, by Hugh M. Fields and F. Eugene Hester, and available as Extension Circular No. 435 from the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service, North Carolina State College, Raleigh. Still a third such booklet is “The Management of Tennessee Farm Ponds”, by fishery biologist Eugene S. Cobb. It gives simplified instructions concerning the construction, stocking fertilisation and harvesting of small farm fish ponds. Also includes special instructions on used control, pond reclamation and miscellaneous problems. This revised 1963 edition is available from the Tennessee Game and Fish Commission, Cordell Hull Bldg., Nashville 3, Tenn.
(Fish Conservation Highlights 1960–62; Sport Fishing Institute, Washington, D.C.)
It is increasingly evident that expanded saltwater sport fishery research and development programmes are needed in the coastal states. More and more people are turning to coastal marine areas to satisfy their requirements for relaxation out-of-doors. This has resulted from the rapid development of the new urban sprawl, much of it along the seacoasts, and increasing amounts of leisure time. It is well established, too, that fishing - from boats, banks, jetties, bulk-heads, piers, shores, beaches, bridges, etc. - ranks among the most popular of the principal outdoor recreation activities.
A veritable army of saltwater anglers is growing substantially year by year at a rate estimated to be four-fold that of the population. Opportunities to get to and on coastal waters to fish are fast disappearing as private development gobbles up the shoreline. At the same time, coastal marsh and estuarine habitat, vital as breeding and nursery grounds for saltwater sport fishes, is being obliterated.
The harvest of fish is increasing rapidly. The current catch of saltwater fish by sport fishermen is equivalent to nearly 28 per cent of the total harvest of food fishes by commercial fishermen. For some of the more important sport fishes, it is much higher. In 1962, for example, anglers accounted for a greater harvest of winter flounders from the bays of Long Island than the commercial fishing catch of this important fish for the same year.
The greatest benefit. The time is no longer remote when an increasing number of decisions will have to be made concerning who gets to harvest what species and how. It's a matter both of the capacity of fish stocks to replenish themselves satisfactorily and of the wisest use of the stocks for the benefit of the most people. In a beef-eating country such as ours, many species of fishes may well have their greatest value to society as objects furnishing vitally needed outdoor recreation.
A few reservations of former commercial fishes for recreational use have already been made. In California (a state having a saltwater license), the tidal-water white catfish was subject to heavy exploitation by both sport and commercial fishermen. Biological research demonstrated that the joint harvest exceeded the capacity of the catfish to replenish itself satisfactorily. This finding, together with economic evaluation as objects of recreation, resulted in the elimination of commercial harvest and reservation of the catfish fishery for sport fishing purposes, properly regulated to assure a high level of sustained yield. In Texas (another state with a saltwater license), commercial netting of redfish and seatrout in two large coastal bays was controlled in order to benefit angling. In Florida, the snook was made a “game fish”
If we are to keep pace with growing fishing pressures on coastal sport fishery resources, and assure future good fishing, the states must begin to provide more abundant fishing facilities and to maintain continuing research programmes designed to develop and evaluate beneficial fish management practices. Among the various suggestions that have been made for ways of financing state action programmes of this sort, only those that involve state-issued saltwater angling licenses thus far appear to meet the basic test for raising substantial sums of money on a continuing basis. The licensing proposals, too, are the only ones that lend themselves to protection of revenues from misguided use for non-related purposes. One state, Massachusetts, has begun to use a portion of its unrefunded marine fuel taxes for this purpose, on a small scale.
(SFI bul. No. 147, February 1964)
A detailed study of current and future land acquisition programmes for fishing and hunting needs in Massachusetts was undertaken recently, at the request of former state fish and game director Francis W. Sargent, by then wildlife manager James Shepard (now director). As a result, Shepard found that one of the biggest problems facing conservation agencies throughout the country and in Massachusetts is finding a satisfactory means of financing vital land acquisition programmes.
The fish and wildlife administrator concluded, in his report to the fish and game division's policy board, that the most practical and quickest means of financing such a programme would be through a $1.00 increase in fishing, hunting, and trapping licenses. Shepard proposed that the additional funds become “earmarked solely for land acquisition and - used for no other purposes!” He proposed, further, that the funds so derived should be matched with equal monies from the General Fund. (Such legislation will be sought.)
The latter appears wholly justified since any lands acquired would be used extensively by the general public. According to outdoor editor Henry Moore, in his “Rod and Gun” column in the “Boston Sunday Herald” for November 12, 1963, director Sargent gave a persussive rationale for such an approach in a talk at the annual meeting of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts. Sargent disclosed then that “a survey of just one of our wildlife management areas shows a 25 per cent higher usage for all types of outdoor recreation other than just hunting and fishing.”
This means that hunting and fishing accounted for only about 44 per cent of total recreational activity on a managed wildlife area. It provides strong support for Shepard's contention that “the common interest in our natural resource heritage, shared by each and every citizen of the Commonwealth, demands that all contribute a fair share to their preservation and perpetuation.”
(Cit. from White, W.M.: The Economics of Sport Fisheries Management in Canad.Fish.Rep. No. 4, 1965)
For the case of fishery improvements proposed with multipurpose water developments in the United States, benefits for some years have been reduced to monetary terms. This has proved desirable in order that the benefits from the varied and often competing purposes of water development can be integrated and a balanced plan formulated. For many years, judgment values for a fisherman-day were used that were based on total expenditures incurred by the fisherman in connection with his participation in the sport. Recently, values for fisherman-days have been derived from a cursory survey of charges assessed on private areas for the use privilege, to which informed knowledge and judgment were applied.
These so-called administrative values range from $0.50 to $6.00 per day and are intended to be net of all associated costs. In effect, they represent estimates of what a perfectly discerning, hypothetical private operator of a project area could not from the sale of fishing privileges. Incidentally, similar unit values have been established for hunting. The unit values have been adopted in practice by all concerned federal agencies of the United States and they provide a useful basis for judging the merits of fishery management proposals in connection with federal water development programmes. They are used not only for comparison among alternative fishery proposals but also for comparison of fishery proposals with proposals for other types of use of the water project facilities. In addition, these standard administrative values are useful for all related economic analyses in water development programmes such as establishment of benefit-cost comparisons for justification purposes, cost allocation among purposes, and determination of cost-sharing arrangements for beneficiaries.
Of course, standardisation of fishermen-day values does not solve all economic problems of sport fishery management even as related to water resource development. The range of values permits assignment of a particular value judged to be applicable to the type and quality of fishing involved, but special problems remain which are associated with fisheries of unique character and high intangible value.
Evaluation of such costly management methods as the planting of catchable-sized fish requires consideration of the benefits and costs not only in terms of angler-days and related monetary values, but also in terms of larger social questions. We must ask if the segment of the public served by this method could be equally served in other ways at the same or lesser cost. In other words, our evaluation must be as comprehensive as possible. It is not enough merely to relate the direct costs of management to the judgment values assigned to the fishing benefits; all related costs and benefits, both intangible and tangible, monetary or not, should be considered. If acceptable fishing can be provided by planting of catchable-sized fish at locations where fishing could not otherwise be provided, such as in intermittent seasonally flowing streams near metropolitan areas, special benefits as well as lowered travel costs may accure to the fisherman which fully justify the high management costs.
(SFI bul. No. 128, July 1962)
An important aspect of therapy in the rehabilitation of mental patients at Norwich Hospital, Connecticut, is recreational fishing in a small pond on the Hospital grounds. Recently, Dr. Ronald H. Kettle, Superintendent of the Hospital, wrote to Director Lyle Thorpe, State Board of Fisheries and Game, expressing appreciation for his agency's assistance in the Fishing Project. The Board annually stocks about 600 catchable trout in the pond. Dr. Kettle stated that this form of recreational therapy is an increasingly important contribution in the improving rehabilitation of the patients. We commend Mr. Thorpe and his agency and Dr. Kettle for this fine project.