Economic Impact of Striped Bass Angler Visitation at Lewis Smith Lake, Alabama
Type of Degreethesis
Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
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Recreational fishing for black bass (largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides and Alabama bass M. henshalli) and stocked striped bass Morone saxatilis are popular activities at Lewis Smith Lake, Alabama. The objective of the study was to estimating the value of the striped bass fishery to local cities, counties, and Alabama through expenditures, tax revenue, and consumer surplus. An on-site survey estimated angling effort at 233,756 hours (standard error, 16,968 hours), with 66% of effort targeting black bass and 23% for striped bass. Annual aggregated expenditures were $0.7 million for striped bass anglers. Consumer surplus was estimated at $101 per angler day in 2010. The cost-benefit analysis revealed that for every $1 spent in stocking Lewis Smith Lake with striped bass, between $2 and $3 were generated in tax revenue to local governments and between $8 and $12 in tax revenue for the State of Alabama, including local governments. An independent telephone survey of striped bass anglers appeared to over-estimate the effort and value of the striped bass fishery potentially due to sampling a non-representative sample. Since stocking striped bass at current rates has no significant biological impact to the other sport fishes and costs are more than covered by angler expenditures and tax revenue at Lewis Smith Lake, current stocking rates should be continued to meet the demands of the anglers and support the local economy.