This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Economic Impact of Recreational Angler Visitation to Lake Guntersville, Alabama




McKee, Christopher

Type of Degree



Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures


Recreational fishing in Alabama is a major revenue source for communities surrounding popular fishing destinations as well as a source of tax revenue for local, regional, and state governments. Statewide economic data on recreational angling allow fishery managers and administrators to recognize the broad impacts recreational fishing has to offer. However, more specific economic data on individual water bodies and targeted fish species are helpful to administrators and managers for proper characterization of the fisheries under their purview. I estimated economic impact of recreational angling expenditures and tax revenues generated by the four major recreational fisheries (black bass, crappie, catfish, and sunfish) at Lake Guntersville, Alabama to the local towns, counties, and state. I also estimated the total recreational angling effort, catch rate, and harvest rate for each of the four major sport fisheries using an on-site survey. Estimated annual effort was 1,287,000 hours (SE, 192,000 hours), with 65% of this directed towards black bass, 25% towards crappie, 5% towards anything, 4% towards sunfish, and 2% towards catfish. Anglers were queried about their expenditures related to their fishing trip, initially during the creel survey and subsequently in the by phone. Total direct expenditures related to recreational angling on Lake Guntersville in 2012 was $13.4 million this generated $425,000 of tax revenue for the local communities and $610,000 for the State. The estimate consumer surplus indicated the average angler was willing to pay $156 more per trip to Lake Guntersville increasing the overall value of the fishery to $45.2 million