This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Economic Value of the Tournament Black Bass Fishery on Lake Guntersville, Alabama




Snellings, Patrick

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures


Lake Guntersville is one of the most renown black bass fisheries in the United States and as such attracts many tournaments of various sizes and competition levels. This study attempted to quantify the economic impact of these tournaments on the local communities and state through expenditures, tax revenues, and estimated consumer surplus. The study was conducted via access points where anglers were distributed survey packets in postage paid envelopes and instructed to complete and return the survey via mail or online. Of 1672 total surveys distributed, 439 were returned, for a 26% response rate. A total of 272 tournaments were estimated to have occurred in 2013, fished by 10,035 anglers. Annual tournament angling effort on Lake Guntersville was estimated to be 89,000 angler hours; when accounting for time spent practicing this number increased to 266,000 hours. Overall annual tournament angling expenditures on Lake Guntersville in 2013 were $4.6 million dollars, generating $222,000 in tax revenue. The total economic impact of the tournament fishery was estimated to be $6.7 million after adjusting for a regional multiplier. Consumer surplus for tournament black bass anglers was $667 (SE, $102) per visit and $225 per day. Overall willingness-to-pay for tournament anglers was $1,122 per visit; consumer surplus represented 59% of the total willingness-to-pay. Large single tournaments, which attracted large proportions of out of state anglers and associated overnight trips, resulted in the greatest local economic impact, and should be the events local tourism bureaus and Chambers of Commerce focus on attracting to the area. These large events are usually highly publicized and can showcase the fishery directly leading to more tournaments and recreational angling at the fishery.