Economic Impact of Recreational Angling on Reservoir and Tailrace Sections of Millers Ferry Reservoir, Alabama
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures
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Recreational fishing creates a large source of income within the state of Alabama through both direct sales for local communities and taxes. Knowing how much and where anglers spend money fishing specific destinations allows fisheries managers to better understand the economic impact of these fisheries to the local economy. This economic impact was evaluated for Millers Ferry (William “Bill” Dannelly) Reservoir, Alabama, a 7,006-ha impoundment of the Alabama River. The reservoir was divided into six sections covering 157.1 km to conduct a stratified, non-uniform probability sampling design. Instantaneous counts (N=188), on-site roving creel interviews (N=729), and follow-up telephone interviews (N=506) were conducted to obtain fishing effort and expenditure data from January to December 2015. Data were then extrapolated to estimate total fishing effort on the reservoir at 164,145 ± 36,184 hours. Over the one-year study period, recreational boat anglers were responsible for 89% of the effort while the remaining effort was from shore anglers for a total of 23,156 and 4,589 trip days, respectively. Recreational anglers who visited Millers Ferry Reservoir spent $2.5 million on their trips for resources (fuel, lodging, food, tournament fees, etc.). Fuel for boats and vehicles ($1.0 million) and food ($0.5 million) were the sources of the majority of the expenditures. Anglers targeting black bass Micropterus spp. spent $1.7 million on their trips with most of the effort concentrated in the sections directly above the dam. Anglers targeting crappie Pomoxis spp. ($0.33 million), catfish (family Ictaluridae; $0.27 million), sunfish Lepomis spp. ($0.06 million), and anything ($0.16 million) were responsible for the remaining expenditures. Total expenditures generated an estimated $161,951 in tax revenue for the state of Alabama, Dallas and Wilcox Counties, and the four municipalities within these counties that apply taxes. Most tax revenue was generated for the state of Alabama ($108,516), Wilcox County ($35,296), and the city of Camden ($13,347). State and local managers can use these economic impact estimates to better understand a fishery and improve the opportunities for recreational anglers.