Fish Kill Loss Valuation through Estimation of Angling Effort and Use Valuation on Three Mid-Size Alabama Rivers
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences
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State fisheries management agencies seek financial restitution following a fish kill. Economic losses due to fish kills on rivers have been underestimated in Alabama, as user loss values have not been included as a loss metric. Multiple surveys were used to gather effort and economic data on three Alabama Rivers. Trail cameras were used to monitor angler effort and to estimate the number of annual angler trips. Annual economic value of angling ranged from $600,000 - $1.8 million among the three rivers. Annual economic loss estimates due to fish kills ranged $60,000 - $5.4 million depending on the river and severity of the kill. By comparing trail camera effort estimates to those from bus-route surveys, effort was similar between methods but trail cameras were more cost efficient. Precise effort estimates can be obtained by sampling 40% of available camera images.