Every year, thousands of anglers travel to Southern reservoirs hoping to land a selfie-worthy enormous Striped Bass. But is the cost of stocking Striped Bass justified, especially when there are other species to fish for in these reservoirs that don’t require stocking? In a recent article in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management, scientists from Auburn University analyzed the economic benefits of the Striped Bass fishery in Lewis Smith Lake in Alabama. They found that although Striped Bass only draw 23% of the anglers at the lake, these anglers spend an average of $203 per trip in direct expenses and travel costs, resulting in consumer surplus of more than $600,000. For every $1 spent on stocking, $2 were generated in local taxes and $7 were generated in state taxes. When the multiplier effects throughout the community are included, the resulting total economic impact is between $900,000 and $1.2 million. The authors recommend that the economic impact of a fishery should be taken into account when fisheries management plans are being evaluated. Economic Impact of a Recreational Striped Bass Fishery, by Ryan L. Lothrop, Terry R. Hanson, Steven M. Sammons, Diane Hite, and Michael J. Maceina. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 34:301-310.
Photo Credit: Ryan Lothrop