The Angler in the Environment: Social, Economic, Biological, and Ethical Dimensions

Exploring National Marine Fisheries Service Survey Methodologies for Collecting Recreational Angler Expenditure Data

Brad Gentner


Abstract.—The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) repeated its saltwater angler expenditure survey in 2006. This time around, it was truly a national survey, with every coastal state included. For this effort, the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistical Survey (MRFSS) was used to collect trip expenditures in the field and collect a sample frame for a follow-up mail survey of annual expenditures on the East and Gulf coasts. For California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and Texas, states not participating in the MRFSS in 2006, a license frame mail survey was conducted, collecting both trip and annual expenditure information. Additionally, recreational Highly Migratory Species (HMS) permit holders were surveyed, a telephone survey of nonrespondents was conducted, and a side-by-side survey mode comparison was conducted. Selected expenditure and economic impact estimates will be presented, and a number of comparisons will be made among survey mode, respondents and nonrespondents, and HMS anglers and non-HMS anglers. Additionally, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service conducted its survey in 2006 and the NMFS estimates will be compared to its estimates with an eye toward explaining the differences. These comparisons will prove useful to any agency designing an expenditure data collection program.