Conservation, Ecology, and Management of Catfish: The Second International Symposium

Catch-Related Attitudes of Mississippi Catfish Anglers: Hand Grabblers and Rod-and-Reel Anglers

Susan F. Steffen and Kevin M. Hunt


Abstract.—Previous research indicates that hand grabbling does not negatively affect catfish populations in Mississippi, but hand grabbling is restricted to a season to control harvest of large fish. We conducted a mail survey from October to December 2008 to compare Mississippi hand grabbler and rod-and-reel catfish angler sociodemographics, fishing characteristics, participation patterns, and catch-related attitudes. A catch-related attitude scale was used to measure angler’s evaluation of catching fish in four constructs (catching something, catching numbers, catching large fish, and retaining fish). Results indicated that hand grabblers had stronger attitudes toward catching large fish, but rod-and-reel catfish anglers had stronger attitudes toward catching numbers. We explained that possible differences in catch-related attitudes and other characteristics were due to hand grabblers being a more specialized subworld of catfish anglers. Understanding differences in characteristics and processes through which these subworlds differed can assist with policy formation, especially if competition over resources (e.g., large, trophy catfishes) intensifies.