Estimating the number of recreational anglers for a given waterbody

Fisheries Research
By: , and 



Knowing how many anglers use a given body of water is paramount for understanding components of a fishery related to angling pressure and harvest, yet no study has attempted to provide an estimate of the population size of anglers for a given waterbody. Here, we use information from creel surveys in a removal-sampling framework to estimate total numbers of anglers using six reservoirs in Nebraska, USA, and we examine the influence of the duration of sampling period on those estimates. Population estimates (N ± SE) of unique anglers were 2050 ± 45 for Branched Oak Lake, 1992 ± 29 for Calamus Reservoir, 929 ± 10 for Harlan County Reservoir, 985 ± 24 for Lake McConaughy, 1277 ± 24 for Merritt Reservoir, and 916 ± 18 for Pawnee Lake during April–October 2015. Shortening the sampling period by one or more months generally resulted in a greater effect on estimates of precision than on estimates of overall abundance. No relationship existed between abundances of unique anglers and angling pressures across reservoirs and sampling duration, indicative of a decoupling of angler abundance and angling pressure. The approach outlined herein has potential to provide defendable answers to “how many are there?”, questions we ask when subjects cannot be marked, which should provide new insights about angler populations and subpopulations.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Estimating the number of recreational anglers for a given waterbody
Series title Fisheries Research
DOI 10.1016/j.fishres.2017.03.004
Volume 191
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 7 p.
First page 69
Last page 75
Country United States
State Nebraska
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