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Tuesday, February 7 • 9:20am - 9:40am
Technical Session. Contributors to Angler Satisfaction in the Southern Lake Michigan Fishery

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AUTHORS: Elizabeth Golebie, Craig A. Miller - Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: The heavily urbanized Illinois and Indiana shoreline of Lake Michigan supports a high angling population, which provides social and economic benefits to the surrounding communities, and has a noticeable impact on the lake ecosystem. As the IDNR continues to adjust and update management strategies, studies regarding angler satisfaction may provide another measure of success of the management plan and help predict angler responses to future changes in both the fish population and IDNR regulations. Additionally, in order to reverse the trend of declining angler effort, particularly in the yellow perch fishery, the variables that contribute to angler satisfaction, which may in turn predict angler behavior, must be understood. Our objective was to understand the factors that contribute to angler satisfaction in the southern Lake Michigan fishery. Our address list was assembled from contact information collected from anglers surveyed during the 2015 creel surveys conducted by the Illinois Natural History Survey and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Anglers who provided their email address were invited to participate in an internet survey run through Qualtrics, and anglers who provided their mailing address received a survey packet in the mail. Questions were identical on the mail and internet surveys and pertained to time spent fishing and species caught, perceptions of fish populations, satisfaction, management preferences, expenditures, and demographic information.  We used logistic regression models to examine the relative importance of variables that may influence satisfaction, including both activity-specific catch-related variables, and activity general components. We then compared the logistic regression models across angler subgroups. Understanding satisfaction variables in the Lake Michigan fishery can better inform management approaches that will maintain both a healthy fish population and a satisfied angler population.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 9:20am - 9:40am CST
Grand Ballroom E