Repository logo

Accounting for spatial substitution patterns and bioeconomic feedback loops: an economic approach to managing inland recreational fisheries




Deisenroth, Daniel B., author
Bond, Craig A., advisor
Loomis, John B., advisor
Goemans, Chris, committee member
Davies, Stephen, committee member
Myrick, Chris, committee member

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


This dissertation consists of three papers which address separate but related issues in recreational fisheries management. Paper one estimates the economic contribution of the private, recreation-based aquaculture industry in the Western United States. Paper two presents a method for combining models of site selection with input-output models in order to better estimate the true economic impacts of augmentation or deterioration of recreational sites. Finally, paper three presents a dynamic, bioeconomic model of a recreational fishery and uses that model to simulate what would happen over time to anglers and fish populations (as well as value to anglers) if fish stocking were to be halted at a single recreational fishery. All three papers are policy relevant today given the increased pressure from (and litigation filed by) environmental groups to reduce fish stocking due to conflicts with native and endangered species. Paper one explores the economic contribution of the private, recreation-based aquaculture industry in the Western United States. New sectors are constructed in IMPLAN input-output software using data gathered between 2007 and 2010 from producers and their direct customers (stocked fisheries). Information from a third survey of anglers in Colorado and California is integrated to predict the short-term shocks that would occur to various industries if anglers at privately stocked fisheries were to discontinue fishing (simulating a hypothetical collapse of the industry). Accounting for both the backward and forward linkages of the private, recreation-based aquaculture industry's production, model results indicate that for every dollar of fish stocking, $36 dollars of recreational angler-related expenditures are supported, and that the total economic contribution of this industry in the Western United States is roughly $2 billion annually. This is the first study addressing the forward linkages and total economic contribution of this industry in the Western United States. Paper two addresses a similar issue as paper one, but goes further to account for substitution patterns among anglers. Using information from a survey of anglers in 2009, a repeated nested logit (RNL) model of angler spatial substitution behavior is estimated. Then, the RNL is used to predict changes in angler days associated with changes in fishery attributes. By linking the RNL and input-output model, better insight is gained into the economic losses associated with augmentation or deterioration of stocked fishing sites. Results indicate that if a single site is closed within the region of analysis, of the 29,500 anglers that will no longer fish at that site, only 6,500 anglers will leave the region of analysis (the rest substituting to other in-region sites). Standard impact analysis would therefore overestimate the economic impacts of such a policy by 450%. Results are similar when catch rates are reduced by 50% at one site, with 14,000 anglers leaving that site but only 3,000 leaving the region. The third and final paper of this dissertation presents a means by which managers may manage inland recreational fisheries from a dynamic bioeconomic perspective. A discrete-time, discrete-space, infinite time horizon numerical model of a fishery is built in GAMS software to reflect responses of anglers to the fishery and responses of the fishery to anglers over time. A data-driven random utility model is used to inform angler response and value functions in this dynamic bioeconomic model. Results from one region in California indicate that a) current fish stocking levels may be inefficiently high, and b) elimination of fish stocking programs at popular lakes may not lead to a crash in fishery populations, since anglers will simply substitute to other nearby fisheries (rather than "fish-out" the lake). Managers who can predict the intertemporal effects of fishery management alternatives in this way will be able to better meet the demands of recreational anglers.


Rights Access


random utility model
economic impact
recreational fishing


Associated Publications