In 2013, NOAA conducted its first-ever nationwide survey of recreational angler attitudes and preferences related to fishing quality and management.
The survey was conducted by NOAA Fisheries from February, 2013 through May, 2013. More than 9,000 state and federally permitted anglers from 22 coastal states in the continental U.S. and Alaska responded to the survey.
Survey highlights include:
81% of anglers plan to take the same number or more trips next year as last.
Reasons why anglers fish include:
Spending time with friends and family (87%).
Catching fish (83%).
Landing a trophy-sized fish (41%).
Taking fish home to eat (41%).
95% of respondents believe it is important to ensure high quality fishing opportunities exist for future
Anglers support conservation goals that include:
Recovering depleted fish stocks (92%).
Protecting threatened and endangered species (91%).
Restoring habitat (87%).
Reducing mortality of released fish (83%).
Anglers would like to see management provide them with:
High quality areas (90%).
Diversity of fish species (85%).
Availability of abundant fish (80%).
Anglers prefer the following management approaches:
Setting minimum sizes (79%).
Providing artificial habitats (76%).
Utilizing bag limits (71%).
Anglers would like managers to provide more fish for recreational fishermen, better incorporate their
input in decision-making, use high quality data in assessments and decision-making, and enforce
While 49% percent of anglers are satisfied that annual harvest limits provide enough fish for
recreational fishermen, fully one-fifth (21%) are not.
Anglers recognized that having their voice heard in the management process is important (84%), however just 29% felt satisfied that recreational fishing perspectives are adequately considered.
Anglers would prefer:
Consistent federal and state regulations (86%).
Simpler regulations (85%).
source: NOAA Fisheries