Where is the catch? A closer look into the Fishing Surveys of British Columbia to reveal angler motivation and satisfaction

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Since 1975, the Canadian provinces and Canadian Wildlife Service have conducted surveys on freshwater recreational fishing. Completed every five years, these surveys contain human dimension (HD) indicators pertaining to motivation and satisfaction. To date, data analysis of those surveys has mostly been based on simple statistical analysis like cross-tabs and t-tests. This research explored anglers’ HD indicators cross-sectionally and longitudinally through the use of four cross-sectional data sets in order to discover managerial relevant information. Exploring motivations over time revealed a steady importance of non-catch related motivations, while the weight of catch-related items declined. A principal component and cluster analysis of combined data (1990-2005) identified four distinct clusters, each predominantly driven by another motive (Everything, Catch, Eating, Social). An information-theoretic approach was applied to analyse satisfaction as a function of various variables. Satisfaction was positively correlated to days fished, fishing success and harvest, nature, social interactions, and year partaken and negatively correlated to residency, age and eating fish. This research demonstrates that the addition of HD to standardized angler surveys will influence natural science based decision-making, and to a more holistic policymaking and management.
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