Geographic origins of recreational anglers using Texas Bays
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Few studies have been conducted on the social and behavioral aspects of marine recreational anglers. It has generally been assumed that anglers represent a homogeneous group when using catch data obtained from recreational anglers. Anglers were interviewed at boat ramps, wade/bank areas and commercial lighted piers in each of seven Texas bay systems during 1974 through 1976. Anglers were asked their county, state (if in the United States) and county A (if in Texas) of residence. Differences in patterns of geographic origin and distance of residence from each bay system were determined for anglers interviewed during each season at each type of fishing platform (strata) in each bay system. Most (94.2%) of the anglers resided in Texas with 1.4% from two foreign countries. Anglers in each bay system except the Aransas Bay and the lower Laguna Madre systems generally exhibited this same pattern of geographic origin. In these two systems the geographic origin of recreational anglers changed dramatically between seasons and fishing strata. Out-of-state residents comprised a large proportion (about 20-50%) of the wade/bank and lighted pier anglers in the winter and spring in the Aransas Bay system and in the winter in the lower Laguna Madre system. These winter Texans also comprised over 40% of the winter boat anglers in the Aransas Bay system. The localization of winter Texans: to the south Texas area may have been related to available facilities, population adjacent to each bay system and climate. Patterns of anglers' geographic origin were not consistent among bay systems. The pattern for zone of origin was also dependent on either season, fishing strata or both. Anglers traveled from the Galveston area to fish in other bays, but the reverse did not occur. Distance, population, facilities and climate probably affected each angler's selection of the bay system in which to fish.