Angler origin and their catch retention rate while fishing on seven Texas bay systems
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Recreational fishermen were interviewed at boat ramps while fishing from or near shore, and at commercial lighted piers in each of seven Texas bay systems during 1974-1976. Most of the fishermen (94%) resided in Texas but 5% were from other states and less than 1% were from Mexico or Canada. Nonresidents constituted between 20 and 50% of the wade/shore and lighted-pier fishermen in the winter and spring in the Aransas Bay System (which has only 5% of winter Texas fishing pressure), and in the winter in the lower Laguna Madre system. Nonresident fishermen generally were more successful and had higher retention rates than Texas fishermen. Computing an average retention rate for all fishermen combined would have overestimated the actual rate for Texas fishermen and underestimated that for nonresident fishermen. If angler retention rates are used to reflect fish population changes over the years, retention rates for each group should be used for noting trends instead of the average rate for all fishermen. Otherwise, any change in the composition of fishermen, with respect to residency, that is reflected in the retention rate may be incorrectly interpreted as a change in the fish populations.