COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lake Erie shoreline anglers – those who fish from shore locations like docks and jetties instead of boats – value their fishing at an annual average of $13.5 million, according to a recent study completed by Ohio State University Extension, Ohio Sea Grant and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Shoreline anglers also spend an additional $1.1 million a year in communities near their fishing destinations.
“Shoreline angling is only one small part of Ohio’s Lake Erie fishery,” said Frank Lichtkoppler, Ohio Sea Grant Extension Specialist. “But we believe it was important to get a measurement of the value of this little-studied segment of the fishery, and we found willing research partners with the ODNR Division of Wildlife and OSU Extension.”
OSU Extension is the outreach arm of Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
To obtain information on anglers’ fishing-related spending, the Division of Wildlife added some economic questions to its creel surveys (estimates of anglers’ catches) in 2006 and 2007. The information allowed Thomas Blaine, associate professor with OSU Extension, to develop several estimates of the economic impacts of shoreline angling.
Results of the study show that the average shoreline angler travels 32 miles one way to fish, incurs a round-trip travel cost of $40, and spends about $8.22 per fishing trip in Lake Erie shoreline communities.
The statistical analyses showed that many of the anglers are either low-income locals or high-income anglers from far away, including out-of-state visitors. “The results of the study extend beyond an interesting academic exercise to have real-world ramifications,” said Blaine.
“A high percentage of shoreline anglers are moderate- to low-income locals who may not have a lot of high-quality recreational opportunities,” said Joe Lucente, OSU Extension and Ohio Sea Grant educator and a report co-author. “The magnitude of the estimated benefits of shoreline angling can be of great use to resource managers and policy makers who confront decisions about public shoreline access.”
Lucente also stated that the information on higher-income visitors to the shoreline emphasizes the importance of Lake Erie as a component of economic development for the state, saying that “bringing dollars in from the outside is a good way to increase economic opportunities for Ohio.”
Ohio State's Ohio Sea Grant Program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 32 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For more information, visit http://ohioseagrant.osu.edu.
Editor: This story was previously released by Ohio Sea Grant, http://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/news/?article=597.