Results of a survey of participants in the Lower and Central Cook Inlet halibut and salmon sport fishery
Results of a postal survey of participants in the 1997 central and lower Cook Inlet saltwater halibut and salmon sport fisheries are reported and compared with the results of the 1997 Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) statewide sportfishing harvest survey and the 1998 ADF&G saltwater charter vessel logbook survey. Despite the use of different survey methods and instruments, responses to related questions correspond closely across all three surveys. Our survey results indicate that the “average” Alaskan angler is younger, lives with a larger family, and has a lower income than the average nonresident angler. Females comprised over a third of the Alaskan anglers, but scarcely more than a fifth of the nonresident anglers. During 1997, an estimated 151,590 anglers generated 259,615 angler-days of effort in the lower and central Cook Inlet halibut and salmon saltwater sport fisheries. Nonresident sportfishing represented 43.3% of the angler-days, but was responsible for 64.2% of the charter client-days. In contrast, sportfishing by Kenai Peninsula borough residents and other Alaskans accounted for 24.8% and 31.9% of the angler-days and 9.8% and 26.0% of the charter client-days, respectively. Nonresidents incur higher average fishing trip specific costs than residents for similar trips. Likewise, fishing trip specific expenditures are higher for charter clients than for private vessel or shore-based fishers. While 87.9% of the Alaskan respondents identified saltwater fishing as the primary purpose of their trip to the Kenai Peninsula, 57% of the nonresident respondents indicated that their participation was incidental to their primary trip purpose. After adjusting for spending that would have occurred in the absence of sportfishing, it was estimated that $37.4 million in 1997 Kenai Peninsula area expenditures can be uniquely attributed to the central and lower Cook Inlet halibut and salmon sport fisheries and that $32 million of this spending was from outside the region.
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