Little is known about whether brackish coastal ecosystems attract specific angler types that are characterized by site-specific preferences and behaviors while targeting freshwater fishes living in a low-salinity environment. Using the lagoon (“Bodden”) fisheries in northeastern Germany, we compared the human dimensions among anglers fishing in Bodden sites, anglers fishing primarily in freshwater sites, and other, less-setting-specialized anglers that use both marine and freshwater fisheries. Data were generated from a 1-year telephone–mail–diary study involving over 1,000 study participants. The general characteristics, demographics, specialization level, motives, catch orientation, and catch-and-release behaviors of the three angler groups were rather similar. However, when targeting specific freshwater fish (i.e., Eurasian Perch Perca fluviatilis, Northern Pike Esox lucius, and Zander [also known as Pikeperch] Sander lucioperca), the motives of anglers choosing the Bodden versus freshwater sites differed. Specifically, Bodden anglers targeting freshwater species in brackish waters were more catch oriented, trophy fish oriented, and challenge seeking compared to freshwater anglers. Bodden anglers were also more likely to fish with friends rather than alone compared to the other angler groups, and they were more likely to use motorboats and to take guides compared to freshwater anglers. Correspondingly, a revealed preference choice model showed that anglers expecting high catch outcomes and social experiences with friends and boat fishing were more likely to select the Bodden waters relative to freshwater sites. Additionally, anglers with a stronger orientation toward the noncatch, experience-based aspects of fishing were more likely to fish in the Bodden and coastal sites compared to freshwater, suggesting that coastal sites satisfy both catch- and non-catch-related expectations. We suggest that given their specific preferences and characteristics, Bodden anglers will be particularly sensitive to constraints imposed on using motorboats and to declines in catch rates and trophy sizes in the catch, specifically for Northern Pike.
The human dimensions of recreational anglers targeting freshwater species in coastal ecosystems, with implications for management
Project Boddenpike , Peer-reviewed
Koemle, D., Beardmore, B., Dorow, M., Arlinghaus, R. 2021. The human dimensions of recreational anglers targeting freshwater species in coastal ecosystems, with implications for management. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 41, 1572-1590.
Appeared in : North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 41, 1572-1590