KWRRI Research Reports


The pressures of urbanization and industrialization are gradually destroying stream fishing sites while at the same time producing an increased demand to serve a greater population. Reservoir construction is one cause behind the diminishing availability of stream fisheries. The recreational value of the stream fishery lost should be deducted from the value gained through reservoir recreation in estimating net benefits for economic justification. This study utilized information collected from 3321 stream fishermen to derive a method and the necessary empirical coefficients for predicting the number and economic value of the average annual fisherman-days enjoyed along average streams throughout Kentucky.

The locations of the home and the fishing site were noted for each fisherman interviewed. The collected data were fitted to a gravity-type model for predicting annual fishing use from the magnitude and distribution of the surrounding population. The unit value of a fisherman-day was estimated from the observed willingness of fishermen to travel to find a suitable fishing site and an. estimated cost of travel. The unit value was found to vary as functions of geographical location within Kentucky and stream order. The annual number of fisherman-days was found to vary with stream order.

The method when applied to a reservoir which inundated 75.6 miles of streams from the second through the fifth order in Western Kentucky deduced an average annual recreational value lost of $10,410 at an average value of $1.83 per fisherman-day. Annual values per mile ranged from 1.9 fisherman days and $2.60 on second order streams to 221 fisherman-days and $395 on fifth order streams.

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Funding Information

"The Economic Value of Streams for Fishing" is based on research performed as part of a project entitled "The Economic Impact of Flood Control Reservoirs" (OWRR Project No. A-006-KY) sponsored by the University of Kentucky Water Resources Institute and supported in part by funds provided by the United States Department of the Interior as authorized under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964, Public Law 88-379.