Anglers' probabilities of catching record-size fish

Gene R. Wilde, Kevin L. Pope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Most state fishery management agencies publish lists of the largest (e.g., 10, 25, and 50) specimens of each species captured by anglers. We fitted normal distributions for smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu and striped bass Morone saxatilis and a mixture of two normal distributions of largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides to the length of time that individual fish had been present on lists of the largest 50 specimens of each species caught by Texas anglers using rod and reel. In any given year, there is only a probability (p) of 0.102 that a largemouth bass large enough to make the record-weight list will be captured. There is a smaller probability that a record-weight smallmouth bass (p = 0.032) or striped bass (p = 0.021) will be captured in a given year. We suggest that record-weight lists with long turnover times (implying low probabilities that anglers will catch record-weight fish) may discourage interest and participation in angling, and we propose modifications to current record lists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1046-1049
Number of pages4
JournalNorth American Journal of Fisheries Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2004


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