Status of human dimensions surveys sponsored by State and Provincial Fisheries Management Agencies in North America

Gene R. Wilde, Robert B. Ditton, Shepherd R. Grimes, Robin K. Riechers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Fisheries managers increasingly are aware of the need to incorporate human dimensions information into decision making. To gather such information, many agencies conduct angler surveys using a variety of approaches. In 1994, we conducted a mail survey to assess the status of human dimensions studies (not including creel surveys) conducted by state, territorial, and provincial fishery management agencies. Questionnaires were sent to the heads of 69 fishery agencies with the request that they be completed by the agency's human dimensions contact person. Fifty-nine surveys were returned for a response rate of 86%. Most (81%) survey respondents reported their agency had conducted at least 1 provincewide or statewide survey of anglers; 66% had completed a survey within the past 5 years. Most (53%) agencies used mail surveys. Survey sample sizes (range = 300-20,000) and costs (range = US$300-$150,000) varied widely depending on the type of survey conducted; eighty percent were paid for by a combination of state (or provincial) and federal funds. Most respondents (> 50%) reported that their agencies attached greater importance to human dimensions information such as angler support of regulations, angler attitudes and opinions, angler satisfaction, and economic information, but < 50% viewed public opinion, anglers' motives for fishing, market segmentation, and angler demographics as important. Our results provide a baseline by which future progress in human dimensions research and application can be measured.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-17
Number of pages6
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1996


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