Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Hunt, Kevin M.

Committee Member

Neal, J. Wesley

Committee Member

Grado, Stephen C.

Committee Member

Anderson, David K.

Date of Degree

1-1-2012

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Major

Forest Resources

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

College

College of Forest Resources

Department

Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Abstract

The primary purpose of my dissertation was to assess two competing models of catch-related attitudes (CRA) of recreational anglers for: 1) valid psychometric measurement, 2) consistency of CRA under different angling contexts, and 3) effect of CRA on angler preferences. Data came from a statewide survey of 6,924 licensed Texas anglers, and a follow-up survey of 1,078 freshwater catfish anglers identified by the statewide survey. I used confirmatory factor analysis to determine that a 4-construct model of CRA provided better fit to the data than a 3-construct model, and was configural and metric invariant across gender, ethnic, and angling context groups indicating cross-group comparisons would be unbiased. However, low factor loadings on several items, and low variance extracted estimates, indicate that current CRA scales require refinement. Additionally, structural equation models found that angler responses to the CRA scale were moderately consistent when measured in generic and species-specific contexts (50-60% shared variance), and the relationship between the two was not consistently moderated by measures of angling avidity. Next, I assessed influence of CRA on angler fishing trip preferences using a stated choice analysis. Results showed that angler choice of hypothetical fishing trips was influenced primarily by travel costs and catch-related trip attributes, and that CRA were significant mediators of angler preferences for associated trip attributes. Finally, I used a latent class state choice model to analyze separate trip choice models for five sub-groups of catfish anglers divided based on their CRA scores. Individual models showed considerable variation in preference for catch-related attributes paralleling strength of each groups’ attitudes towards a given CRA construct. Overall, results indicated that CRA scales are valid predictors of angler preferences and behavioral intentions. Human dimensions researchers studying angler populations will find the CRA scale to be a useful tool to incorporate into predictive models of angler behavior and preferences. Furthermore, fisheries managers should find the CRA scales useful to assess management preferences of an increasingly heterogeneous angler clientele, and aide them in designing management plans that efficiently meet angler needs and catch-related expectations.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/20148

Comments

anglers||catch||preferences||attitudes

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