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Study To Examine Value Of Fishing In Green Bay

UW System Researchers Looking Into How Fishing Boosts Local Economies

Person ice fishing
Mike Groll/AP Photo

Two University of Wisconsin System researchers want to find out how much money sport fishing in Green Bay affects local economies.

The survey work and subsequent number crunching will be done by Matthew Winden, an assistant professor of economics at UW-Whitewater, and John Stoll, who directs UW-Green Bay’s Center for Public Affairs.

In a similar study done in 2006 on Lake Winnebago, Stoll found its fishery had a $235 million annual impact on surrounding communities. He said it also accounted for 4,500 jobs. The figures take travel and hotel stays into account, as well as money spent on equipment and licenses, Stoll said.

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The survey is meant to provide a baseline idea of money that’s generated by fishermen and use that to guide fishery management, he said.

“Then when we talk about future changes, changes in policy that might relate to, say, the quality of the resource base itself, how that might impact fishing and how that could translate into dollars in the economy,” Stoll said.

People with valid fishing licenses may be mailed a survey asking about their fishing habits in the bay of Green Bay, Stoll said. Surveys may also be handed out at boat launches and fishing tournaments in the region.

The confidential survey will ask a number of questions, which are yet to be finalized, Stoll said.

“What kind of expenditures people make to go fishing, how often they go, what kind of fish they target, what motivates them to go,” Stoll said, listing example questions. Stoll said he also wants to know if angler are local or traveling from afar.

The bay of Green Bay is a well-known walleye habitat and hosts many fishing tournaments. The group Walleyes for Tomorrow committed $15,000 to the project, which should cover most of the estimated $20,000 cost.

Stoll and Winden are finalizing survey questions and expect to start soliciting responses in March. Results are expected sometime in 2018.

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