Title

State management of freshwater fisheries resources: Its organizational structure, funding, and programmatic emphases

Authors

MR Ross
DK Loomis

Publication Date

1999

Journal or Book Title

FISHERIES

Abstract

This paper summarizes responses by heads of freshwater fisheries management agencies to a questionnaire requesting information about agency responsibilities, public oversight of agency activities, the most important issues agencies now face, and sources and allocation of funding to support fisheries management programs. Although responsible for managing consumptively used and nongame or endangered aquatic resources, agencies have limited or no responsibility in overseeing the condition of aquatic systems supporting these resources. A commission of citizens oversees the activities of most state fisheries agencies, some setting policy and approving budgets, others serving only an advisory role. A few states receive substantial public tax revenues, but the major source of funding for most remains license revenues and Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration funds, which constitute an average 83% of the total revenues available to conduct agency activities. More than half of all expenditures by fisheries agencies support hatchery production and stocking, and population surveys for developing harvest regulations. As their responsibilities have broadened and increased, many agencies have increased the cost of fishing licenses. However, increased costs generally have not led to a decline in license purchases. There is a positive relationship between population density of states and the importance of providing eating advisories to the public, and addressing issues related to animal-rights and animal-protection. Some management issues were deemed important by fisheries agencies regardless of geographic region, while the importance of others, such as animal-rights advocacy, put-and-take stocking versus management of wild resources, and Native American fishing rights varied regionally.

DOI

10.1577/1548-8446(1999)024<0008:SMOFFR>2.0.CO;2

Volume

24

Issue

7

Pages

8-14

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