Valuing Trout Angling Benefits of Water Quality Improvements while Accounting for Unobserved Lake Characteristics: An Application to the Rotorua Lakes

Trout angling is one of the most popular water-based recreational activities in the Rotorua Lakes. Despite the high demand for trout angling and other recreational purposes, water quality in some of these lakes has been declining over the past decades and initiatives to try to restore the lakes are underway. To compliment these efforts, this study uses the travel cost random utility models to explore how changes in water quality would impact upon angler’s choice of fishing destinations. The welfare impacts due to water quality changes and possible lake closures are also explored. These findings highlight the importance of discrete choice random utility models as a policy decision making tool for recreational-based natural resource managers in New Zealand. Additionally, this study represents one of the unique cases in travel cost random utility applications that accounts fully for unobserved site effects.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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