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Abstract

In this paper, estimates of value for recreational fishing are reported for three major freshwater impoundments in Queensland, Australia, using both travel cost and contingent valuation methods. The research results that are reported have two key methodological distinctions from previous studies of values associated with recreational fishing. The first is that different forms of the travel cost model have been used to estimate separate consumer surpluses associated with two key sub-groups of recreational anglers: those who were repeat anglers at a dam, and those who were single visitors (tourists). The second is that a contingent valuation study has been used to estimate the marginal values associated with a potential improvement in fishing experience, which can be compared with average values for existing trips estimated with the travel cost method. The results of the travel cost analysis provide strong evidence that recreational values vary between different groups of anglers and across sites, indicating that the transfer of recreational fishing values between population groups and sites may be complex. As well, the contingent valuation estimates for additional marginal benefits of recreational angling were conservative in relation to the values obtained from the travel cost models. This suggests that there is diminishing marginal utility associated with catching additional fish.

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