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Abstract

Catch-and-release (C&R) could be an interesting management tool in recreational fisheries as long as mortality remains low and the anglers’ well-being does not drop. We used a choice experiment to examine the potential of C&R angling as a monitoring tool for the salmon recreational fishery in Brittany (France). Anglers were asked to choose between hypothetical fishing day trips differing in terms of their combination of relevant attributes and levels. From the analysis of respondents’ trade-offs between the fishing trip’s attributes, willingness-to-pay were estimated for each level of attribute. Our results show that anglers prefer unrestrictive regulations. All in all, the majority of the anglers nonetheless hold a positive valuation of a C&R fishing day, which could therefore be used to generate economic returns for the river once the TAC is reached. Lastly, the fishing season, and especially the level of river use, impact more on the value of fishing than C&R.

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