Measuring angler attitudes toward the catch-related aspects of recreational fishing



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Texas A&M University


The primary purposes of this dissertation were understanding the nature of an attitudinal scale designed to measure the consumptive orientation of recreational anglers and filling a gap in the published literature regarding measurement using the scale. Consumptive orientation was defined as the attitude anglers hold towards catching fish, including catching something, retaining fish (as opposed to releasing), catching large fish (size), and catching large amounts of fish (numbers). In order to confirm these four attitudes are measured by the scale, a model was hypothesized and tested using a confirmatory factor analysis on a sample of male anglers in Texas. It was reasoned that a different subculture may interpret the attitudinal statements differently; thus, the structure of the scale was explored using women as a separate sample. Finally, an example of how the scale could be used was provided by examining differences between tournament and nontournament anglers?? attitudes towards the four constructs measured by the scale. Overall, results were varied with the hypothesized model used to confirm the scale. While results indicated dropping four of the sixteen statements would not result in a significant change in the structure of the scale, results also confirmed there were four distinct attitudes measured by the consumptive orientation scale. The use of the scale with the larger angling population was confirmed by finding the same structure using a sample of women anglers. Finally, the scale was shown to be useful for examining activity-specific differences in angling social worlds. Differences were detected between tournament and nontournament anglers on three of the four consumptive attitudes: ??catching numbers,?? ??catching large/trophy fish,?? and ??retaining fish.?? Differences found were related to the commitment level of tournament and nontournament anglers. Further analysis examined how avidity may have affected differences among angler groups. These differences further current knowledge about tournament anglers and their expectations for fishing experiences. Overall, results support the usefulness of the consumptive orientation scale as a survey tool for understanding recreational fishing clientele.