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Monday, January 29 • 3:40pm - 4:00pm
WALLEYE: Quantifying the Costs of Climate Adaptation to Agencies and Anglers: A Case Study of Wisconsin’s Inland Lake Walleye Fishery

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AUTHORS. Ralph Tingley, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Craig Paukert, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Gretchen Hansen, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; Greg Sass, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Abigail Lynch, U.S. Geological Survey, National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center

ABSTRACT. The effects of climate change on inland recreational fisheries are often measured in changes in species distributions or biomass. However, the monetary costs associated with these ecological changes to recreational fisheries can be a valuable tool in conveying the ramifications of climate change to the public and assessing the overall value of management responses to system change.  Our goal was to develop an approach that quantifies replacement costs associated with climate change to anglers and agencies using projected changes in sportfish populations and costs associated with management action. We focused our analysis on the inland lakes of Wisconsin, where the number and location of lakes that can support natural recruitment and adult Walleye populations are anticipated to change as a result of rising air temperatures. To quantify potential costs to agencies and anglers, we first developed current and future predictions of walleye presence/absence and updated predictions of successful natural recruitment across Wisconsin using lake-specific characteristics including water temperature.  We then classified lakes based on changes in their ability to support natural recruitment and adult Walleye populations, depicting potential losses or gains in recreational opportunities. Next, we used existing information on stocking costs and protocols to develop estimates of the total cost required to retain current recreational opportunities under future conditions.  Future analyses will include the use of angler survey data, license sales and travel costs associated with individual fishing trips to compare the costs of alternative future stocking initiatives to the benefits gained for anglers across Wisconsin.  Our study may provide a unique perspective on the costs of climate change to help in decision making and is applicable to other systems where substantial changes to sportfish populations are anticipated.

Monday January 29, 2018 3:40pm - 4:00pm CST