Understanding angler profiles in cases of heterogeneous count data - A travel cost model

Fishery managers need to understand how anglers will react to changes in the various social and ecological dimensions of the angling experience to develop optimal policies and management strategies. This knowledge requires a solid understanding of the anglersí underlying preferences for angling attributes and how these preferences translate into angling trips. We use a travel cost method employing a stepwise estimation procedure to investigate how anglersí preferences for site attributes affect the length of a trip, and we estimate welfare measures associated with recreational angling in the Tornionjoki River in Finland. We identify three distinct types of anglers, who differ substantially in their underlying preferences and angling trip patterns. For short visits (< 3 days), anglers with a stronger selective angler profile tend to visit more often than other anglers. For longer visits, anglers with a stronger nature lover profile visit more frequently than others. Furthermore, anglers who catch more fish tend to make shorter visits and visit less frequently than others. These findings may help decision-makers to identify optimal fishery policies for cases such as the Tornionjoki River.