Principal Investigator: Van Butsic, University of California, Berkeley
Placing a monetary value on ecosystem services and recreation is difficult. However, understanding these values is crucial to make prudent policy decisions. We are interested in estimating the monetary value of a healthy native trout fishery on the Yuba River. This is an important question because of a current debate about removing the Engelbrigtht dam, which could potentially improve miles of trout habitat. This process will be expensive though, and in order to compare the costs of the project to the projected benefits, it is necessary to measure what these benefits will be to fishermen in economic terms. To do so we propose to survey anglers who already have access to a healthy native trout fishery at SF REC. The survey consists of demographic, travel costs, and catch rate questions, and is designed to provide baseline data on both who is fishing at the SF REC as well as what they are catching. The survey will be administered to the fishing clubs who currently have access to SF REC, and we will continue the survey for three years. The data collected will serve as the primary data for a model to place an economic value on this fishery.