An assessment of recreational bank angling in the Free State Province, South Africa, using licence sale and tournament data
Recreational angling is an important form of utilisation of inland fisheries in South Africa but there is little information on this sector. The objective of this study was to provide an assessment of recreational bank angling in the Free State Province using licence sale and tournament data. During 2013 and 2014, 8 256 and 7 710 angling licences were sold, respectively. This represents a decline of 76% compared to the total licence sales in the Province in 1971. Tournament catch and effort data were obtained for 4 796 tournaments that were held on 17 dams from 1974 to 2014. Reported tournament effort decreased by 67% from 8 548 tournament days in 1998 to 2 828 days in 2014. Tournament catch composition was dominated by alien common carp Cyprinus carpio. Overall, this species comprised 81% of the weight and 77% of the number of fish landed during tournaments making it the most important angling species. The recent observed increase in subsistence angling could not be included in the analysis as participants are mostly not licensed. Alternative methods are therefore required if total catch and effort are to be estimated.
Keywords: recreational, fisheries, catch, effort, participation