eCite Digital Repository

Angling counts: harnessing the power of technological advances for recreational fishing surveys


Dainys, J and Gorfine, H and Mateos-Gonzalez, F and Skov, C and Urbanavicius, R and Audzijonyte, A, Angling counts: harnessing the power of technological advances for recreational fishing surveys, Fisheries Research, 254 Article 106410. ISSN 0165-7836 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2022.106410


As the popularity of recreational fishing gathers global momentum, so does the importance of knowing the number of active anglers and their spatial behaviour. Conventional counting methods, however, can be inaccurate and time-consuming. Here we present two novel methods to monitor recreational fishing applied in Kaunas water reservoir (ca 65 km2), Lithuania, comparing their performance to a conventional visual count. First, we employed a remotely piloted fixed wing drone which conducted 39 missions distributed over one year and compared its accuracy to conventional visual land or boat-based counts. With these data we developed a linear model to predict the annual number of anglers depending on weekday and ice conditions. Second, we used anonymous data from a popular GPS-enabled sonar device DeeperŪ, used by anglers to explore underwater landscapes and to find fish. The sonar usage probability was calibrated with angler observations from drones using Bayesian methods, demonstrating that at any given time ~2 % of anglers are using the sonar device during the open water season and ~15 % during the ice fishing season. The calibrated values were then used to estimate the total number of anglers, given the daily records of sonar usage in Kaunas water reservoir. The predicted annual number of anglers from both linear drone-based and Bayesian sonar-based methods gave similar results of 25 and 27 thousand anglers within the area during the period of day surveyed, which corresponded to nearly 110 thousand angling trips in the total reservoir area annually. Our study shows high potential of both drone and fish finder digital devices for assessing recreational fishing activities through space and time.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:drone, sonar, visual surveys, GPS, fish finder, recreational fisheries
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Natural resource management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Fisheries - recreational freshwater
UTAS Author:Audzijonyte, A (Dr Asta Audzijonyte)
ID Code:151099
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2022-07-18
Last Modified:2022-07-18

Repository Staff Only: item control page