TR 49 - Economic Benefits and Costs of the Fish Stocking Program at Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado, D.M. Johnson and R.G. Walsh, December 1987

Understanding the value of alternative fishery management practices can help managers improve the efficiency of state programs. This report provides new evidence on the value of alternative fish stocking practices. We apply the contingent valuation method, recommended by the U.S. Water Resources Council, in a study of 200 recreation users of the cold water fishery at Blue Mesa Reservoir. The net economic value to anglers was found to greatly exceed the cost of stocking and management, reported as $0.44 million. Statistical functions relate marginal willingness to pay to the number and size of fish caught. The results indicate that anglers place a higher marginal value on the size of fish caught than on the number caught.