Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Nebraska
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Nebraska Project

Assessment of angler satisfaction in the mainstem Missouri River, Nebraska

August 2021 - December 2023


Participating Agencies

  • Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

A growing concern throughout freshwater ecosystems in North America is that of the presence of invasive species, notably for the Missouri River are invasive carp species. Bighead and silver carp (collectively referred to as “bigheaded carp”), native to Asia, are thriving in North America. Though scientists have well studied the biological and ecological impacts of bigheaded carp, scientists do not understood the effect that bigheaded carp have on angler satisfaction.

Satisfaction generally is as an attitude-like judgment following an event based on pre-event expectations. The confirmation or disconfirmation of expectations is the essential determinant of satisfaction. In many cases, experience-based norms derived from past personal experiences or information received from influential acquaintances determine the pre-event expectations.

The American Paddlefish is a large and slow growing species of fish that is a popular target among anglers on the Missouri River. To protect the existing fishery, there are limited numbers of paddlefish tags distributed in Nebraska each year. Currently, anglers can apply for paddlefish archery tags for use during June and for paddlefish snagging tags for use during October. It is likely that multiple ecological and sociological factors contribute to perceived satisfaction among anglers.

To understand the influence of bigheaded carp on paddlefish angler satisfaction, we will quantify (via in-person and mail surveys) anglers’ expectations and satisfaction levels during archer and snagging seasons. Our anticipation is that the presence of bigheaded carp will positively influence satisfaction of anglers during archery season (by providing additional individuals to target) and negatively influence satisfaction of anglers during snagging season (by interfering with harvest activities targeted toward Paddlefish).