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

Henderson, K. R., and L. M. Gigliotti. 2018. Evaluation of internet surveys for conducting statewide angler surveys in South Dakota. Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science, 97:45-60.


Stakeholder information is critical for effective fisheries management. Agencies have traditionally used infrequent mail surveys to collect human dimensions data. Internet surveys provide cost savings but are associated with caution due to data quality issues. To improve study validity, survey access can be controlled using email invitations, but because these addresses are voluntary results may not be applicable to the entire population. Additionally, internet surveys typically have lower response rates than mail surveys, thus a greater potential for nonresponse bias. To address potential coverage and nonresponse biases, internet survey data were compared to mail surveys of anglers not providing an email address, and non-respondents to the internet survey. Internet survey data was similar to both mail surveys for most of the variables measured. Internet survey data would slightly over represent male anglers and younger anglers. Internet surveys relevant to fisheries management can provide data comparable to a mail survey.