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A Discrete Choice Experiment Data Collection of U.S. West Coast Saltwater Anglers, 2017 : Methodology and Response
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    The Northwest and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers recently administered a set of four surveys to saltwater anglers on the U.S. West Coast. The Washington, Oregon, Northern California, and Southern California Sport Fishing Surveys collected data on trip-taking behavior, expenditures, preferences for fishing trip attributes, and demographics of the target population defined to be eligible: adult anglers with a license that allows saltwater use, having taken at least one trip in saltwater off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, or California within the previous 12 months. The primary purpose of this data collection was to enable the estimation of changes in net economic value associated with changes in biological and management-related attributes, including catch rates, bag limits, and temporal closures among the primary recreational target species groups of the U.S. West Coast. In particular, the data collection included a set of questions referred to as a discrete choice experiment—a form of stated preference method that elicits trade-offs between attributes of the particular economic good being evaluated. This technical memorandum describes the methodology used to develop and administer the final survey, and a large-scale pilot test. The pilot test was designed as an experiment to inform the protocols and survey design used for the final survey. One of the protocols investigated in the pilot test was the use of incentives in the fielding of the study. The pilot test results provided strong support for using a monetary incentive for the final administration of the survey. The pilot also found a slightly higher response for the mail mode, relative to web mode. Based on consideration of cost and response rates, the final survey included a $2 incentive at the recruitment phase. The survey was fielded using a sequential mixed-mode approach, with a web survey instrument followed by subsequent mail survey contacts. For the combined survey effort, a total of 13,500 anglers were sampled. Over all four regions, the estimated effective response rate among the eligible population of saltwater anglers was 44.2%. The information contained here provides the detail necessary to evaluate the extent to which this data collection followed the best practices in contemporary stated preference research related to survey design, pretesting, the choice of elicitation method, the experimental design, human subjects and peer review, the mode of data collection, and sampling strategy (Johnston et al. 2017).
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