Who’s Fishing? Washington Times columnist Gene Mueller writes about fishing and other outdoor…

Who’s Fishing?Washington Times columnist Gene Mueller writes about fishing and other outdoor sporting activities. Mueller commented that although interest groups express concerns about the impact of saltwater fishers on the fish population, no one really knows how many people fish for recreation or how many fish they catch. This situation would challengemarketers interested in the population of anglers. How could a marketer get an accurate sample? One idea would be to contact residents of coastal counties using random-digit dialing. This sampling frame would include many, if not all, of the people who fish in the ocean, but it would also include many people who do not fish—or who fish for business rather than recreation. A regional agency seeking to gather statistics on anglers, the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program, prefers to develop a sampling frame more related to people who fish. Another idea would be to use state fishing license records.Privacy would be a drawback, however. Some people might notwant their records shared, and they might withhold phone numbers. Further complicating this issue for Atlantic fishing is that most states in the Northeast do not require a license for saltwater fishing. Also exempt in some states are people who fish from the shore and from piers. A political action group called the Recreational Fishing Alliance suggests that charter fishing businesses collect data.QuestionsImagine that an agency or business has asked for help in gathering data about the number of sports anglers who fish off the coast of Georgia. What advice would you give about sampling? What method or combination of methods would generate the best results?What other criteria besides accuracy would you expect to consider? What sampling methods could help you meet those criteria?

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