Utilization of Offshore Platforms by Recreational Fishermen and Scuba Divers off the Louisiana Coast
Abstract:Recreational fishing use patterns associated with offshore platforms off the Louisiana coast were investigated using a survey and a log book program. The survey was designed to determine how far avid recreational anglers and divers would travel to the oil and gas structures. The log book program was designed to record catch and effort data from fishermen utilizing oil and gas structures. In 1986 and 1987 an oil and gas platform use questionnaire was distributed to recreational angling and scuba diving groups. Information gathered from this study included boat length, horsepower, equipment present, number of trips per year, port of departure, areas utilized and the species of fish sought and caught. Anglers' boats were equipped with a higher percentage of echosounders and graph recorders while divers' boats were equipped with a higher percentage of LORAN (Long Range Navigation) units. Distance travelled offshore and party size for divers were greater than for recreational anglers. Boat length and horsepower were not different between the two groups. Anglers utilized more species of fish than divers, Boat length, horsepower, party size, distance travelled and amount of electronic equipment generally increased from east to west across Louisiana for both anglers and divers. In 1987 a log book program for offshore recreational anglers was initiated by the Coastal Fisheries Institute at Louisiana State University. This study ascertained use patterns and catch effort data from the log book participants for offshore oil and gas platforms, Catch per unit effort (number of fish caught/angler hour), or CPUE, for bottom fishing at or near oil and gas structures by recreational anglers was 2.32 and 0.94 while trolling near oil and gas platforms.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 1989
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