We estimated the potential economic value of recreational fisheries in lakes altered by acid pollution in the Adirondack Mountains (USA). We found that the expected value of recreational fisheries has been diminished because of acid deposition but may improve as lakes recover from acidification under low emissions scenarios combined with fish stocking. Fishery value increased with lake pH, from a low of $4.41 angler day-1 in lakes with pH < 4.5, to a high of $38.40 angler day-1 in lakes with pH > 6.5 that were stocked with trout species. Stocking increased the expected fishery value by an average of $11.50 angler day-1 across the entire pH range of the lakes studied. Simulating the future long-term trajectory of a subset of lakes, we found that pH and expected fishery value increased over time in all future emissions scenarios. Differences in estimated value among pollution reduction scenarios were small (<$1 angler day-1) compared to fish stocking scenarios (>$4 angler day-1). Our work provides a basis for assessing the costs and benefits of emissions reductions and management efforts that can hasten recovery of the economic and cultural benefits of ecosystems degraded by chronic pollution.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry