When you purchase a Mississippi lifetime sportsman license, it allows you to hunt and/or fish during a legal season and to take any game or fish, except waterfowl, without the purchase of additional license or permits unless required by law. The lifetime sportsman license allows you to take fish, crabs, oysters, shrimp and any other saltwater fish authorized to be taken under recreational permit.
From 1989 to 2010, there were 14,706 Mississippi lifetime sportsmen licensed by the Mississippi Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Parks. An additional 2,154 lifetime licenses were sold between January 2011 and July 2013.
Online and mailed surveys were conducted in 2012 and 2014 to determine the recreational saltwater fishing preferences of Mississippi lifetime sportsmen who bought their licenses from 1989 to 2010 and from Jan. 2011 to July 2013. The information on fishing preferences are limited to whether they went or not and where they went recreational saltwater fishing in Mississippi waters. The lifetime sportsmen were contacted by mail and by email (for those who have email addresses) to seek their participation in the survey. The lifetime sportsmen had the option of returning the mailed survey or completing the survey online.
Overall increasing trends in recreational saltwater fishing activities were observed among lifetime sportsmen who were licensed during the two periods. Those lifetime sportsmen licensed in 1989-2010 who participated in the 2012 survey reported increasing overall fishing activities from 2009 to 2012, except in 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused closures of some of the Gulf waters (Figure 1).
Lifetime sportsmen licensed in 2011-2013 who participated in the 2014 survey also reported increasing overall fishing activities from 2011 to 2014.
Understanding the Mississippi lifetime sportsmen preferences for recreational saltwater fishing enhances the estimation of the overall economic contribution of saltwater recreational fishing to the economy of the state of Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico region. The Mississippi lifetime sportsmen’s decisions to go or not to go saltwater fishing were significantly affected by their personal characteristics and properties of the sportsman license bought.
Read more about the survey results at http://www.coastal.msstate.edu/lifetime-sportsman.