Strategy of recreational anglers and estimated eel (
The European Council Regulation (18 September 2007) for the recovery of eel stocks required European states to report on eel stocks and anthropic mortalities. The data sources for France reveal gaps in our knowledge about angling in the public domain, and catches from privately-owned rivers. We tested a simple method, using a survey, for estimating the strategy employed and the catches landed by the 350 000 anglers fishing in the Loire catchment area. The first findings show that the answers of the fishermen varied between 1 and 2% in the departments with the most eels, and between 0.1 and 0.2% in the departments located further upstream. The interest in eel fishing, the average weight of the eels caught by the fishermen, and the total catch all decreased from downstream to upstream. Finally, we estimated the annual average weight of eel caught by anglers, which ranged from 0.8 to 5.3 kg per year depending on the department and the local interest in eel fishing. This preliminary study shows that it is possible to estimate the different fishing strategies used and the quantities caught by means of a survey.