Recreational fisheries regulations frequently consist of possession limits, size limits, and seasonal closures that constrain the ability of recreational fishermen to catch or land fish. It is difficult to predict how these regulations will influence angler participation and recreational fishing mortality. This research integrates a utility-theory consistent model of demand for recreational fishing trips with an age-structured stock dynamics model to provide policy relevant advice to managers of the groundfish fishery in the Northeast United States. The recreational cod and haddock regulations implemented in 2014 have high costs in terms of foregone angler welfare and minimal positive impacts on stock conditions after three years. The ability of policies that generate large amounts of discarding, like high minimum size limits, to meet conservation objectives are also found to be quite sensitive to assumptions about the recreational discard mortality rate.
JEL Codes: Q22, Q26, Q28, Q57.