Impacts of Recreational and Commercial Fishing and Coastal Resource-Based Tourism on Regional and State Economies

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Texas Water Resources Institute

This study estimates the regional and statewide economic impacts of recreational and commercial fishing and bay and estuary related recreational activities in the six bay and estuary systems along the Texas Gulf Coast.

The study area covers six individual Texas bay and estuaries, including the Sabine-Neches estuary, the Trinity-San Jacinto estuary, the Lavaca-Tres Palacios estuary, the Guadalupe estuary, the Nueces-Mission- Aransas estuary, and the Laguna Madre estuary. Separate analyses were conducted for each estuary to estimate direct and total economic impacts of the recreation-related and commercial fishing sectors. In the Texas Water Development Board definition of estuaries, some counties are included in more than one estuary. To avoid double counting, a summary analysis was conducted separately for the Texas Gulf Coast region to estimate aggregate impacts.

The estuaries along the Texas Gulf Coast vary in terms of their size, population, and economic activity. Table 1.1 presents population, wage and employment data in the six estuaries. The smallest estuary regions are the Lavaca-Tres Palacios and the Guadalupe, in terms of population and employment. The Trinity-San Jacinto estuary region is the largest in terms of economic activity as well as population, since both the cities of Houston and Galveston are included in this area. There are 26 counties included in the six bay and estuary systems that include several large metropolitan areas. In 1995, the population for all 26 counties was 5,155,700 people.