We explore the distributional consequences of various fee schemes and other policy programs to reduce overfishing in the gulf of Mexico recreational fishery. The econometric model allows the marginal utility of income to vary across three income groups. We find that flat fees have a strong proportional effect on the participation of shore fishermen, where low-income anglers predominate, and a relatively small impact on the expensive charter fishery. We also find that the welfare consequences of declining catch rates would fall disproportionately on low-income anglers. © 2007 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.