•We model saltwater anglers' site choices before, during, and after the DWH spill.
•Anglers in the Southeast U.S. avoided areas affected by the oil spill.
•Welfare measures differ by fishing mode and total 585 million for the entire region.
At an estimated 206 million gallons, the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) is the largest marine oil spill in the history of the United States. In this paper we develop a series of random utility models of site choice by saltwater anglers in the Southeast US and estimate monetary compensation for recreational losses due to the DWH oil spill. Heterogeneity in angler preferences is accounted for by using mixed logit models, and different compensation measures for shore-based, private boat, and for-hire anglers are estimated. Results indicate that willingness to pay for oil spill prevention varies by fishing mode and anglers fishing from shore and private boats exhibit heterogeneous preferences for oil spill avoidance. In addition, the total monetary compensation due to anglers is estimated at USD 585 million.