Recreational angling in the U.S. represents a large group of people that catch and harvest fish for a variety of reasons, including for relaxation, adventure, social motivations, and consumption. Collectively, recreational anglers can exert pressures on both economies and fishery resources. Fish removals by anglers represent an important source of mortality data when trying to understand fish populations, and this information is even more important when the fishery is dominated by recreational and subsistence fishing.
Currently, the magnitude of recreational angling is measured at local scales (for example, at a specific lake or stream) and the process to collect information from anglers varies widely by state and waterbody. Although the local scale information is important for local management, it is increasingly important to think about resources at larger scales. It is known that factors like climate have effects at large scales, and that fish may move between political jurisdictions. For these reasons and others, it is important to develop ways that local sample programs can be compared to each other and scaled up to inform region-wide trends.
This project will work with eight U.S. state agencies (in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina) that will provide raw catch and harvest data. The raw data will then be transformed to operate on similar scales, so that apples-to-apples comparisons can be made. Finally, the researchers will develop models that help understand how factors like the environment and climate affect recreational fisheries. The study will also project catch and harvest across the entire Southeastern U.S. to estimate the magnitude of recreational fisheries at a large scale. This research will result in information that can help managers better understand their local systems in a regional context, identify how fish harvest may be impacted by climate and land use change, and inform resulting management strategies.
Click on title to download individual files attached to this item.
“Chattanooga River in North Carolina taken by Alan Cressler”