Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Martin, D.R. 2013. Spatial and temporal participation in recreational fishing. PhD Disseration. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Natural Resource Sciences, Under the Supervision of Professor Kevin L. Pope. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Dustin R. Martin


Buffering inland fisheries against large-scale changes in ecosystem function, climate regimes, and societal valuations of natural resources requires progressive management approaches that incorporate fish and angler dynamics at large spatial and temporal scales. Current paradigms of inland fishery management generally utilize waterbody-specific, fish-centric frameworks designed to regulate fish populations directly, and anglers indirectly, through fish stock enhancement and harvest regulation. In reality, anglers are the most manageable component of a fishery but management of anglers requires explicit consideration of their behavior (e.g., spatial and temporal patterns of participant use), which, unlike fish populations, operates at a scale larger than a single waterbody. Therefore, a first step in creating a resilient and sustainable recreational fishery requires gaining a thorough understanding of angler behavior so that managers can anticipate current and future management needs. In this dissertation, I used three techniques to describe angler behavior in a region (19 reservoirs) during a 4-year period. Anglers make decisions about where to go fishing using a large amount of information. One piece of information available to them is posts to social media websites. I provided a means to evaluate fishing effort on individual-waterbody and regional scales from posts to an online fishing social network; potentially reducing the need for intensive creel surveys. Anglers also make decisions about how far to drive to participate in angling. I used kernel-density estimation to describe the spatial area of influence of reservoirs; differences in area of influence are likely related to access and amenities, fish community, and angler preferences. Finally, network analysis provided a social-ecological perspective to angler behavior and an explicit link between anglers and the reservoirs that they chose to fish. This angler-reservoir interaction is important to understand for angler recruitment and retention and potential changes in the regional fishery due to management actions. In combination, these techniques provide natural resource agencies with the tools needed for fisheries management agencies to ensure resilient and sustainable inland recreational fishing.

Advisor: Kevin L. Pope