Seeking to sustain recreational fishing

Man fishing at sunsetThe National Science Foundation has awarded scientists from five academic institutions, including professor Marco Janssen of ASU's School of Sustainability, a $1.5 million grant to investigate how ecological and social elements shape recreational fisheries in northern Wisconsin. Recreational fishing is a major industry in the U.S., with 30 million fishers generating over $15 billion a year. As many fisheries around the country collapse due to environmental and social issues, the goal of this study is to understand how to properly sustain good fishing conditions. Over the course of four years, the study will focus on a 5,300 square kilometer area that includes thousands of lakes. To examine such a large and diverse area, the team will engage local farmers, lake associations and scientists from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. They will assess local fishing associations and communities to find what systems work best to sustain watersheds, and how these systems can be implemented elsewhere. This includes looking at communication mechanisms that include fishery stakeholders in the process of monitoring fish populations. This collaborative study will not only help fishing associations within the region better understand methods to keeping a healthy watershed, but will also expand current knowledge on ecological-human systems and collective resource management.