Climate Change and Angling Behavior on the North Shore of Lake Superior

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Fisheries Research


Elsevier BV

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Angling in Minnesota’s North Shore faces unique threats from the impacts of climate change. These impacts, such as changes in the presence and/or abundance of specific species, present management challenges which might also influence the demand for recreational angling throughout the region. Anglers’ adaptations to climate change in the North Shore region could shift densities, timing, and spatial use of the region’s fish populations, increasing the stress on ecological systems. Developing an empirically grounded understanding of the contingent behaviors of anglers is imperative if the region’s fish populations are to be managed sustainably. Using a travel cost model, we measure the demand for angling under current conditions and potential future climate and environmental conditions. Our research also explores the adaptive and coping behaviors of anglers. Results suggest North Shore anglers are not likely to alter the total number of trips they take to the region in the future as climate and environmental conditions change. Among the adaptive and coping behaviors we asked about, anglers indicated they are most likely to engage in a different activity (activity substitution) as conditions change; they also indicated a willingness to fish elsewhere (spatial substitution). Rescheduling or canceling angling trips (temporal substitution) was the least preferred adaptive/coping behavior. Further research is needed to understand why anglers’ future trip-taking behaviors are not responsive to changes in climate and environmental conditions, though their adaptive and coping behaviors are. Our findings can be used to help managers maintain the satisfaction, experiences, and participation of future generations of anglers.

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