Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Natural Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Forest Resources

Committee Chair(s)

Richard Schreyer


Richard Schreyer


Richard S. Krannich


James J. Kennedy


Kent B. Downing


The purposes of this study were to gain a better understanding of anglers and angler preferences and to examine differences between subgroups of anglers based on level of specialization. Understanding these similarities and differences between user groups will provide valuable input for more effective fisheries management.

A randomized mail survey was sent to resident, adult fishing-license holders in Utah. A 68% response rate yielded 1216 usable returns for data analysis. An analysis of three recreation specialization dimensions (participation, equipment and investment, and lifestyle) and further analysis of participation and investment variables were used to develop a typology of Utah anglers. Three specialization subgroups and four typology subgroups were then compared to determine differences in motivations for fishing, preferences toward various fishing and management attributes and the desirability of available fish species.

Anglers with different levels of specialization differed significantly in their motivations for fishing, preferences for fishery resource attributes and desirability ratings of available fish species. Typology subgroups were found to not differ significantly in motivations, preferences or species desirability ratings. However, level of participation (number of fishing trips taken in past year) and investment (money invested in fishing equipment) were each valuable in identifying differences in motivations and preferences, but not in species desirability ratings.

By identifying sportsmen constituencies based on specialization characteristics, managers can better provide fishing opportunities consistent with angler needs. Fisheries managers will have a tool to match sportsmen with the type of setting and management strategy desired or to match the management to the sportsmen, thus maximizing satisfaction.