Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Environment and Society

Committee Chair(s)

Jordan W. Smith


Jordan W. Smith


Zachary D. Miller


Nate Trauntvein


As a leisure activity, recreational fishing provides numerous social, physical, and psychological benefits to its participants. It can also provide socioeconomic opportunities to specific communities, and as an outdoor activity can create support for natural fisheries resources and public lands. License and equipment taxes are also important funding mechanisms for state wildlife managers. Though fishing participation as a percentage of the population has overall decreased in the last century, there is a recent increase in fishing participation. However, participation dynamics result in a shifting cycle of entries, departures, and re-entries to the sport. In an effort to maintain participation and address volatility, national and state fishing organizations and management agencies have developed initiatives that target individuals through a mix of marketing and other programs to either recruit new anglers, retain current anglers, or re-activate currently lapsed anglers. These are commonly referred to as R3 initiatives. Recreation and leisure activity research has previously connected an individual's lapse in participation to the experience of constraints. Specific constraints relate to a variety of factors or scenarios that are categorized into an established dimension hierarchy that includes structural, interpersonal, and intrapersonal constraints. Constraints do not always result in participation lapse and self-employed negotiation strategies are often found in individuals who continue to fish despite experiencing constraints. This study applies the established theory of hierarchal leisure constraints and negotiations to a typology that reflects recruited, retained, re-activated and lapsed anglers. This typology was developed using R3 initiative literature and applied by selecting respective participants through patterns in their Utah fishing license purchase history. Results indicate consistent demographic trends established in the literature, with lapsed anglers being more likely to be older than active anglers, and recruited anglers being more demographically diverse and younger on average than other angler groups. Recruited and lapsed respondents were primarily nonresidents, while retained and re-activated anglers were primarily Utah residents. Lapsed and recruited respondents were also more likely to purchase short-term licenses. Family involvement with fishing in Utah was reported frequently, which has previously been identified as a factor influencing participation. The strongest constraints experienced by respondents overall were constraints related to time and fishing quality. Lapsed, retained and re-activated anglers were more likely to report experiencing constraints than recruited anglers. Lapsed anglers were the least likely to use negotiation tactics.