Semester of Graduation

Spring 2024


Master of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences (SOCS)


Department of Oceanography and Coastal Science

Document Type



In United States (U.S.) inland waters, recreational fishers (anglers), rather than commercial fishers, account for the primary source of fishing pressure. As such, the recreational sector can be a substantial driver of fishing mortality, requiring well-informed management for sustained viability of inland recreational fisheries. Creel surveys are common data collection techniques administered by resource managers that ultimately inform fishery management decisions with necessary ecological and human dimensions data. Here, I characterize U.S. creel survey data and illustrate in a case study the utility of transboundary angler survey data to describe national-level trends in angler behavior. Specifically, I reviewed creel data from 35 states and territories and 1) provided a regional comparison of U.S. inland creel programs, 2) discussed important limitations and biases of the database, and 3) identified best practices for future creel data. I then used data from an angler survey recorded at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to describe how the pandemic impacted recreational angling across gradients of population density and COVID-19 case counts. Insights derived from this study can guide future management strategies and inform data collection endeavors.



Committee Chair

Dance, Michael A.

Available for download on Saturday, January 09, 2027