Working with ecologists, fisheries scientists, economists, social scientists, and local stakeholders to advance sustainable fisheries.
What makes for good fishing? And how can we keep it going, so that today’s anglers can pass on more than tall fish tales?
We are looking at the social and ecological factors that influence fishery health in northern Wisconsin and working with lake users and managers to identify effective management strategies.
Findings have big picture applications – not only to fisheries, but also to other shared resources like forests, pastures, groundwater, and the atmosphere.
Without explicit ownership, there is no incentive for voluntary stewardship. As a result, shared resources like fisheries and forests suffer exploitation and poor management.
Our work tells a different story. We’ve analyzed fish stocking rates by northern Wisconsin lake associations and modeled the biological and economic impacts. Findings show that incentives exist to promote investment in lake management.
These findings bear important implications for governance of common pool resources around the world.
We conducted one of the first large-scale tests of this assumption and did not find evidence to support it. Purported benefits of adding woody structures to freshwaters may need to be reexamined, and large-scale assessments are a key research need.