December 12, 2023

Finding New Opportunities for Utah's Anglers


Fisheries managers in Utah are faced with a variety of challenges. The number of anglers getting out and exploring the state’s lakes, reservoirs, and streams continues to rise. Concerns over water quality and quantity are persistent. And it’s becoming more expensive to raise and stock fish. As a result, state fisheries managers are looking for ways to create biologically and economically sustainable angling opportunities that still offer satisfying experiences.

Close up of man fly fishing
Utah's fisheries face a variety of challenges, ranging from increased demand to climate change.

To assist Utah’s fisheries managers in identifying these opportunities, a team of researchers from Utah State University’s Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism released a new report that can help pave the way to new, more sustainable angling opportunities. The report identifies five classifications of anglers in Utah. “We looked at the unique motivations, preferences, and behaviors of each classification,” said Jordan Smith, the lead researcher on the team.

Table describing the different types of anglers in Utah
The report classifies Utah anglers according to their motivations, preferences, and behaviors.

The report documents what anglers value most from their fishing experience, suggesting that these are the things that need to be preserved or enhanced. “For example, if I am a ‘social angler’, I value being a mentor and spending time with close friends and family. I would generally fish for cold and coolwater species in lakes and reservoirs, and I enjoy trying new fishing gear and techniques,” said Chase Lamborn, one of the team’s researchers. Fisheries managers can take this information and identify what new species and experiences will resonate with anglers, in addition to being well suited to the growing demand for, and changing environment of, Utah’s fisheries. Lamborn concluded by saying, “Right now, fisheries managers are using this information to come up with specific recommendations across the state. I’m interested to see what they come up with, and I am excited to give these new fisheries a try.”