Anglers have been among the major supporters of aquatic conservation activities in the USA through the Dingell–Johnson Act and other programs. Declining rates of participation in fishing have spurred significant efforts to recruit, retain, and reengage anglers, also known as “R3.” To make R3 strategies more effective, it is important to explore the broader sociodemographic patterns that underpin angling participation. Urban areas are variable with respect to residents’ socioeconomic status (SES), and scholars have observed lower rates of angling participation among urban residents. This heterogeneity highlights the need to understand angling participation among urban residents. Therefore, the objective of this study was to explore the influence of aggregate sociodemographic characteristics on fishing license sales in Cook County, Illinois, the main urban center of the state. We assessed the spatial association of sociodemographic characteristics and fishing license purchase and determined the relative influence of three components (SES, household mobility, and age) from principal components analysis on fishing license purchases. We used the bivariate LISA (local indicators of spatial association) method and regression models to test for differences in demographic effect. Results revealed statistically significant spatial dependence in patterns of license sales density and aggregate SES, household mobility, and age. Aggregate SES had a negative relationship with license sales density. Conversely, aggregate household mobility and age positively influenced the density of license sales. Interactions of the three components were also investigated. Census tracts with lower mobility tended to fish more with higher SES. Census tracts with a younger population tended to fish more with higher SES. Census tracts with higher SES tended to fish less with increasing age. Our findings provide assistance in developing R3 strategies aimed at increasing participation in recreational angling by showing how demographic factors influencing license sales can be examined using census data.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law