Globally, recreational fisheries are situated within a diverse set of ecological settings and represent a wide array of targeted species and user desires. As both a culturally and economically important resource, the continued viability of recreational fisheries is essential for the employment and cultural identity of people all over the globe (Lynch et al. 2016a,; Cooke and Murchie 2015; Arlinghaus et al. 2002). Recreational fisheries exist across a range of scales from a single species within one waterbody to multiple targeted species across regional sets of waterbodies. Understanding recreational fisheries at these various scales means understanding patterns through time and across space, including how individual populations and waterbodies are linked together into complex networks by the people using them. The intersection of the social and ecological components of recreational fisheries occurs at the individual angler level effecting their decisions about what to fish for, where to do it, when to do it, and what their expectations are. Consequently, managing these systems to promote sustainable use, while vitally important, is often challenging given the diversity of both the fisheries themselves and the people who rely on them.
In the following chapters I examine some of the issues outlined above through the dynamics of traditional harvest-oriented fisheries, increasingly common catch-and-release fisheries, and the alternative stable ecosystem states that arise from the coexistence of the two alongside each other. This knowledge is then applied to the relationship between the primarily catch-and-release largemouth bass (M. salmoides) and primarily harvested walleye (S. vitreus) in north temperate lakes.
While not exhaustive, this dissertation provides important insight into the functioning of harvest and CR fisheries in isolation and in combination. As fisheries managers look to the future, managing diverse fishing ethics across multiple interacting species will be a challenge with serious consequences for those whose livelihood depends on recreational fishing.