Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Mississippi
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Aldridge, C.A., L.E. Miranda, and M.E. Colvin. 2021. Themes of contemporary inland fisheries goals. Fisheries 46:34-39..


Goals are important for the effective performance of state inland fisheries agencies, but formulating meaningful goals is not simple. Often agencies look to sister agencies in neighboring states when crafting goals for their own freshwater resources. Herein, we review agency goal themes relying on publicly available documents and guided by earlier literature. We test whether goals exhibit geographic patterns presuming that differences and similarities in climate, natural resources, and people determine, to various degrees, the goal themes across the U.S. We identified nine distinct goal themes but found that they do not form clear geographic patterns, inconsistent with a similar analysis conducted in the 1970s. What seems apparent is that since the 1970s agency goals have diversified and regionalism in goals has vanished. We suggest that changes in perspectives and communication technology, as well as provisions within nationwide funding mechanisms have led to goals becoming more homogenous across the U.S. and more diverse within each agency.