Skip to main content
No Access

The Effects of Weather on Recreational Fishing Demand and Adaptation: Implications for a Changing Climate

Outdoor recreation is one of the most popular leisure activities in the United States, yet the potential impacts of climate change on the nonmarket aspects of this activity are largely unknown or poorly understood. We estimate the nonlinear effects of temperature and precipitation on the demand for a significant segment of the outdoor recreation economy—shoreline marine recreational fishing in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast regions—from 2004 to 2009. Our econometric estimates suggest that extreme heat significantly reduces recreation participation. We find declines in participation (up to 15%) and welfare (up to $312 million annually) over a range of predicted climate futures. These impacts vary spatially and temporally, with warmer locations and times of year experiencing significant losses and gains possible in cooler areas. We also find evidence of climate-averting behavior as anglers shift their activities to nighttime rather than fish less frequently to mitigate the negative impacts from extreme heat.