Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in Anthropology



Major Advisor

Kathryn Demps, Ph.D.


John Ziker, Ph.D.


Kelly Hopping, Ph.D.


Local ecological knowledge (LEK) has been researched in the past to examine how it can aid and support scientific ecological knowledge (SEK). SEK is often seen as the preferred and superior type of knowledge when dealing with environmental changes. However, both of these types of knowledge are not segregated within individuals but are dependent on age, experience with the fishery, experience with a scientific organization, and/or perception of changes in the environment based on lived experiences. Interactions between LEK and SEK users is valuable to the conservation that is needed to protect these fish species and is dependent on how well these groups are sharing their knowledge and communicating with one another. For this study, I have examined the exchange of knowledge on steelhead trout within Idaho between anglers, Idaho Fish & Game, and the Office of Species Conservation. If these three groups are sharing SEK and LEK effectively, despite generational and organizational differences, then the variation between groups should be low. In addition to the exchange of knowledge, I have looked at communication, the meaning behind each group’s knowledge, and how age and experience play a factor into their perception of change. Of those that responded to the questionnaire, there were 26 angler respondents, 21 Idaho Fish & Game respondents, and 6 Office of Species Conservation respondents. Statistical tests indicated that there was a significant difference in LEK scores between groups, and there was low communication between the Office of Species Conservation and anglers. There was a significant difference in where these groups reported that most of the mortality for steelhead occurred, and age and experience did not have an impact on LEK scores. These results indicate that there is variation between groups’ LEK which could be due to variations in LEK between groups. How groups define local can cause variation between groups’ LEK.