Study overview

It’s widely acknowledged that spending time in natural environments like ‘green spaces' (parks, forests, and rural areas) and 'blue spaces' (lakes, rivers, ocean) can positively affect peoples’ health and wellbeing. However, there's limited research addressing the potential wellbeing benefits specifically linked to trout fishing.

While it's believed that trout fishing could enhance individual wellbeing and mental health by exposing people to green space and blue space simultaneously, the mechanisms and extent of these benefits remain unknown.  To address this knowledge gap, for the very first time, Fish & Game is looking to investigate the relationship between trout fishing and mental health and wellbeing. We also aim to identify potential differences amongst age groups, genders, and ethnicities with regards to the effect that trout fishing may have on wellbeing.

The survey

To better understand the link between wellbeing/mental health and trout fishing, Fish & Game is conducting a largescale survey of New Zealand trout anglers. In this survey, we will ask anglers about their trout fishing and outdoor recreation habits and measure their wellbeing and mental health through well recognised and validated wellbeing measures.

The relationships between these sets of data will offer insight into how individual wellbeing/mental health is influenced by engagement and participation in trout fishing.

If you would like to be involved in the study, we welcome you to visit the following link. This will take you to an information sheet, which gives further information about the study, and then a consent form. This information sheet will detail what is involved before you commit to doing the survey which follows.

Link to participate in survey

Contact Us

We have a Sources of Help page if you would like to get in touch with someone in your local area who can help with any mental health questions you might have. If you are at all unsure, feel free to contact us and we can help point you in the right direction.

Research team

Cohen Stewart (Southland Fish & Game Council) – Study coordinator
Heather Garrick (New Zealand Fish & Game Council) – Data analysis
Paul Garbett (Independent) – IT and survey administration
Dr Shyamala Nada-Raja (University of Otago) – Mental health and wellbeing advisor


This research is funded by the New Zealand Fish & Game Council.