Social and ecological systems can interact to create ecological outcomes that are unintuitive unless both systems are taken into consideration. Therefore, maintaining ecosystem services like inland recreational fisheries is difficult if ecological or social systems are considered in isolation. The goal of my dissertation is to foster a social-ecological perspective for management of inland recreational fisheries, which are culturally and economically important in North America but are widely in decline. In my dissertation I will review inland fisheries management in North America to determine areas where our understanding of these systems as social-ecological systems is incomplete, I will explore how common human practices interact with ecological processes to shape economic and ecological outcomes that are unexpected, and I will examine how governance structures shape social and ecological outcomes across a landscape of fisheries. I use simulation modeling, empirical data, and stakeholder participatory games to address these objectives.