Sport Fish Restoration Program

(Dingell-Johnson and Wallop-Breaux)

Anglers and fisheries professionals recognize Texas for its exceptional sport fishing opportunities. Over one million recreational anglers fished Texas waters in 2019, contributing an estimated $1.7 billion to the state economy. This high level of participation and satisfaction is supported by the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program is a partnership with anglers, boaters, the fishing and boating industry, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The program is supported by taxes on fishing equipment, electric motors, sonar, and motorboat fuel. These revenues are collected by the U.S. Treasury and apportioned to the U.S. States, Insular Territories, and the District of Columbia based on a formula that includes total land and water area and number of licensed anglers. In 2022, Texas received the largest allowable apportionment of $21.2 million, five percent of the over $425 million available. Annual funding from the Sport Fish Restoration Program is used by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to support activities that directly benefit anglers and ensure that the tremendous sport fishing opportunities offered in Texas are available for years to come. Major programs in Texas supported by the Sport Fish Restoration Program are discussed below.

Funding Pie Chart Fishery Management Fish Hatcheries Research Fishing & Boating Access Habitat Protection Outreach Aquatic Education
Distribution of Sport Fish Restoration Fund funding in Texas (amount varies depending on license sales and excise taxes collected) [D]

Sport Fishery Management

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports monitoring of sport fish populations, their habitats, and public use of fishery resources. Data and information collected from fishery management surveys are used to set fish harvest regulations, develop fish stocking plans, and design projects that restore and enhance aquatic habitats.

Aquatic Education

The aquatic education programs offered by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department provide opportunities and resources for youth and adults to develop angling skills and to gain an understanding of aquatic ecosystems. These programs promote responsible lifetime participation in sport fishing and aquatic resource stewardship.  Aquatic education programs supported by the Sport Fish Restoration Program include:

Sport Fishery Research

Through support from the Sport Fish Restoration Program, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has developed nationally recognized programs in applied research for the study of freshwater and coastal fisheries. These research programs conduct special investigations of unique problems identified through fisheries management surveys, and develop and evaluate projects focused on expanding and improving sport fishing in the State.

Habitat Protection

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports a variety of efforts by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department aimed at protecting sport fish communities and their habitats. These include:

Fishing and Boating Access

Fifteen percent of the annual Sport Fish Restoration Program apportionment received by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is spent on projects that increase or improve access to public waters in the State for recreational boaters and anglers.

Fish Hatchery Operations

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports the operation of five freshwater hatcheries and three coastal hatcheries in the State of Texas. These hatcheries produce and stock over 40 million fish annually in Texas lakes, ponds and coastal bays. Fish are stocked to establish new fish populations, enhance existing populations, support research efforts, and maintain put-and-take and put-grow-and-take fisheries in small urban reservoirs.

Public Outreach

The agency publishes a weekly fishing report that is made available on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website and carried by all major daily newspapers in the State.


Sport Fish Restoration Program Coordinator •
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department • 4200 Smith School Road • Austin, Texas 78744