Sport Fish Restoration Program
(Dingell-Johnson and Wallop-Breaux)
Texas is recognized nationally by anglers and fisheries professionals as providing exceptional sport fishing opportunities. Over one million recreational anglers fished Texas waters in 2006, contributing an estimated $3.2 billion to the State economy. This high level of angler participation and satisfaction is maintained through the support of the Sport Fish Restoration Program.
The Sport Fish Restoration Program is a partnership among 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 2007, Texas received the maximum allowable apportionment of $17.5 million, five percent of the over $340 million available. Annual funding received from the Sport Fish Restoration Program is utilized by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to support activities that directly benefit anglers and ensure that the tremendous sport fishing opportunities offered in the State of Texas are available for years to come. Major programs in Texas supported by the Sport Fish Restoration Program are discussed below.
Distribution of Sport Fish Restoration Fund funding in Texas (approximately $17.5 million annually) [D]
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.
The aquatic education programs offered by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department provide opportunities and resources for students to develop angling skills and to gain understanding of aquatic ecosystems, fisheries science, and angler ethics. These programs promote responsible lifetime participation in sport fishing and aquatic resource stewardship. Aquatic education programs supported by the Sport Fish Restoration Program include:
- Aquatic WILD, which utilizes the national award-winning Project WILD (Aquatic) curriculum
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s angler education courses (Coastal and Freshwater Basic and Advanced Fishing and Fly Fishing Courses and Instructor Training Courses)
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.
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:
- Investigations of fish kills and pollution complaints, and mitigation for adverse impacts to sport fish communities;
- Water quality studies that evaluate potential impacts on sport fisheries and support recommendations on waste discharge permits, waste load evaluations, state water quality standards, watershed plans, and other regulatory activities;
- Studies that determine the quantity and quality of water necessary to maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems conducive to productive sport fisheries
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.
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.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department produces weekly television and radio programs to inform audiences of the exceptional fishing and boating opportunities available in Texas through the support of the Sport Fish Restoration Program. The agency also 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