Habitat and Angler Access Program

Request for Proposals

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries Division is accepting grant proposals for habitat and angler access improvement projects on public streams, rivers, and reservoirs through the Habitat and Angler Access Program. The purpose of the Habitat and Angler Access Program is to enhance freshwater fish habitats and expand bank and shoreline-based angler access on public water bodies throughout the state.

The Inland Fisheries Division expects to award up to approximately $300,000 in grant funding to local partners (up to $50,000 per grant) to implement projects that improve or increase recreational angling opportunity. Preferred projects would create, restore, or enhance aquatic habitat or create, increase, or improve shoreline-based access to public waters. Applicants are strongly encouraged to coordinate with their local TPWD District Fisheries Management Biologist or other Inland Fisheries Division biologist to prepare and submit project proposals.

Eligible Entities

State and local governmental entities, tribal governments, river authorities, and non-profit [e.g., 501(c)(3) organizations] non-governmental organizations may submit grant proposals for project funding. Applicants must demonstrate requisite authority or permissions to implement the proposed projects to be eligible for funding.

Eligible Projects

Projects eligible for funding must include on-the-ground enhancement or restoration of public stream, river, or reservoir habitats or enhancement of bank and shoreline-based angling access. Projects for this funding cycle must be completed no later than August 31, 2023. Projects with multiple components that could extend beyond that timeframe may be submitted over multiple funding cycles as distinct phases of a larger project, each with a separate grant and scope of work.

Funding Priorities

The list below represents priorities for funding for the Habitat and Angler Access Program. These are examples and should not be considered as an exhaustive list of eligible projects. Other methods and types of projects that seek to enhance or restore fish habitats or improve angler access may also be eligible for funding.

Restoration and Enhancement Priorities

  • Actions that address an evident habitat deficiency in a public stream, river, or reservoir (e.g., native aquatic or riparian vegetation planting, woody structure addition).
  • Actions intended to improve conservation and management outcomes (e.g., increased catch-rates) for one or more fish species targeted by anglers.
  • Actions that prevent, slow, or remediate degradation of existing habitats (e.g., erosion or siltation prevention, nutrient loading, or changes in water regimes).
  • Actions that restore habitat for fish critical life stages (e.g., spawning or nursery habitat).
  • Actions that restore connectivity to floodplains or connectivity between river reaches.
  • Projects that improve fish habitats in waters within 50 miles or 1-hour drive time of metropolitan urban areas (i.e., population > 100,000).
  • Projects implemented within Native Fish Conservation Areas.
  • Projects in streams or rivers with, or within reservoirs fed by areas with a Watershed Protection Plan or another comprehensive plan for improving conditions for aquatic life.

Angler Access Priorities

  • Projects that create new or enhance existing shoreline or riverbank access to provide bank, wade, or kayak (or other small paddle craft) fishing opportunities (motorboat ramps are not eligible through this funding source).
  • Projects within 50 miles or 1-hour drive time of metropolitan urban areas (i.e., population > 100,000) to provide greater shoreline access to anglers.
  • Projects that expand or create new connectivity with existing angler access programs (e.g., Texas Paddling Trails Program, Community Fishing Lakes, River Access and Conservation Areas).

Available Funding

TPWD anticipates approximately $300,000 will be available to fund projects in this initial funding cycle. (up to $50,000 per project). Matching funds are not required. However, projects that leverage additional outside funding will be given special consideration as part of the selection process.

The Habitat and Angler Access Program is a reimbursement program. Only direct costs associated with completion of the proposed project and incurred during the grant period will be eligible for reimbursement. Applicants of selected projects will be notified of selection but should not begin work or purchase materials for projects until grant funds have been allocated by TPWD to the specific project.

Environmental and Cultural Resources Compliance

Projects must comply with local, state, and federal environmental and cultural resources regulations. See project submission checklist for examples of permits and clearances required.

Proposals

Complete project proposals are due by 5:00 PM Central Standard Time on Friday, August 20, 2021. Late applications will not be considered for funding.

Please submit completed proposal form and supporting documents via email to FishGrants@tpwd.texas.gov.

Project Proposal Form | PDF

Proposal Scoring Rubric | PDF

Applicant Checklist | PDF

Scope of Work

Competitive project proposals selected through the proposal review process will be invited to submit a final Scope of Work.

Please direct questions and requests for more information to:
Michael Homer Jr.
(325) 692-0921
FishGrants@tpwd.texas.gov