Habitat and Angler Access Program

The Habitat and Angler Access Program awards competitive grants to restore and enhance freshwater fish habitats and to improve or expand bank and shoreline-based angler access on public creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes throughout the state. The Program enables cooperation between Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Inland Fisheries Division biologists and local partners to make fishing better for all Texans.

2022–2023 Projects

The 2022–2023 Habitat and Angler Access Program request for proposals closed on August 20, 2021. Strategic priorities and proposal selection criteria were outlined in the request for proposals. Project proposals were reviewed and scored by a panel of fisheries biologists and other subject matter experts whose collective expertise and experience spanned the various types of projects being considered. The following 21 projects were selected to receive funding during 2022–2023.

Angler Access Improvements on the Nueces River at Cooksey Park

The construction of an ADA-compliant fishing access ramp with railings and the expansion of shoreline fishing access areas at Cooksey Park on the Nueces River near the City of Uvalde are goals of this project. This initiative will increase angling opportunities at this popular tourist destination. TPWD is partnering with Uvalde County to implement this project.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Mitch Nisbet

Angler Access Improvements on the Colorado River at the Texas River School’s River Camp

The project will provide parking area improvements including lighting, parking lot, and the installation of a floating dock at the Texas River School River Camp. This location is a TPWD leased fishing access area on the Lower Colorado River downstream of the City of Austin. This popular paddling access site supports educational programs that promote angling and paddling to youth and families. TPWD is partnering with the Chautauqua Foundation and the Texas River School for this project.
TPWD Project Coordinator: John Botros

Bandera Angler Park on the Medina River

This project will create three concrete fishing pads, parking, and a gravel road in the park. One of the pads will be ADA-accessible and include rails and rod holders. The clearing of targeted fishing access points will be conducted along with the establishment of grow zones between the points. The project includes the construction of improved access trails, improved parking areas, and installation of an information kiosk at the Bandera City Park on the Medina River. TPWD is partnering with the City of Bandera on this project.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Ryan McGillicuddy

Central Texas Streams Riparian Reforestation Program

The goal of this initiative is to restore riverscapes and improve stream habitat conditions in Central Texas creeks and rivers through the planting of 50,000 riparian trees. A large volunteer network will be utilized to facilitate plantings and monitoring. This is a high-profile project that includes many partners, including TreeFolks, Inc.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Ryan McGillicuddy

City of Early Town Center Pond Fish Habitat Establishment and Shoreline Stabilization

This project is led by Michael Homer Jr., the Abilene District fisheries biologist, and will aid the City of Early in establishing a community fishing pond in the new City of Early Town Center development. For this project, an existing three-acre pond will be renovated and expanded by dredging and establishing structural habitat and vegetation. This new community fishing lake will be established in a new park that is being created adjacent to Pecan Bayou, a Texas Paddling Trail location. Additional amenities planned for this project include addition of fish attractors and a diffuse aeration system, which will also be supported in partnership with the City of Early.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Michael Homer

City of Early Town Center Fishing Piers

TPWD is partnering with the City of Early to develop a community fishery. Two fishing piers with seating, lighting, and ADA-compliant access will be installed on a newly renovated community fishing lake located at the new City of Early Town Center development.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Michael Homer

Flatrock Angler Access Project on the South Llano River

The focus of this project is to stabilize and restore native riparian vegetation along 200 feet of erosional shoreline on the South Llano River. An improved access loop for vehicles and an access trail will be created for paddlers and anglers at the take-out for the South Llano River Paddling Trail. TPWD is partnering with the Llano River Watershed Alliance on this initiative.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Ryan McGillicuddy

Fish Habitat and Angler Access Improvements at Old Hidalgo Pump House Channel

This initiative will install one T-head fishing pier, an additional fishing dock, and add fish habitat structures and a diffuse aeration system at the Old Hidalgo Pump House Channel in the City of Hidalgo in the Rio Grande Valley. This project will expand fishing opportunities in a rapidly growing region of Texas. TPWD is teaming up with the City of Hidalgo for this project.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Greg Binion

Fish Habitat Improvements at Resoft Park in Brazoria County

The objective of this initiative is to enhance fish habitat through native aquatic vegetation plantings in the community fishing lake at Resoft Park. The park is located in Brazoria County within the City of Alvin. The improvements will help restore habitat that has been degraded by erosion and invasive species. This project will support existing and potential angling programs. TPWD is teaming up with the Brazoria County Parks Department to implement this project.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Alice Best

Lady Bird Lake Habitat and Access Improvements

The objective of this project is to stabilize eroded banks, control invasive riparian vegetation, and improve angler access along shoreline segments at three sites on Lady Bird Lake in the City of Austin. TPWD is partnering with multiple organizations including The Trail Foundation for this project.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Patrick Ireland

Lake Dunlap Habitat Improvements

This project, led by Greg Binion in the Corpus Christi District, proposes to restore fisheries through shoreline and structural habitat lake-wide to pre-existing lake habitat conditions. In May of 2019, the dam gate structure failed, which led to the dewatering of the lake. The lake will be refilled over the next two years, creating a prime opportunity to implement in-lake structural habitat enhancement. TPWD is working with multiple partners to implement this project.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Greg Binion

Lake Fork Fish Habitat Enhancement

This project aims to enhance fish habitat at Lake Fork by establishing native vegetation such as waterwillow and eelgrass. In addition, 10 floating grass planters will be constructed to create new and expand existing areas of fish habitat for the popular largemouth bass fishery. The Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association will provide volunteer support and is teaming up with TPWD on this project.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Jake Norman

Lake Lewisville Kayak Angler Access

This project will create an ADA-accessible kayak launch at Cottonwood Park in the City of Little Elm. This launch will expand an existing paddling trail system, improve angler access, and will provide an opportunity to increase kayak angling and paddling programs. TPWD is partnering with the Town of Little Elm on this initiative.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Rafe Brock

Lake Wichita Kayak Launch

This project will create an ADA-accessible kayak launch to expand paddling access on Lake Wichita. This initiative will create improved access for paddling recreation, as well as expand angling programs and support veteran rehabilitation programs. For this project, multiple partners are involved, including the Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Robert Mauk

Lake Murvaul Native Plant Restoration

The native plant restoration project on Lake Murvaul is being led by Marshall District fish biologist, Tim Bister, and it is intended to expand native vegetation that serves as habitat for a variety of fish species and other organisms. Native plants were planted in protective enclosures in 2019 as part of a habitat enhancement effort. Additional plantings of native aquatic vegetation will help to improve the aquatic plant community and mitigate losses of native vegetation from invasive exotic plant control efforts.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Tim Bister

Neighborhood Fishin’ Program Shoreline Habitat and Fishing Access in the Houston Area

This project, led by Alice Best at the College Station-Houston District, will be implemented at Burke Crenshaw and Herman Little, which are small Community Fishing lakes in the Houston metropolitan area. These are popular sites in need of fishing boardwalks, native aquatic vegetative habitat enhancement, and structural habitat. Signage will provide visitors with information about the importance of riparian and aquatic vegetative habitat, fish species, and how to fish.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Alice Best

Neighborhood Fishin’ Program Water Quality Improvements in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Area

This initiative, led by Rafe Brock in the Dallas/Fort Worth District, aims to install aeration systems to improve water quality at three sites. These systems would also help reduce fish mortality issues that develop in urban waterbodies. The project has strong support from the local community and multiple controlling authorities. The City of Mesquite, City of Duncanville, and the City of Fort Worth are teaming up with TPWD to work on this project.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Rafe Brock

Riparian Restoration & Bank Stabilization on the Paluxy River in Dinosaur Valley State Park

This initiative is being led by Stephen Curtis in the Division’s Rivers Program, with the goals of riparian restoration and bank stabilization in a segment of the Paluxy River near Dinosaur Valley State Park. The project will improve riparian habitat, address bank erosion and increase fishing access to the river. This project presents a great opportunity to establish a conservation demonstration area. TPWD is partnering with Friends of Dinosaur Valley State Park and the Texas Stream Coalition to implement the project.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Stephen Curtis

Riparian Restoration at San Felipe Creek

This project is being led by Rivers Program fisheries biologist, Sarah Robertson, and is a collaborative effort with a variety of partners to address impairments to riparian habitat along San Felipe Creek, a tributary to the Rio Grande. San Felipe Creek is a spring-fed, urban stream in the City of Del Rio that serves as an oasis for community fishing recreation. For the project, a swale will be constructed to intercept and filter stormwater runoff, native vegetation will be planted to restore riparian habitat, and access improvements will be made to enhance paddling and angling.
TPWD Project Coordinator: Sarah Robertson

Small Craft and Shoreline Access on Middle Bosque on Lake Waco

John Tibbs at the Waco District is leading a project to improve shoreline access, install small craft ramps, and associated infrastructure with ample parking capacity on the Middle Bosque on Lake Waco. This is a popular and heavily utilized location especially during the spring. This builds on a previous Bosque access improvement project. TPWD is teaming up with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Waco to implement this project.
TPWD Project Coordinator: John Tibbs and John Botros

Waco-Area Fish Habitat Improvements

This project is a collaborative effort involving Waco District fish biologist, John Tibbs, and local 4H students to improve fish habitats in the Waco area. The students recently completed a fish attractor project as part of their curriculum. This project will support additional fish habitat enhancement projects in the Waco area.
TPWD Project Coordinator: John Tibbs

To learn more about the Habitat and Angler Access Program or any of the projects described above, please contact Michael Homer, Jr. by phone at (325) 692-0921 or by email at FishGrants@tpwd.texas.gov.

2024–2025 Projects

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department expects to announce the 2024–2025 Habitat and Angler Access Program request for proposals by summer 2023.