New Program Expands Fishing Access across Texas, Supports Freshwater Fish Habitat Projects

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AUSTIN – The new Habitat and Angler Access Program (HAAP) will award grants to develop and increase shoreline and bank fishing access as well as restore and enhance fish habitat in Texas’ public inland waters. August 20 is the deadline to apply for grants under the new Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) program, which is funded from the sale of freshwater fishing licenses.

The program will enable the TPWD Inland Fisheries Division to support habitat and angler access improvement projects led by eligible groups such as local municipalities, water authorities, educational institutions, and other civic and conservation organizations. TPWD will be requesting applications for the HAAP starting June 21.

“The Habitat and Angler Access Program is an exciting opportunity for us to collaborate and support partners interested in expanding fishing opportunities and bettering the quality of fisheries for Texans,” said Michael Homer Jr., fisheries biologist for the TPWD Inland Fisheries Division. “The program is intended to identify and implement projects with the highest potential to enhance freshwater fisheries resources and improve bank and shoreline access in public waters.”

Grants of up to $50,000 may be awarded to support individual fish habitat improvement and angler access projects on public ponds, large reservoirs, streams and rivers. The HAAP will support fish habitat improvement projects such as bank and shoreline stabilization projects, installation of erosion control features, deployment of artificial habitat structures, and dredging excessive silt and organic materials from reservoirs that have high potential for quality fishery development.

Bank or shoreline-based angler access projects that could be supported through HAAP include the development or improvement of fishing piers, installation of fish attracting features (e.g., underwater dock lighting and habitat structures), the creation of jetties, as well as the construction of non-motorized boat launches for kayaks, canoes, and other small watercraft for fishing access.

For more information or to submit an application, please see the Habitat and Angler Access Program on the TPWD Grants Page. Organizations interested in partnering with TPWD on a potential project are strongly encouraged to coordinate with their local Inland Fisheries Management biologist. Additional information regarding the program may be obtained by contacting FishGrants@tpwd.texas.gov