California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Fishing in the City
Funding

Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program logo

CDFW's Fishing in the City Program receives funding from the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program.

More than 34 million anglers enjoy fishing and boating on America's waterways, thanks, in part, to the Sport Fish Restoration Program, established in 1950 with the passage of the Sport Fish Restoration Act (Dingell-Johnson Act). The Program was created to restore and better manage America's declining fishery resources and was modeled after the successful Wildlife Restoration Program. Over the past half century, this program has generated more than $2.6 billion which has been used to supports research, hatchery construction, public education, and the construction and maintenance of thousands of fishing and boating access sites.

Today anglers spend $35.6 billion dollars annually on fishing-related activities. Through their purchases of fishing equipment and motorboat fuels, they generate an additional $400 million for the Sport Fish Restoration Program -- making it one of the most effective "user-pay / user-benefit" programs in the nation.

The Sport Fish Restoration Act authorizes a 10 percent federal excise tax on fishing rods, reels, creels, lures, flies and artificial baits. The tax, collected and supported by the manufacturers, is available to state fish and wildlife agencies through grants-in-aid administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The grant money is apportioned to the states based on a formula. The grant program requires the state to pay at least 25 percent of project cost from non-federal funds. In 1984 the Act was amended (the Wallop-Breaux Amendment) to include excise taxes on motorboat fuels and on previously untaxed sport fishing equipment. Additional amendments in 1990, 1992 and 1998 expanded the program's taxable items and activities to include the establishment of the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund and funding for aquatic education, wetlands conservation and boating access and safety.

Only state fish and wildlife agencies may apply for funds.