New TPWD program funds bank-fishing access

HARLINGEN — A new state program aims to fund improvements to increase shoreline and bank fishing access on Texas inland waters.

The Habitat and Angler Access program started by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will award funds for the state’s inland waters as well as habitat improvement projects.

Eligible groups for the money include local municipalities, water authorities, educational institutions and other civic and conservation organizations.

TPWD began taking applications Monday.

“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.”

The grants awarded can go up to $50,000 to support fish habitat improvement and angler access projects on public ponds, large reservoirs, streams and rivers. The HAAP funds also will help with things like bank and shoreline stabilization projects, installation of erosion control features, deployment of artificial habitat structures and dredging excessive silt and organic materials from reservoirs.

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 [email protected]

All applications must be received no later than Aug. 20, 2021. Approved projects will have a completion deadline of Aug. 31, 2023.