The Sport Fish Restoration Program, which is one of the programs funded and authorized by the Dingell-Johnson/Wallop Breaux Act established in 1950, awards grants that improve recreational boating and fishing opportunities throughout the nation. The funding for these grants comes from a 3% tax on electric motors, a 10% tax on fishing equipment, import duties on fishing tackle as well as pleasure yachts and boats, motorboat and small engine fuel tax and interest earned on the Sport Fish Restoration Trust Fund.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for administering the Sport Fish Restoration Program grants that are awarded to state agencies throughout the nation, such as the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. In 2009, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department was awarded 2 grants. These 2 grants were the New Hampshire Anadromous Fish Investigations and Marine Recreational Fishery Evaluation Program and the Connecticut River Basin Migratory fish Studies – Coordination and Technical Assistance Program.
The New Hampshire Anadromous Fish Investigations and Marine Recreational Fishery Evaluation Program are funded by a $459,075 grant and runs from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. This grant provides funding for the restoration of the populations of American shad and river herring in the New Hampshire coastal river systems, for monitoring the winter ice fishery and the Great Bay rainbow smelt populations, for conducting marine recreational fisheries and for Creel surveys. This grant also funds the organizations of a striped bass volunteer angler program, the Marine Division administrative support, the management support of the interjuresdictional fisheries management support, the collecting data related to coastal netters and sportfish, the studying American eel young-of-year populations and the environmental reviews associated with marine environment development projects.
The Connecticut River Basin Migratory Fish Studies Coordination and Technical Assistance Program is funded by a $3,750 grant and continues from October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010. This grant provides funding for “technical assistance and coordination for research and the restoration and management of the anadromous fisheries of the Connecticut River.”
The Sport Fish Restoration Program, which funds many grants, provides a cycle that begins and ends with the user of the facility where the grant has been awarded. The funds that are spent getting to the water and while on the water often help fund the grant that is awarded to make improvements as deemed necessary. Improvements such as the ones for which these grants have been awarded in the State of New Hampshire create a safer and more accessible way for boaters and anglers to enjoy the vast bodies of water throughout New Hampshire. The fund established by the Dingell-Johnson/Wallop Breaux Act enables boaters and anglers to invest in the recreational pastime that they choose each and every time they venture out on the water. Grants awarded by The Sport Fish Restoration Program are calculated using a formula that includes land area, the number of paid license holders as well as minimums and maximum. These grants are disbursed on a reimbursement basis of up to 75% of the cost of the project and up to 100% of the cost of projects for United States territories.