Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program

The Pacific Southwest Region, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR), administers grants to other entities, primarily State fish and wildlife agencies to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, their habitats, and the hunting, sport fishing and recreational boating opportunities they provide.

The WSFR Program is located in the Pacific Southwest Regional office in Sacramento, California, and administers ten primary grant programs which total approximately $91 million in grants annually within California, Nevada and Klamath Basin area. Grant programs administered by WSFR, and the requirements which accompany each, are highly diverse.

The WSFR staff works with the potential grant recipients to ensure that they understand the requirements of the individual Acts and that these are met in the process of proposing, selecting and funding projects. The WSFR also maintains fiscal tracking systems to ensure funds are disbursed appropriately and expenditures are tracked. Performance reports, as well as audit reports, are reviewed to match accomplishments and costs with approved work, or to reconcile audit discrepancies.

The WSFR is also responsible for ensuring compliance with a host of other Federal Acts, regulations, and requirements (regarding, for example, National Environmental Policy Act, endangered species, archeological and historical, non-discrimination, exotic organisms, floodplains and wetlands, etc.).

At the national level, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program works with states, insular areas and the District of Columbia to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, their habitats, and the hunting, sport fishing and recreational boating opportunities they provide.

The Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program provides oversight and/or administrative support for the following grant programs:

  • Wildlife Restoration Grant Program
  • Sport Fish Restoration Grant Program
  • Clean Vessel Act Grant Program
  • Boating Infrastructure Grant Program
  • National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program
  • State Wildlife Grant Program
  • Landowner Incentive Grant Program
  • Multistate Grant Program
  • Tribal Wildlife Grant Program
  • Tribal Landowner Incentive Grant Program
Habitat Range

Habitat structures constructed at Lake Mohave, Nevada, to provide important juvenile protective cover habitat. Source: USFWS

Nevada Department of Wildlife Lake Mohave Habitat Enhancement Project

Introduction and Need: Lake Mohave is a large impoundment along the Colorado River bordering Nevada and Arizona. It is entirely within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The upper 20-miles is in a river/canyon setting and receives deep-water releases from Lake Mead's Hoover Dam.

A coldwater fishery is developed here with stocked rainbow trout coming from Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery and Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW).

A warmwater fishery exists in the main reservoir and consists of stocked rainbow trout, large- and smallmouth bass, striped bass, bluegill, green sunfish, channel catfish, and yellow bullhead.

Threadfin shad and carp are present as well as native razorback sucker (federally endangered) and flannelmouth sucker (state species of concern).

The Lake Mohave sport fishery is of regional importance, averaging over 111,000 angler use days for angers purchasing a Nevada Fishing license. There is a need to enhance protective habitat for juvenile fished during times when the water level is low and exposing terrestrial vegetation.

Project Description: Since 2006, NDOW has worked with the National Park Service, and Arizona Game and Fish to enhance habitat for greater sport fish production. Funds come mainly from the Sport Fish Restoration Program, National Park Service, Nevada Conservation Fee, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Bass Pro Shops donated the Habitat Badge and there are multiple volunteers from local fishing organizations helping throughout the project. Habitat structures were constructed on-site using a variety of natural and artificial materials.

Surveys have shown that all sport fish species, adults and juveniles, in Lake Mohave concentrated around all types of constructed habitat structures. Only when natural aquatic vegetation was present nearby did some species (mostly panfishes and juvenile black bass) abandon constructed structures.

Based on surveys, project sites having constructed habitat versus control areas (normal reservoir habitat showing no vegetation and low complexity), littoral species such as adult and juvenile black bass, panfish-sized sunfishes, channel catfish, and carp generally were 2 to 5 times more abundant on constructed habitat.

This project will continue increasing the density of habitat structures in the selected coves and monitoring fish use.