U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program

Sport Fish Restoration Act

The Sport Fish Restoration Act, commonly referred to as the Dingell-Johnson (DJ) Act, was sponsored by Senator Edwin Johnson of Colorado and Representative John Dingell, Sr. of Michigan and passed on August 9, 1950. The SFR Act was modeled after the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act to provide grant funds to states, the District of Columbia and insular areas.

Revenues from manufacturers’ excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts and pleasure craft and a portion of the gasoline fuel tax attributable to small engines and motorboats are deposited or transferred into the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (SFRBT) along with interest credited to the Fund.

Congressional amendments to the SFR Act occurred in 1984, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2004 and 2005. These amendments made changes to taxable items and tax rates as well as authorizations and distribution of the funds.

The SFR Act authorizes annual distributions from the SFRBTR Fund for the following:

• Administration of the Sport Fish Restoration Program
Multistate Conservation Grant Program
Atlantic, Gulf, Pacific, and Great Lakes States Fisheries Commissions
Sport Fish and Boating Partnership Council

The remaining funds are allocated to the following programs according to the Act:

Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA) - 18.5%
Boating Safety - 18.5% (Administered by U.S. Coast Guard)
Clean Vessel Act - 2%
Boating Infrastructure - 2%
Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation - 2%
Sport Fish Restoration - 57% apportioned to states/DC/insular areas (includes funding for Aquatic Resource Education and Boating Access)