How Fishing Trips Help Conserve Aquatic Natural Resources

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Did you know that when you buy or renew your fishing license, those funds go toward conserving our aquatic natural resources? It’s true. You are taking part in conservation through participation when you purchase a fishing license, pay for your boat registration, buy fishing gear, or fill up your boat with fuel.

You might be asking yourself how natural resource conservation through participation works. It’s pretty simple, actually. Funds from fishing license sales, in addition to funds from taxes on tackle and boat fuel, are applied to conservation projects such as habitat management, wildlife conservation education, boating and fishing access, fish surveys and research, and fish stocking programs.

Learn more about these conservation efforts so you understand how they benefit our aquatic environments.

Habitat Management

Funds are routed into restoring, enhancing and managing publicly owned freshwater and saltwater habitats. This benefits fish and wildlife which depend on these resources as well as anglers and boaters who use those waters for recreation.


Fishing license funds are used for education programs that introduce new anglers to the sport and teach them the conservation basics. With growing numbers of people on the water these days, there is a greater need for education on topics like fish species identification, fishing regulations, and proper catch-and-release techniques.

Boating and Fishing Access

Funds collected from taxes on fishing tackle, fuel, and import duties on tackle and yachts are applied to boating and fishing access projects. The money is routed to the appropriate state agencies for research, management and development activities that deal with sport fish and boating access.

Fish Surveys and Research

Surveys and research are important data-gathering activities that are particularly helpful with regard to conservation activities on the state level. Depending on the type of survey or research, questions can range from user profiles to help better understand fishing and boating demographics to which aquatic natural resources or species of fish anglers feel may need evaluation.

Fish Stocking

Stocking from fish hatcheries can help provide fishing opportunities for thousands of anglers. In many cases, populations of fish have decreased as a result of changes to aquatic environments. Stocking helps to maintain or enhance populations while biologists work with partners to find and address the factors leading to the population decline.

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