Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is looking to expand public access to fishing and paddling on Texas rivers through leased access agreements with streamside landowners. Private streamside properties are essential to achieving this goal, and TPWD is requesting applications from landowners for the River Access and Conservation Areas program.
“Texas has over 40,000 miles of free-flowing rivers and creeks, and with 95% of the land held in private ownership, it can be a real challenge finding safe legal access to these waters.” said John Botros, TPWD River Access Coordinator. “We are really excited about this opportunity to create more private-public partnerships while expanding public access to the exceptional fishing and paddling resources that Texas rivers and creeks provide.”
The objective for TPWD is to establish lease agreements with landowners, resulting in increased river access for both anglers and paddlers. Since 2012, 24 public river access leases have been established with cooperating landowners. These agreements for access area use enabled or enhanced paddling and river fishing on more than 211 miles of 10 different rivers across Texas. Find out more information and review descriptions of all the outstanding river access areas supported through the leased access program by visiting the TPWD River Fishing page.
River Access and Conservation Areas are funded by a combination of sources including donations from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, sales of the Texas Rivers Conservation License Plate, and grant awards through the U.S. Farm Bill and Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.
For more information or to submit an application, please see the River Access Request for Applications on the TPWD Grants Page. Landowners interested in partnering with TPWD in this effort can gain additional valuable insight into the program by checking out this fact sheet that answers some of the more frequently asked questions.
Landowners are encouraged to apply at any time, however, to receive preference for 2021 funding cycle, applications should be received by September 30, 2020.