Six FY2023 Grants Approved for Friends of Reservoirs!

Friends of Reservoirs is happy to announce the approval of six grant applications from last year by the National Fish Habitat Partnership!

As a top tier Partnership, Friends of Reservoirs will receive a total of $352,056 for fish habitat work across the country. This allocation is thanks to our FOR groups and chapters and their attentiveness to nationwide habitat priorities, far-reaching partnerships and community engagement, and inclusion of best practices and science in projects. We could not do this without such great members, so thank you!

Congratulations to the applicants of the funded projects:

  • Pymatuning Shoreline Stabilization and Fish Habitat, Pennsylvania ($75,000)
  • Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Development and Restoration Project, Illinois ($30,000)
  • Rend Lake Fish Habitat Development and Shoreline Protection/Restoration Project, Illinois ($40,000)
  • Three Mile Lake Restoration Project, Iowa ($40,000)
  • Farms and Fish: Utilizing Water-Saving Technology at Island Park Reservoir and the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, Idaho ($50,000)
  • McFarland Lake, Iowa (Partial funding, $75,000 requested)

Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership also received its usual coordination and operational support grant ($85,000), which is used for administration and Coordinator and Outreach Coordinator salaries. The Partnership has administered 55 projects in 19 states since its inception in 2009.

We appreciate all of the applications received last year and this year. Your volunteer time, labor, and dedication is so incredibly valuable, as shown by the high level of support received by Friends of Reservoirs in FY2023. Thank you!

FY2023 Approved Projects

Project Chapter/Group Description
Pymatuning Shoreline Stabilization and Fish Habitat Pymatuning Lake Association The project will stabilize highly erodible shoreline and restore structural habitat in a high public use state park. The riparian buffer will filter and slow storm water runoff and provide shade at the edge of the lake. The shoreline project will stabilize 900 linear feet of lake shore. The deflectors and rock rubble humps will provide 13,500 square feet of stabilization and rock fish habitat. The riparian buffer will improve 45,000 square feet of shoreline. The 150 proposed short vertical plank structures will provide 2,400 square feet of new wood fish habitat.
Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Development and Restoration Project Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance The project will continue to build on structure enhancement (sampling has demonstrated high fish use) and evaluate innovative methods to try to establish native aquatic vegetation under difficult environmental conditions.
Rend Lake Fish Habitat Development and Shoreline Protection / Restoration Project USACE USACE will use Stone Toe Protection methods to reduce wave action on 26,000 ft2 of eroded shoreline. Bald cypress trees will be planted behind the STP to further stabilize the bank. An additional 70,000 ft2 of shoreline will be planted with native aquatic and wetland plant species. The bank stabilization will reduce localized sedimentation and turbidity. USACE is using herbicide to reduce abundance of common reed. Native vegetative plantings between the rock revetment and the bank will provide competition for the common reed and improve nursery cover for several species of sport and forage fishes.
Three-Mile Lake Restoration Project IA DNR Water quality issues are derived from non-point pollution sources from the watershed especially sediment erosion, excess nutrients and pesticides, and bacteria from livestock operations. A comprehensive watershed management plan has been developed and a complete restoration of the lake has begun. Sediment catch basins will be constructed in the watershed, over 1300 feet of eroding shorelines stabilized and existing fishing jetties will be enhanced. NFHP funding will be used to provide structural habitat to the lake basin. The Creston area lakes draw in 175,872 visits annually and support over 200 local jobs and result in $16.7 million in direct spending. Anglers spent 35,591 hours fishing the Creston area lakes in 2016 with an average trip cost of $142/trip. Fishing was the top reason for visiting the Creston area lakes.
Farms and Fish: Utilizing Water-Saving Technology at Island Park Reservoir and the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, Idaho Henry's Fork Foundation System and RFHP funding will continue our research and drought mitigation efforts that have already proven effective for conserving and restoring important sportfish in Island Park Reservoir. Each Farms and Fish project results in an exponential increase in sportfish populations; 1,000 acre-feet saved in Island Park Reservoir due to this Farms and Fish project or Precision Management results in an approximate 5% cumulative “return” for fish populations. Outcomes of this project will result both in scientific advances as well as effective conservation and improvement of sportfish populations.
McFarland Lake Restoration Story County Conservation This project's number one objective is to improve water quality of McFarland Lake. Once the lake restoration is complete, a sustainable fishery will be managed through SCC and the IDNR.

Here is the full press release from US Fish and Wildlife Service:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Partners Announce More than $39.2 Million for Fish Habitat Conservation in 2023

Fiscal Year 2023 projects announced

For Immediate Release: March 20, 2023
Contact: Ryan Roberts,

(Washington, DC) - Through the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) (, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and partners are providing more than $39.2 million to support 95 fish habitat conservation projects in 24 states. The USFWS is providing $5.8 million this year, with non-governmental organizations, state resource agencies, and other partners contributing an additional $33.3 million. This represents a 5.7:1 leveraged funding match for NFHP funding.

These projects empower and boost locally led conservation efforts that restore and reconnect habitats to create more robust fish populations, better fishing, and healthier waterways. Twenty individual Fish Habitat Partnerships across the nation make up our national efforts and work with a variety of partners, including private landowners, farmers and ranchers, Tribes, non-profit organizations, state, federal and local government agencies, and many others to achieve fish habitat conservation goals that protect, restore and enhance habitat conditions locally for fish.

In 2023, project types include removing barriers to fish passage, reducing erosion from farm and ranchlands, restoring stream banks, combatting the impacts of drought, and conducting monitoring and assessments to identify conservation needs for fish and their habitats. Anticipated benefits include more robust fish populations, better fishing, and healthier waterways. This year’s projects meet local priorities that span from restoring urban streams to reconnecting tidal wetlands and are in areas ranging from Hawaii to Vermont. Projects target and address limiting factors to improve habitat, water quality, and benefit our nation’s fisheries resources. This funding will also support the coordination of the individual Fish Habitat Partnerships and the operations of the National Fish Habitat Board to help establish national priorities and under NFHP.

“Conservation is a team sport, and no program embodies that quite as well as National Fish Habitat Partnership and our network of partnerships across the country,” said Robert Boyles, Director of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Chairman of the National Fish Habitat Board. “Our nation’s rivers and waterbodies connect us, and NFHP projects take actions to directly improve aquatic resources and fish populations for all. The implementation of these projects announced today is critical in meeting our objectives to protect, restore and enhance fish habitat.”

A full list of funded projects can be found HERE.

NFHP uses a nationally focused aquatic conservation strategy to maximize the reach of limited fish habitat conservation dollars. Under NFHP, federal, state, tribal, and privately raised funds are leveraged through regional Fish Habitat Partnerships to address the nation’s biggest fish habitat challenges. The USFWS is a key partner in implementing the partnership, providing leadership and technical expertise on the local, regional, and national levels, as well as financial assistance directly to partners for on-the-ground conservation projects. Since 2006, the USFWS has provided over $56.5 million to conservation projects which leveraged at a 4:1 ratio to provide over $292.7 million in funding support for fish habitat conservation projects that improve angling and recreational opportunities across the nation. NFHP assembles the collective expertise of federal, state, and non-governmental organizations to identify and prioritize conservation work to achieve significant benefits for fish and other aquatic resources for the American people.

About the National Fish Habitat Partnership:

Since 2006, NFHP has supported 1,378 projects benefiting fish habitat in all 50 states. This effort works to conserve fish habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state, tribal, and private funding resources to achieve the greatest effect on fish populations through priority conservation projects of 20 regionally-based Fish Habitat Partnerships. In 2020, NFHP was recognized by Congress as part of the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act. NFHP guidance and policies are developed in conjunction with our partnerships and National Fish Habitat Board.   For more information, visit: