Fishing is Fun Grant Program

Colorado Parks & Wildlife

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Grant amount: Up to US $400,000

Deadline: Feb 28, 2020

Applicant type: Individuals Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Colorado

Location of residency: Colorado

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Over nearly 25 years, the Fishing Is Fun program has supported nearly 300 angling improvement projects across the state, from the smallest towns on the Eastern Plains and the West Slope to the major metropolitan areas along the Front Range. In just the last few years, grants have been awarded for projects in or near Steamboat Springs, Lake City, Hudson, Idaho Springs, Pueblo and nearly two dozen other locations. Project sponsors have included open-space programs, water trusts, angling organizations, local and county governments and park and recreation departments.

Project​s approved for funding will result in greater public access, restoration and construction of fishing piers, access trails, a boat dock, and a fish bypass structure to allow access to spawning habitat. The Fishing Is Fun program provides matching ​grants annually to local and county governments, park and recreation departments, water districts, angling organizations and others for projects to improve angling opportunities in Colorado.

Project Types

Among the types of projects supported through Fishing Is Fun are stream and river habitat improvements, access improvements, perpetual easements for public access, pond and lake habitat improvements, fish retention structures, development of new fishing ponds, and amenity improvements such as shade shelters, benches and restrooms.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their local District Wildlife Manager or Aquatic Biologist for their input into the proposal prior to submittal. 

The four categories of projects are:

New Angler Access 

This category covers projects developing access to streams and lakes that have been previously closed to the public or to lands that are owned by public agencies but have been largely inaccessible by the public for lack of development or other site challenges. Access can be accomplished by easements, leases, or in some cases, fee title acquisition. It can also include site and facility development associated with that access such as trails or access steps to fishing waters.

Habitat Development

This category includes in-stream structures, bank stabilization, erosion control, revegetation, and submerged fish habitat improvements.

Fishing Site Improvements 

This category includes development activities at existing public fishing sites such as restrooms, angler trails, fishing piers, shade shelters, parking lots, and other

angler amenities.

Boat Access 

This category covers all types of amenities associated with motor boat access. Projects can be on rivers or lakes and include improvements such as boat ramps, docks, restrooms, parking lots, fencing and access road improvements.

Fishing Is Fun projects often include one or more of the following elements:

  • Construction or renovation of public fishing ponds
  • Construction or renovation of boat ramps, docks, or fishing piers
  • Restrooms
  • Stream habitat improvement structures
  • Fish reefs or cover structures in lake
  • Fencing of stream riparian habitat
  • Facility improvements such as access trails, parking, shade shelters, bank stabilization
  • Angler access structures
  • Public access for stream or lake fishing by fee title, easement or lease 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Entities eligible to apply for Fishing is Fun grants include local governments, park and recreation departments, water districts, individuals, angling organizations, land and water trusts, conservation groups and other non-profit organizations.
  • Project sponsors must provide non-federal matching funds or in-kind contributions equal to at least 25 percent of the total project cost. 


  • Additional match will help make a proposal more competitive in the review and ranking process; historically project partners have provided roughly 40 percent of project costs.


  • Applicants may not participate in more than two projects annually