The Sport Fish Restoration Act, commonly referred to as the Dingell-Johnson act, passed on August 9, 1950, was modeled after the Pittman-Robertson Act to create a parallel program for management of fishery resources, conservation, and restoration.
The Sport Fish Restoration program is funded by revenues collected from the manufactures of fishing rods, reels, creels, lures, flies and artificial baits, who pay an excise tax on these items to the U.S. Treasury.
An amendment in 1984 (Wallop-Breaux Amendment) added new provisions to the Act by extending the excise tax to previously untaxed items of sporting equipment.
Each State’s share is based 60 percent on its licensed anglers (fisherman) and 40 percent on its land and water area. No State may receive more than 5 percent or less that 1 percent of each year’s total apportionment. Puerto Rico receives 1 percent, and the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, and the District of Columbia each receive one-third of 1 percent.
The program is a cost-reimbursement program, where the state covers the full amount of an approved project then applies for reimbursement through Federal Aid for up to 75 percent of the project expenses. The state must provide at least 25 percent of the project costs from a non-federal source.