In 1992, the Fisheries Enhancement Initiative (FEI) was established to improve fish populations and fish habitat in Manitoba with dedicated revenues from a license fee increase of $2.50 per angling license. Fish Enhancement Initiatives included projects based on conservation, enhancement, communication and education. From 1993 to 2007, $350,000 was available annually to support fish enhancement initiatives.
In 2008, the angling fee was increased by an additional $3.00 and the Fisheries Enhancement Fund (FEF) was established. Funding levels increased to $850,000 annually to support a broader range of projects and a Project Review Committee consisting of members from angling groups was implemented.
Establishment of the Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund
On March 1, 2014, the Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund (FWEF) was established under The Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund Act (CCSM c. F87) and Regulation (57/2014) to support fish and wildlife initiatives, including projects, programs and studies designed to protect and increase fish and wildlife habitats and populations of Manitoba. The Fund is supported with dedicated revenues, as follows:
- Ten dollars ($10) from every angling licence sold is directed into the Fish Enhancement Fund;
- Five dollars ($5) from every hunting and trapping licence sold is directed into the Wildlife Enhancement Fund; and
- Monies collected from restitution is directed to the Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund for managing fisheries and wildlife resources.
Mandate of the FWEF
Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development administers the Fund. The FWEF is overseen by two Subcommittees: the Fish Enhancement Subcommittee and the Wildlife Enhancement Subcommittee. These subcommittees are responsible for reviewing all applications and for making recommendations on all fisheries and wildlife initiatives that seek funding for fish and wildlife enhancement initiatives.
A Fish Enhancement Initiative means:
- projects or programs that conserve or increase fish populations;
- projects or programs that protect, manage or restore fish habitats;
- studies of fish populations or habitats;
- angler education programs; and
- the acquisition, by purchase, lease or other means, of property or an interest in property in order to protect a critical fish habitat.
A Wildlife Enhancement Initiative means:
- projects or programs that conserve or increase wildlife populations;
- projects or programs that protect, manage or restore wildlife habitats, including the construction or maintenance of infrastructure in wildlife management areas;
- studies of wildlife populations or habitats;
- hunter and trapper education programs; and
- the acquisition, by purchase, lease or other means, of property or an interest in property in order to protect a critical wildlife habitat.