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.
In 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.
In 2020, the Government of Manitoba created a permanent endowment fund with an investment of $20 million with The Winnipeg Foundation, and as of April 1, 2021 the administration of Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund (FWEF) trust was transferred to the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC). The MHHC was established in 1986 as a provincial Crown Corporation to conserve fish and wildlife habitat in Manitoba, and is now a non-share capital corporation and a not-for-profit charitable organization.
FISH AND WILDLIFE ENHANCEMENT FUND
The Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund (FWEF), which recognizes the important contributions of licensed anglers, hunters and trappers to supporting conservation of fish and wildlife, provides funding to organizations for fish and wildlife enhancement projects. Organizations with interests in fish and wildlife may apply for activities that enhance sustainable use and management of legally harvestable fish and wildlife populations within Manitoba, including:
- conserving and enhancing Manitoba’s fish and wildlife populations;
- studying of fish and wildlife populations;
- promoting sustainable and ethical hunting and angling practices through education;
- protecting or improving critical fish and wildlife production habitat; and
- securing property to provide public access to angling and hunting opportunities or to protect critical fish and wildlife production habitat.
The Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Committee, established under the Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Act, reviews funding requests; recommendations for funding are made by the Committee to the Government of Manitoba, which has final authority over granting decisions.