Eastern Brook Trout | Credit: USFWS
  • Bring Back the Natives

    The Bring Back the Natives program invests in conservation activities that restore, protect and enhance native populations of sensitive or listed fish species across the United States, especially in areas on or adjacent to federal agency lands. The program emphasizes coordination between private landowners and federal agencies, tribes, corporations, and states to improve the ecosystem functions and health of watersheds. The end result is conservation of aquatic ecosystems, increase of in-stream flows, and partnerships that benefit native fish species throughout the United States. This funding opportunity also provides grants to implement the goals of the National Fish Habitat Action Plan.

    Restoration activities that address key limiting factors for focal species are priorities for the Bring Back the Natives program. Leading factors in native fish species decline are habitat alteration, lack of adequate in-stream flows, and invasive and/or non-native species; projects that address these threats are of particular interest.

    Priority Landscapes and Species

    Projects benefitting one or more of the following native fish species and focal geographies are priorities for funding through the Bring Back the Natives program:

    • Western native trout and char including Lahontan, Yellowstone/Snake River and Rio Grande cutthroat trout, bull trout, Apache trout and Gila trout
    • West Coast salmon, steelhead and Pacific lamprey, especially Chinook salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia River Basin
    • Native desert fishes in the arid southwest including sucker, dace and other species, especially those with overlapping distributions with other native fish species of conservation priority
    • Great Lakes native fishes including lake sturgeon, northern pike and native brook trout
    • Southern and southeastern native fish, especially endemic, species of concern in the Cumberland, Tennessee and Greater Apalachicola River drainages
    • Native fish of eastern U.S. rivers, especially river herring and American shad in the Chesapeake and Delaware watersheds, and resilient populations of eastern brook trout throughout their range

    Support for this program is provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, Bass Pro Shops and the Brunswick Foundation.


 Application Information

  • (Updated: 5/30/2018)


 Program Information

  • (Updated: 12/20/2017)

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 Staff Representatives






 Due Dates



  • What types of organizations are eligible to apply to this program?
    Eligible applicants to the Bring Back the Natives/More Fish program include: local, state, federal, and tribal governments and agencies (e.g., counties, townships, cities, boroughs), special districts (e.g., conservation districts, planning districts, utility districts), non-profit 501(c) organizations, schools and universities.
  • Does this program have any matching requirements?
    Applicants must provide non-federal match of at least $1 for every $1 of grant funds requested. Eligible non-federal matching sources can include cash, in-kind donations, and/or volunteer labor.
  • What is the typical grant award amount for this program?
    Grant awards generally range in size from $25,000 to $100,000 although grants greater than $100,000 can be considered.
  • What are the regular grant cycles for this program?
    The Bring Back the Natives/More Fish grant program is offered annually with a Request for Proposals typically released in the spring. If you are on the Bring Back the Natives/More Fish Request for Proposals distribution list, you will receive an email when the Request for Proposals is available. If you are interested in being added to the distribution list, please email one of the staff representatives listed on this page.