Legal use of boating access areas include the launching and recovery of a boat and parking of your vehicle while boating. All other activities, unless a Special Use permit has been obtained, are considered illegal use and will be enforced by a NCWRC enforcement officer.
The Wildlife Resources Commission is eager to enhance access to state waters and readily evaluates proposals for new boating access facilities. If you are aware of an area that you believe to be suitable for boating access, please contact the Division of Engineering Services or a local official to suggest the site.
North Carolina waters are usually fine for swimming, boating and fishing. The state has more than 37,000 miles of rivers and streams and more than 3,100 square miles of bays and harbors to use and enjoy.
North Carolina is constantly monitoring its waterways. Occasionally, a waterway may be temporarily affected by an algal bloom or other conditions that kill or sicken fish. If that happens and there appears to be a health hazard from Pfiesteria, the affected waterway will be closed until conditions improve. (Check out the state's protocol for closing and reopening rivers). The public will be notified of closings and re-openings through the media, recorded notices on the telephone hotline (1-888-823-6915), and news releases. A list of fish kills, updated weekly, is also posted on the Internet. Most are not related to Pfiesteria.
Before going out, you can call the state hotline at 1-888-823-6915 to find out if a health warning has been issued for any coastal waters. Also, when you get to your destination, look around before going on or into the water. If you see significant numbers of fish that are dead, dying or show signs of disease such as sores, avoid that location and report the conditions to the hotline.
(See a list of water bodies that the NCWRC places buoys on. See other waterbodies and management contacts.)
If you feel that you have found a location that is hazardous to boaters or should be a no wake zone to slow current boaters down, please e-mail us.
(See a list of water bodies that the NCWRC places buoys on. See other waterbodies and management contacts. See a list of NCWRC boating access areas.)
Please confirm that the buoy of concern is located on a waterbody that the Wildlife Resources Commission actively maintains buoys. For access area concerns, please confirm that the access area is operated by the Wildlife Resources Commission. To confirm, you can click on one of the links above. You can contact the NC Wildlife Resources by e-mail ….or call 919 707-0150.
Any person born on or after January 1, 1988 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course before operating any vessel propelled by a motor of 10 HP or greater.
For more information and exemptions use the link below to see an actual copy of the law.
G.S. 75A-16.2 (pdf)
All groups who plan to use a Wildlife Resources Commission Boating Access facility for a fishing tournament or special use must obtain a Weigh-in/Special Use Permit from the Division of Engineering Services. The permit will be mailed to you and must be on-site during the event. Currently, there is not a fee associated with the permits. To check for boating access area availability for the Weigh-in/Special Use date that you prefer, please call 919 707-0150. Please be prepared to provide your organization name, contact person, address, phone number, boating access area name, and event date.
For more information, see weigh-in/special use permits here.