North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

What’s New in Fish & Game Regulations?

Author: NCWRC blogger/Thursday, August 17, 2017/Categories: Regulations

What’s New in Fish & Game Regulations?

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has published the 2017-2018 Regulations Digest, with new rules (effective Aug. 1, 2017) indicated in RED.

Here are some of the changes you can expect to find:

  1. More fishing and hunting opportunities: For consistency with the feds, the Commission has redefined “youth” so that 16 and 17-year-olds can now take advantage of youth hunting opportunities. The agency has also added about 40 miles of streams to the Public Mountain Trout Water program, and expanded deer and bear hunting opportunities throughout the state.
  2. Clearer, more consistent boundaries and definitions: The boundaries of several trout streams have been adjusted for consistency with neighboring waters and private property. There’s also a new rule clarifying lure requirements in Delayed Harvest Trout Waters and license requirements for nongame fishing for bait or personal consumption. Rule changes on Lake Calderwood (Graham County) and two game lands in Robeson County were designed for consistency across state lines and within county lines, respectively. For crow hunters, a clarification was added that crows cannot be hunted on Christmas and New Year’s Day when those holidays occur on a Sunday.
  3. Rules to conserve species or habitats: Statewide, minimum size and creel limits were established for white bass, and a minimum size limit for snapping turtles was set. In Lake Mattamuskeet and associated canals, minimum size and possession limits for black bass were changed, as was the minimum size for crappie. These rules are intended to improve conservation of these species. To protect the habitat (and improve safety) on Uwharrie Game Land, target shooting is now prohibited except on the Flintlock Valley Shooting Range.
  4. Rules to improve efficiency: To reduce costs to the agency and burden on our constituents, the Commission has eliminated the paper version of the Big Game Harvest Record sheet. Big game harvests must be reported over the phone or online. The Commission is also allowing trappers to use unused tags purchased in one season during the next season.
  5. Rules to address conflicts between user groups (e.g., campers, mountain bikers, recreational boaters, hunters): Some new rules include a camping limit on Commission-managed game lands, a bicycling restriction on Butner-Falls of Neuse Game Land and a vessel restriction on Suggs Mill Pond Game Lands, Suggs Mill Pond Lake and Little Singletary Lake.
  6. Designation of new game lands: New game lands were established in Stokes County (Hill Farm Game Land), Wilkes County (Rendezvous Mountain State Forest Game Land), Beaufort County (Voice of America Game Land) and Haywood County (William H. Silver Game Land).
  7. Rules to improve enforcement: Last but not least, some rules were needed to implement the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, an agreement between 48 states (similar to the interstate driver’s license compact) that allows N.C. to reciprocate enforcement of fishing, hunting and trapping license suspensions.

For all the rules in their entirety, please see the Administrative Code Online at: If you are interested in receiving email updates on rule making, please send an email to with your email address.


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