COVID-19 Updates

Across North Carolina, residents are adapting to social distancing practices and mass gathering restrictions due to COVID-19. Please see updated list of COVID-19 Orders and Directives by Gov. Roy Cooper. 

Although the NC Wildlife Resources Commission promotes outdoor recreational pursuits they should be done in a manner consistent with CDC social distancing guidelines and in compliance with any applicable Emergency Orders at the municipality, city, county, state and federal level.

There have been no changes to North Carolina hunting or fishing license requirements, seasons, or bag/creel limits.

COVID-19-Related Closings, Cancellations and Postponements

Boating Access Area Closings

Boating Access Area County Body of Water Date Ranges Closed Reason for Closure
BAA restroom facilities Critical and Substantial Impact Counties Statewide Until Further Notice Restroom closures follow the metrics of the COVID-19 County Alert System.
Bells Bridge Edgecombe Tar River Until Further Notice Ramp is not accessible when the river level is low. Refer to USGS Current Water Data for Tar River Gauge at Tarboro NC, and once river level goes below 4’, ramp is not accessible with most trailered boats.
Blewett Falls Lake Anson and Richmond Blewett Falls Lake 6/2021-2023 Due to low water level from Duke Energy project unmarked hazards such as stumps and rocks may be encountered; use caution.
Cannons Ferry Chowan Chowan River 8/9/2021-8/13/2021 Maintenance
Cedar Cliff Jackson Cedar Cliff Lake 9/3/2019 - 9/2021 Drawdown and dam maintenance by Duke Energy. For more information, see Water Access Alerts on https://www.duke-energy.com/community/lakes
Dunbar Bridge Edgecombe Tar River Until Further Notice Site not accessible when river is low.
East Lake Ferry Dare Alligator River Until Further Notice Maintenance
Grassy Island Richmond Blewett Falls Reservoir 9/23/2020 - 9/2022 Drawdown and dam maintenance by Duke Energy. For more information, see Water Access Alerts on https://www.duke-energy.com/community/lakes
Great Lake Craven Great Lake Until Further Notice Hurricane damage
Lake Adger Polk Lake Adger Until Further Notice Caution: the area remains open but due to lake's drawdown the access will be limited and navigational issues may occur.
Old Sparta Edgecombe Tar River Until Further Notice Site not accessible when river is low.
Pee Dee Anson Blewett Falls Reservoir 9/23/2020 - Until Further Notice Caution: the area remains open but due to lake's drawdown and dam maintenance by Duke Energy caution needs to be used. For more information, see Water Access Alerts on https://www.duke-energy.com/community/lakes
Rhodes Pond BAA & PFA Cumberland Rhodes Pond Until Further Notice Dam renovation
Straits Landing Carteret North River 3/5/2020 - Until Further Notice Intermittent closures and limited parking due to DOT bridge construction work.

Event Postponements or Cancellations

Cancelled Until Further Notice:

Hunter Education:

In-person, virtual, and online only options available

 

Boater Education:

In-person and online only options available

 

Trapper Education Courses

In-person available


Bow Hunter Education Courses

In-person available


Internet Field Days

The field day requirement for online HE courses is waived until further notice.

Facility Closings

 

Fish Hatchery Closings

Until Further Notice

  • Watha State Fish Hatchery in Watha
  • McKinney Lake State Fish Hatchery in Hoffman
  • Table Rock State Fish Hatchery in Burke County
  • Armstrong State Fish Hatchery in McDowell County
  • Bobby N. Setzer State Fish Hatchery in Transylvania County
  • Marion State Fish Hatchery in McDowell County

 

Game Land Closings

Updated May 24, 2021

Due to COVID-19:

  • National Forest Game Lands - USDA Forest Service has temporarily shut down some recreational facilities. Please visit this page for a list of current closures.

 

Due to weather-related and other incidents, access on the following game lands or game land areas is restricted. Access roads and trails will remain closed until they have each been evaluated and deemed to be safe and suitable for public use.

  • Angola Bay Game Land - Wildcat Road is closed until further notice due to damage.
  • Big Bradley Falls Trail at Green River Game Land - the waterfall and overlook portion of the Trail was designated as a Temporary Restricted Zone by the Commission on May 27, 2020 until further notice. Entry into the Zone is prohibited without first obtaining written approval from the Commission. Written approval can be obtained by filling out and signing a Memorandum of Agreement (click link for Outfitter or Individual Agreement) and emailing it to gamelands@ncwildlife.org. The signed Agreement will be returned to you via email within 5 business days. For questions about the Agreement, please call 919-707-0150 or email gamelands@ncwildlife.org. Anyone who accesses the area without prior written approval could be charged with a Class 3 Misdemeanor, which carries a fine of $25 and additional court costs.
  • Holly Shelter Game Land - Juniper Road is closed to vehicle traffic.
  • Hyco Game Land - a 28-acre area adjacent to the dam on After Bay Reservoir is temporarily closed due to maintenance and construction by Duke Energy. The area's perimeter is posted with "No Trespass" signs.
  • Lower Roanoke River Wetlands Game Land - access road to Conoho Farms Unit A is closed due to high water from the river.
  • Pisgah Game Land-USFS Rd 192 /Old House Gap Rd will be closed for repair until further notice.

Public Fishing Access Area Closings

Updated March 11, 2021

Due to maintenance, repairs and other incidents:

  • Horse Park - Little Tennessee River, Swain County - closed for renovation
  • Marshall Steam Plant - Lake Norman, Catawba County - closed for repairs

Public Mountain Trout Waters

 

Related Agency Closings and Information

COVID-19-Related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Customer Service-Related FAQ

Fishing-Related FAQ

Hunting-Related FAQ

Game Land-Related FAQ

Boating-Related FAQ

Wildlife Rehabilitator FAQ

The Wildlife Commission compiled information to address frequently asked questions (FAQs) staff are receiving from wildlife rehabilitators and members of the public regarding wildlife rehabilitation during the pandemic. Download FAQs about COVID-19 & Wildlife Rehabilitators (PDF) For bats, please refer to Bat Activities During COVID-19 (PDF).

Recommendations on Activities Involving Bats

Temporary suspension of activities requiring direct contact with batsBat Activities During COVID-19 (PDF)