COVID-19 Updates

    Across North Carolina, residents are adapting to social distancing practices and mass gathering restrictions. On May 22, Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 141 (EO141), which eased prior restrictions on travel, business operations and mass gatherings. Agency constituents are urged to continue complying with required social distancing and mass gathering guidelines when enjoying wildlife-associated activities. 

  • 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
All restroom facilities Statewide Statewide Until Further Notice All restroom facilities are temporarily closed in response to COVID-19. Most BAAs remain open except those listed below.
Bringle Ferry Davidson Tuckertown Lake Until Further Notice
Flooding damage.
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
Cox Ferry, Goldsboro, Prices Landing, Seven Springs, Stevens Mill Wayne Neuse River Until Further Notice Flooding
Cow Pen Landing, Maple Cypress Craven Neuse River Until Further Notice Flooding
Ennis Bridge, Hunts Bluff, Ivanhoe, Sloans Bridge, Tar Heel Bladen Cape Fear River Until Further Notice Flooding
Fayetteville Cumberland Cape Fear River Until Further Notice Flooding
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
Grifton Pit Contentnea Creek Until Further Notice Flooding
High Hill, McNeils Bridge Robeson Lumber River Until Further Notice Flooding
Hinson Lake PFA Richmond Hinson Lake 9/14/2020 - Until Further Notice Pier construction.
Hookerton PFA Greene Contentnea Creek Until Further Notice Flooding 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.
Lennons Bridge Robeson Big Swamp Until Further Notice Flooding
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
Richardsons Bridge Johnston Neuse River Until Further Notice Flooding
Snow Hill Greene Contentnea Creek 11/9/2020 - Until Further Notice 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 Classes
Boater Safety Education Classes
Trapper Education Courses
Bow Hunter Education Courses
Internet Field Days

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 January 4, 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.
  • Chowan Swamp Game Land - Mapleton Tract: Sheep Ridge Road is closed due to storm damage.
  • 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 - Conoho Farms Unit A and Minges (Whitley) Impoundment access roads are closed due to high water from the river.
  • Suggs Mill Pond Game Land - Jessup’s Millpond Tract is closed until further notice for construction.

Public Fishing Access Area Closings

Updated December 23, 2020

Due to maintenance, repairs and other incidents:

  • Blewett Falls - Pee Dee River, Anson County - closed for repairs
  • Horse Park - Little Tennessee River, Swain County - closed for renovation
  • Hinson Lake - Hinson Lake, Richmond County - closed for construction
  • Marshall Steam Plant - Lake Norman, Catawba County - closed for repairs

Public Mountain Trout Waters

Due to COVID-19, spring stockings of other Public Mountain Trout Waters may have to be altered as conditions change. Visit the Trout Page to view a list of recently stocked Hatchery Supported and Delayed Harvest trout waters.

 

Earlier in 2020 public access to some Public Mountain Trout Waters were closed by the local cooperator. NCWRC staff did not stock areas listed below that were closed or closing to public access as of March 26, 2020. (List updated May 20, 2020 at 2 p.m.)

      • Linville River - stocked trout waters on Blue Ridge Parkway property at MP 316.4 near Linville Falls, Avery County
      • Wildcat Lake - Hatchery Supported Trout Waters, Avery County

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A significant number of trout fishing opportunities in western North Carolina are located on private property. These landowners have generously allowed public access for fishing, so please respect the landowner and their property. 

Related Agency Closings and Information

Shooting Range Closings

 

  • Holly Shelter Shooting Range (CLOSED-OPENING DATE TBD)

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)