MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR

Do Your Part - Comply With COVID-19 Restrictions - Addressing the ongoing and unfolding impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic requires unprecedented measures to mitigate the community spread of COVID-19. Each and every one of us must all work together to do our part to limit person-to-person contact in our workplaces and in our communities.

Last Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 121 (EO121) , which instituted a stay at home order and strategic directions for a statewide unified response to the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in our state. Under EO121, all North Carolinians are directed to stay at home, except as authorized in the Order. Outdoor activities are allowed under EO121; however, individuals MUST, with the full force and effect of law, comply with the following Social Distancing Requirements and Mass Gatherings requirements: 

Individuals using shared or outdoor spaces when outside their residence MUST, at all times and as much as reasonably possible, maintain social (physical) distancing of AT LEAST six (6) feet from any other person, with the exception of family or household members.  

Further, EO121 prohibits any events or convenings that bring together more than ten (10) persons into a single space at the same time.  

Please note that local Emergency Orders may require more stringent standards. Prior to engaging in outdoor activities, check local government Emergency Orders for specific requirements.   

Hunting, Fishing, Boating and many other wildlife-associated activities can be accomplished in compliance with those requirements; however, based on field observation from law enforcement and other agency professionals over the past week, many people are disregarding the requirements. Those actions raise the clear and present danger of increased community spread of COVID-19.  

This is a time for each of us to work together to be part of the solution and not the problem. We are asking each of you to do your part when using any of our access areas. In order to keep these doorways to North Carolina’s public trust resources open, we are relying on the compliance of every person.  

Failure to comply WILL LEAD to CLOSURES of boating and fishing access areas

Gordon Myers
Executive Director
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

COVID-19 Updates

  • 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-Updated May 22, 2020

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.
Cedar Cliff Jackson Cedar Cliff Lake 9/2019 - 9/2020 Drawdown and dam maintenance by Duke Energy. For more information, see Water Access Alerts on https://www.duke-energy.com/community/lakes
County Line Warren Kerr Lake 5/26/2020 - Until Further Notice High water level
Eno River Durham Eno River 5/21/2020 - Until Further Notice High water level
Flemingtown Landing Vance Kerr Lake 5/23/2020 - Until Further Notice High water level
Great Lake Craven Great Lake Until Further Notice Hurricane damage
Henderson Point Vance Kerr Lake 5/24/2020 - Until Further Notice High water level
Hibernia Vance Kerr Lake 5/26/2020 - Until Further Notice High water level
Pollocksville Jones Trent River 1/27/2020 - Until Further Notice Renovation
Rhodes Pond BAA & PFA Cumberland Rhodes Pond Until Further Notice Dam renovation
Rockingham Richmond Pee Dee River 5/26/2020 - Until Further Notice Damaged dock
Straits Landing Carteret North River 3/5/2020 - Until Further Notice Intermittent closures and limited parking due to DOT bridge construction work.
Tory Hole Bladen Cape Fear River 2/18/2020 - Until Further Notice Flooding damage
Watermill Glen Alpine Road Boat Access Burke Catawba River Until Further Notice Closed by Burke County.

Event Postponements or Cancellations

March 14-May 31, 2020
Hunter Education Classes - CANCELLED

March 14 - May 31, 2020
Internet Field Days - CANCELLED

March 15-May 31, 2020
Boater Safety Education Classes - CANCELLED

March 16-May 31, 2020
Trapper Education Courses - CANCELLED

March 16-May 31, 2020
Bow Hunter Education Courses - CANCELLED

May 2, 2020
Beyond BOW - Game and Outdoor Cookery in Fayetteville - CANCELLED

May 16 2020
Beyond BOW - Fish Preparation and Cookery in Fayetteville - CANCELLED

May 30, 2020
Beyond BOW - Kayak Fishing in Fayetteville - CANCELLED

June 10-11, 2020

Wildlife Damage Controlled Agent Course – CANCELLED

 

Facility Closings

March 17-May 31, 2020

  • Pechmann Fishing Education Center in Fayetteville (and all programs cancelled)
  • Outer Banks Education Center in Corolla (and all programs cancelled)
  • Pisgah Education Center for Wildlife Education in Pisgah Forest (and all programs cancelled)
     

March 18, 2020 - Until Further Notice

  • NCWRC Headquarters Customer Service and Sales Counter in Raleigh

Fish Hatchery Closings

March 20, 2020 - 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 27, 2020

Due to COVID-19:

  • All campground areas on game lands are closed.
  • Pisgah Game Land - USDA Forest Service has opened most roads and trails on Pisgah National Forest. Please visit this page for a complete list of 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.

  • 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 - Lodge Road at Ashes Creek and Juniper Road between Lodge Road and Bear Garden are closed due to damage.
  • Voice of America Game Land - closed to public access for military training operations May 29 - May 31, 2020.

Public Fishing Access Area Closings

Updated May 26, 2020

Due to COVID-19:

  • Falls Lake Dam - Wake Forest, Wake County
  • Frank Liske Park - Concord, Cabarrus County
  • Fred G. Bond Metro Park - Cary, Wake County
  • Fox Pond - Henderson, Vance County
  • Kings Mountain Point - Badin Lake, Montgomery County
  • Lake Brandt Park - Greensboro, Guilford County
  • Mountain Island - Mountain Island Lake, Gaston County
  • Murray Branch - Hot Springs, Madison County
  • River Park North - Greenville, Pitt County - closed by the City of Greenville
  • San-Lee Park - Sanford, Lee County
  • Shelley Lake - Raleigh, Wake County
  • Simpkins Pond - Raleigh, Wake County


Due to maintenance, repairs and other incidents:

  • Bells Church - Lake Jordan, Apex, Wake County - closed due to high water level
  • Horse Park - Little Tennessee River, Swain County - closed for renovation
  • Lansing Park - Ashe County - closed for repairs
  • Red Mill Road - Eno River, Durham - closed due to high water

Public Mountain Trout Waters

Due to COVID-19, public access to some Public Mountain Trout Waters has been closed by the local cooperator. NCWRC staff will not stock areas that are closed or will close to public access as of March 26, 2020. As we become aware of additional closings, we will list them below but this list may not be comprehensive due to fluid situation caused by COVID-19.

Closings as of March 26, 2020 (Updated May 20, 2020 at 2 p.m.)

      • Cliffside Lake - Hatchery Supported Trout Waters in U.S. Forest Service Cliffside Lake and Day Use Area, Macon County.
      • Lake Powhatan - Hatchery Supported Trout Waters in U.S. Forest Service Lake Powhatan Recreation Area, Buncombe County.
      • Linville River - stocked trout waters on Blue Ridge Parkway property at MP 316.4 near Linville Falls, Avery County.
      • South Toe River - Hatchery Supported Trout Waters in U.S. Forest Service Carolina Hemlocks Day Use Area, Yancey County.
      • Wildcat Lake - Hatchery Supported Trout Waters, Avery County
      • Wilson Creek – Hatchery Supported Waters in U.S. Forest Service Wilson Creek Day Use Area, Caldwell County.


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. 


Also due to COVID-19, stockings of other Public Mountain Trout Waters this spring 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.

Related Agency Closings and Information

Shooting Range Closings

March 23, 2020 - Until Further Notice

  • John Lentz Hunter Education Complex in Richmond County
  • Flintlock Valley Shooting Range in Uwharrie National Forest, Montgomery County
  • Wayne E. Smith Cold Mountain Shooting Range in Haywood County
  • R. Wayne Bailey-Caswell Shooting Range in Caswell County
  • Holly Shelter Shooting Range in Pender County
  • Odom Shooting Range in Northampton County

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 N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission compiled information to address frequently asked questions staff are receiving from wildlife rehabilitators and members of the public regarding wildlife rehabilitation during the pandemic. For bats, please refer to the PDF “Bat Activities During COVID-19.”

Download FAQs about COVID-19 & Wildlife Rehabilitators (PDF)

 

Recommendations on Activities Involving Bats

Bat Activities During COVID-19 (temporary suspension of activities requiring direct contact with bats) (PDF)