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-Updated June 1, 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
Great Lake Craven Great Lake Until Further Notice Hurricane damage
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

Cancelled Until Further Notice:

Hunter Education Classes
Boater Safety Education Classes
Trapper Education Courses
Bow Hunter Education Courses
Internet Field Days

June 10-11, 2020

Wildlife Damage Controlled Agent Course – CANCELLED

June 13, 2020

BOW Shooting Sports Workshop for Women – CANCELLED


Facility Closings

March 17-Until Further Notice

  • 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 June 19, 2020

Due to COVID-19:

  • Pisgah Game Land - USDA Forest Service has reopened 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 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 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 is closed due to damage.
  • Stones Creek Game Land - Lake Road will close effective Monday, June 22 until further notice for public safety during management operations.   

Public Fishing Access Area Closings

Updated July 2, 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
  • San-Lee Park - Sanford, Lee County
  • Shelley Lake - Raleigh, Wake County
  • Simpkins Pond - Raleigh, Wake County

Due to maintenance, repairs and other incidents:

  • Blewett Falls - Pee Dee River, Anson County - closed for repairs
  • Broughton Pond - Burkemont, Burke County - closed from July 10, 2020, 6 p.m to July 11, 2020, 2 p.m.
  • Horse Park - Little Tennessee River, Swain County - closed for renovation
  • Lansing Park - Ashe County - closed for repairs
  • Marshall Steam Plant - Lake Norman, Catawba County - closed for repairs

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


  • John Lentz Hunter Education Complex in Richmond County (Closed for Renovations)

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)