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TWRA Updates and Closures due to COVID-19

TWRA Updates and Closures due to COVID-19

Update from Chairman of the Tennessee Wildlife Commission, Kurt Holbert, "Governor Lee’s Executive Orders 22 and 23 identify outdoor activity as an essential activity provided that individuals follow Health Guidelines. As the Chairman of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission, I want to assure all hunters and fishers that Tennessee’s turkey hunting season will be open for the regular season as scheduled and public lands controlled by the TWRA will remain open. Likewise, Tennessee’s lakes and rivers and the access areas controlled by the TWRA will remain open to anglers and recreational boaters."

Individuals can learn more about how to protect themselves and help limit the spread of the virus by reading the Center for Disease Control Covid 19 guidelines 

This disease is an imminent threat to Tennesseans and should not be taken lightly. The Commission wants to encourage all hunters, anglers, and boaters to follow the Governor’s Executive Orders and to practice social distancing. Go enjoy the outdoors, but please do it in a manner that is smart and safe. #tnwildlife

Licenses and boat registration are available online 24/7/365 at GoOutdoorsTennessee.com

If going to any location to boat or fish, be sure to check with the managing authority to make sure that place is open for recreation. There are several localities and counties that have closed some parks and boat ramps.

Public Areas, Open & Closures due to COVID-19

The Outdoors Are Open! Get out, enjoy the outdoors while following social distancing guidelines set forth by the governor and the CDC. The following properties remain open for your recreational use:

  • TWRA offices are closed to the public but we are always available by phone, email ask.TWRA@tn.gov, or our social media channels. https://www.tn.gov/twra/contact-us.html
  • The following TWRA shooting ranges are closed due to COVID-19: Bartlett, John Sevier, Montgomery County (reopening May 1st see details), Stones River ranges. 
  • Hatcheries are closed to the public.
  • Check stations at WMAs are closed, report your harvest on the TWRA On the Go app.

Region 1

Chickasaw State Forest and State Park  (State Forest is open)

Open with statewide turkey  

Most can be accessed without going through a park gate (Will not be able to access through parks)

Meeman Shelby Forest State Park and Natural Area

Hunters will have access to WMA through Jackson Hill Road on the 11th

Turkey season open April 11-May

Many of the gates hunters access areas through will be opened

Mississippi River Boat Ramp is currently closed due to flooding but will be open when water goes down.

Natchez Trace State Forest and Park (State Forest Land) 

Multiple entry points (will not be able to access through State Park Roads)

Open with statewide turkey season 

Pin oak lake is park owned and has two boat ramps (State Park ramps closed)

Brown's lake is park owned and has one boat ramp (TWRA managed)

Ghost River SNA (Closed to Hunting)

Turkey season open April 11- May 3

Access to main hunting area on Leatherwood road is on SNA property

Walker Branch (Closed to Hunting)

Open with statewide turkey season

Access is on park property

Big Cypress State Natural Area (Closed to Hunting) 

The Park Manager and WMA Manager has worked together to provide some access to hunting

Turkey Season open April 11- May 3

Access through state park gate

Reelfoot Lake State Park (State Park boat ramps are closed) 

Boat ramps on parks are gated

Will be closing or blocked off

Region 2  

Duck River SNA Complex  -  (Closed for Hunting)   

Numerous tracts, many are part of Yanahli WMA,   Includes Columbia Glade, Moore Lane Glade, Sowell Mill, Howard Bridge, Rummage Cave, and Cheek Bend SNAs

Fate Sanders Barrens SNA  and Vesta Cedar Glade (or similar)

Fate Sanders is part of the Corps lands on Percy Priest Lake and is open for hunting

Vesta Glade is TDEC owned and due to the nature of the trail system is not open to hunting

Region 3 

Edgar Evans State Park

WMA is accessible by water only, can not access it through the park.

Ft Loudoun St Park  

WMA open for hunting- access is outside the main park

Frozen Head State Park

Closed for hunting

Region 4 

No state parks are open to WMA hunting

SNAs are closed to hunting

Covid-19 Hunting/Fishing FAQ’s

covid-19

Covid-19 has created an enormous amount of questions surrounding our ability to hunt and fish in Tennessee during this crazy time. The Governor, the Tennessee Wildlife Commission, and your TWRA believe that the outdoors plays an integral role in the health of all Tennesseans. Below are some answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions that we have received over the past few weeks. In the event these answers change, we will update this list.

Are we concerned about the Covid-19 virus?

Yes, this disease is an imminent threat to Tennesseans and should not be taken lightly. We encourage all hunters, anglers, and boaters to follow the Governor’s Executive orders and practice social distancing while enjoying Tennessee’s outdoors. Enjoy the outdoors, but do it in a safe manner. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and our Governor has established guidelines for individuals to protect themselves and limit the spread of Covid-19.

Can I still hunt and fish in Tennessee?

Yes, hunting and fishing in Tennessee have not been canceled. All fish and game seasons and bag limits remain unchanged. You must purchase a license to hunt/fish in Tennessee. 

Where can I purchase my Tennessee hunting/fishing license?

Licenses are available 24/7 online at https://gooutdoorstennessee.com/

Do I, still, have to buy a license to hunt/fish during this time?

Yes, everyone that hunts or fishes in the State of Tennessee must purchase a license. The regulations laid out in our Fishing Guide still apply.

To change these rules would require an inordinate amount of time, along with, legislative and commission action. Long story short, by the time we were able to get free hunting and fishing in Tennessee, this will all be behind us.

Can I still hunt Tennessee public land?

Yes, public lands controlled by the TWRA are open for business. This means that you can get out to your favorite WMA. If going to any location to boat or fish, be sure to check with the managing authority to make sure that the place is open for recreation.

Can I still go fishing or cruising on my favorite lake?

Yes, Tennessee lakes and rivers and the access areas controlled by TWRA remain open to anglers and recreational boaters. In addition, Tennessee unmanned shooting ranges remain open for your safe enjoyment. This includes TWRA family fishing lakes, WMAs and TWRA managed boat ramps.

If going to any location to boat or fish, be sure to check with the managing authority to make sure that the place is open for recreation. There are several localities and counties that have closed some parks and boat ramps.

The TVA has ordered some boat ramps that they manage closed; doesn’t that mean the TWRA has closed the boat ramp?

TVA and TWRA are different entities. The TVA is a Federal Agency. The TWRA is a Tennessee State Agency. We do work with one another on occasion, however, we are not the same agency. The TVA manages boat ramps and, likewise, the TWRA has boat ramps it manages. The TVA cannot close boat ramps that we manage. At present, no boat ramp managed by TWRA is closed. Please be sure who manages each individual boat ramp and differentiate between TVA and TWRA.  For more information on the TVA’s response to Covid-19 and a complete listing of ramps and access areas closed by the TVA, please visit the TVA at https://www.tva.com/coronavirus

What about state parks?

Similar to TVA and TWRA, the TWRA and Tennessee state parks are different entities. At present, no boat ramp managed by TWRA is closed. Please be sure who manages each individual boat ramp and differentiate between state parks and TWRA.  Most Tennessee State Parks reopened for day-use visitation between 7 am and sunset starting April 24, 2020. The public can access most trails, boat ramps, marinas, golf courses, and other outdoor recreation opportunities provided by Tennessee State Parks.  Please visit Tennessee State Parks at https://tnstateparks.com/about/keeping-visitors-healthy to get complete information on the Tennessee State Park’s response to Covid-19 and the latest up to date information on closures and openings. 

Has the turkey season been canceled by TWRA?

No, the Tennessee turkey season and bag limits remain unchanged. Turkey season begins April 4, 2020.

Have any upcoming quota hunts or other special hunts been canceled?

Yes, some hunts and have been canceled please check with your individual programmer for more information or on the calendar of events on https://www.tn.gov/twra.html.

Where can I look to find out if a quota hunt or property is closed or has new restrictions?

You can always go to https://www.tn.gov/twra.html for the latest up to date news regarding any changes.

Can I shoot my gun at TWRA shooting ranges?

Yes, unmanned shooting ranges remain open for safe shooting. Unmanned shooting ranges are open. For a complete list visit https://www.tn.gov/twra/hunting/firing-ranges.html

The following manned shooting ranges have been closed: Bartlett, John Sevier, Montgomery County, and Stones River.

Can I still check my game in at WMA check-in stations?

No, check-in stations on WMA’s are closed. Please report your harvest on the TWRA On the Go app.

Are TWRA hatcheries still open?

No, all hatcheries are closed to the public.

Are the TWRA offices still open to the public?

TWRA state and regional offices are closed to the public but you can always reach us by phone, email at ask.TWRA@tn.gov , or on our social media channels. https://www.tn.gov/twra/contact-us.html

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Can I still go fishing or cruising on my favorite lake?

Yes, Tennessee lakes and rivers and the access areas controlled by TWRA remain open to anglers and recreational boaters. In addition, Tennessee unmanned shooting ranges remain open for your safe enjoyment. This includes TWRA family fishing lakes, WMAs and TWRA managed boat ramps.

If going to any location to boat or fish, be sure to check with the managing authority to make sure that place is open for recreation. There are several localities and counties that have closed some parks and boat ramps.

The TVA has ordered some boat ramps that they manage closed, doesn’t that mean the TWRA has closed the boat ramp?

The TVA and TWRA are different entities. The TVA is a Federal Agency. The TWRA is a Tennessee State Agency. We do work with one another on occasion, however, we are not the same agency. The TVA manages boat ramps and, likewise, the TWRA has boat ramps it manages. The TVA cannot close boat ramps that we manage. At present, no boat ramp managed by TWRA is closed. Please be sure who manages each individual boat ramp and differentiate between TVA and TWRA.

What about state parks?

Similar to TVA and TWRA, the TWRA and Tennessee state parks are different entities. At present, no boat ramp managed by TWRA is closed. Please be sure who manages each individual boat ramp and differentiate between state parks and TWRA.

Has the turkey season been cancelled by TWRA?

No, the Tennessee turkey season and bag limits remain unchanged. Turkey season begins April 4, 2020.

Have any upcoming quota hunts or other special hunts been cancelled?

Yes, some hunts and have been cancelled please check with your individual programmer for more information or on the calendar of events.

Where can I look to find out if a quota hunt or property is closed or has new restrictions?

You can always go to https://www.tn.gov/twra.html for the latest up to date news regarding any changes.

Can I shoot my gun at TWRA shooting ranges?

Yes, unmanned shooting ranges remain open for safe shooting. Unmanned shooting ranges are open. For a complete list visit https://www.tn.gov/twra/hunting/firing-ranges.html

The following manned shooting ranges have been closed: Bartlett, John Sevier, Montgomery County, and Stones River.

Can I still check my game in at WMA check-in stations?

No, check-in stations on WMA’s are closed. Please report your harvest on the TWRA On the Go app.

Are TWRA hatcheries still open?

No, all hatcheries are closed to the public.

Are the TWRA offices still open to the public?

TWRA state and regional offices are closed to the public but you can always reach us by phone, email at ask.TWRA@tn.gov , or on our social media channels. https://www.tn.gov/twra/contact-us.html