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TWRA Updates and Closures due to COVID-19

Covid-19 Hunting/Fishing FAQ’s

Friday, April 03, 2020 | 01:36pm
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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) 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 has not been cancelled. All fish and game seasons and bag limits remain unchanged.

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 place is open for recreation. There are several localities and counties that have closed some parks and boat ramps.

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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. 

Are Tennessee State Parks and access areas open for hunting and fishing?

The TWRA does not manage Tennessee State Parks.  They are managed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

TDEC has closed all 56 Tennessee state parks and state-owned state natural areas to the public effective April 4 through April 14, in support of Gov. Bill Lee’s Executive Order 23. This is a complete closure of facilities and access to all Tennessee State Parks and Designated State Natural Areas.  Tennessee State Parks officials will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit www.tnstateparks.com

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 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