NCWRC publishes 2020-21 regulations booklet

New regulations become effective Aug. 1

The NCWRC has published the 2020-2021 North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping Regulations Digest. Click here to view the digest online. These regulations become effective Aug. 1, 2020, and expire July 31, 2021.

As always, the NCWRC uses some of the first pages to alert outdoorsmen to new regulations. This is not a complete list of all changes, but the more significant ones that we should all be aware of. Other changes appear throughout the digest in the color red. These most notable changes that NC Wildlife would like to point out are as follows:

Freshwater fishing:

A statewide regulation of no minimum size limit and no daily creel limit was established for Alabama Bass and Spotted Bass. See page 28.

Black Bullhead, Brown Bullhead, Flat Bullhead, Small Bullhead, White Catfish, and Yellow Bullhead were designated as Inland Game Fish when found in Inland Fishing Waters. See page 24. A statewide daily creel limit of 10 fish in combination was established. There is no minimum size limit or closed season. See page 30



The blackpowder season is now full season either-sex in the special deer season areas of Buncombe and Henderson County:

  • Buncombe: That part east of N.C. 191, south of the French Broad and Swannanoa rivers, west of U.S. 25 and north of N.C. 280.
  • Henderson: That part east of N.C. 191 and north and west of N.C. 280.

For Big Game Harvest Reporting:

Hunters must notch or cut out the month and date of harvest on their Big Game Harvest Report Card before moving from site of kill/harvest.

Hunters must report big game prior to leaving it unattended or transferring it to another individual.

All harvested big game must be reported prior to the animal being skinned or dismembered.

All harvested big game shall be reported by 12 noon the day following the harvest.

Any big game animal left unattended or transferred to another must have an authorization number.

Big game harvested in remote areas must be registered by 12 noon the day after leaving the remote area. Please see page 64 for more information about big game harvest reporting.

Bullfrog harvesting

The daily bag limit (from 12 noon to 12 noon) for bullfrogs is 24, and there is no closed season nor license requirement, except on Wildlife Resources Commission Property. See page 51 for more information.


Licensed trappers will be issued a Trapper Identification Number (TIN) at the time they purchase or renew their trapping license. The TIN is printed on the license. Either the TIN and Commission telephone number or the trapper’s name and address can be used on the required weather-resistant permanent tag attached to the trap.

If a trapper places a trap on the property of another, the Commission is required to disclose the identity of the trapper to the landowner where the trap is located at the landowner’s request.

Lifetime Trapping Licenses are now available for purchase by North Carolina residents. The cost is $300 and all proceeds from the sale of this license go to the Wildlife Endowment Fund.

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