Hunting and Fishing
The Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources regulates hunting, fishing, and the operation of watercraft in Georgia, protects non-game and endangered wildlife, and maintains public education and law enforcement programs to ensure that Georgia's natural resources will be conserved for our present and future generations.
The Law Enforcement Section is responsible for protecting Georgia's wildlife populations by enforcing laws, rules and regulations pertaining to game and nongame animals, threatened and endangered plants and animals, exotic animals, boating safety, litter and waste control and other natural resource issues.
The law enforcement section also administers the state's hunter education and boating safety programs. Conservation Rangers investigate violations of wildlife laws, as well as hunting and boating incidents. They also conduct classes and programs to educate citizens about wildlife laws and safety practices.
How to Get a Hunting License
You can buy a hunting license in one of three ways:
- From a license agent
- By phone
- Purchase online
Georgia lifetime licenses cover all sport hunting and fishing licenses, except for the Federal Duck Stamp and the free Federal Harvest Information Program Permit. Deer hunters also must pick up a Deer Harvest Record from a license dealer prior to hunting each year. Lifetime licenses are valid for the life of the person, even if they move out of Georgia. People who purchase a lifetime license will receive a colorful, plastic license card. You must be a Georgia resident for at least 12 months immediately preceding the application for the lifetime license and provide proof of residency in order to be eligible for this license.
Fishing Licenses & Where to Buy Them
You can buy a fishing license in one of three ways:
- From a license dealer
- By phone
- Purchase online
Some good reasons to buy a fishing license
Your purchase of a fishing license helps support the following Fisheries Section programs. If you want to support fisheries management and conservation of Georgia's aquatic resources, buy a fishing license today!
Management: Fish populations are monitored and managed in over 500,000 acres of reservoirs and small lakes, 12,000 miles of streams and rivers, and over 4,000 miles of trout streams.
Hatcheries: six warmwater hatcheries produce largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish, striped bass, hybrid striped-white bass, and other species to stock into reservoirs, rivers, and ponds; three trout hatcheries stock over 1 million trout into trout streams.
Public Fishing Areas: over 2,000 acres of water on nine PFAs provide quality fishing for bass, bream, crappie, and catfish. PFAs are "perfect family areas" for family recreation. License sales help build new PFAs!
Pond Management: guidance is provided to pond owners through consultation and on site visits.
Boat Ramps: 150 boat ramps are maintained statewide. New ramps are built each year to provide better access for all boaters.
Aquatic Education: over 30,000 kids and their parents fish at over 500 Kids Fishing Events each year. Many are kids that have not experienced good fishing. Over 1,200 educators are trained and provided teaching materials each year to teach youth about Georgia's aquatic resources.
Publications: Reservoir and Rivers Fishing Prospects, Small Lakes Open to Public Fishing, Georgia Fish ID book, Pond Management books, Trout Streams of Georgia map, Fishing Regulations book, River maps, and many others are printed and mailed to thousands each year.
Fish Kills and Pollution: because of Fisheries staff investigations the culprit is often brought to justice and fined.
How to Register Your Boat in Georgia
You can obtain boat registration applications from any Wildlife Resources Division office or from most boat dealers, hardware stores, sporting goods stores or marinas. There is a temporary certificate on the registration form. The temporary certificate allows you to operate your boat until you receive your permanent certificate and decal by mail.
Register or Renew Your Boat by Mail
Mail your completed application or renewal form with a check or money order for the required fee to:
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Boat Registration Office
P. O. Box 105310
Atlanta, Georgia 30348-5310
Renew Boat Registrations by Phone
You can also renew boat registrations by phone by calling 800-366-2661.
Register or Renew Your Boat Online
For more information, see the boating regulations or call the Boat Registration Office at 800-366-2661