Category Archives: Recreation

2018 Fishing Regulations Now Available

Anglers can find all necessary 2018 fishing information in the new Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations Guide announces the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

“Any angler that is looking for new places to fish, changes to laws and regulations or other information should begin with this publication,” said Matt Thomas, Chief with the WRD Fisheries Management Section.  “Our biologists and staff do their best to make sure this guide book has the most current and accurate information and anglers can easily access it online, from our Outdoors GA app or in the printed copy.”

Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations Guide 2018

The 2018 Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations Guide provides helpful information, including color fish identification charts for both freshwater and saltwater fish, license purchasing information, contact information for Wildlife Resources Division and Coastal Resources Division fisheries management offices and DNR law enforcement offices, trout stream listings, public fishing area information, state record fish listings, fishing regulations for Georgia and more.

The 2018 Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations may be found online at, or through the Outdoors GA app (free app for iPhone or Android users). Anglers also can pick up a printed copy at any Wildlife Resources Division fisheries management office or DNR law enforcement office or at fishing license vendors throughout Georgia.   Office address listings at

The Angler Resources page on the WRD website,, is a great place to start when learning about fishing.  New or experienced anglers can find information about taking kids fishing, reservoir and river fishing tips, fish ID information and much more. Additional resources include the Wildlife Resources Division blog (, where anglers will find current and “hot” fishing reports for different parts of the state.

For more information about Georgia’s fishing regulations, visit

Poster Contest’s 28th Year Highlights Georgia’s Wildlife Diversity

Teachers and students across the state are invited to honor Georgia’s wildlife and students’ artistic interests by participating in the 28th annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest.

The goal of the competition, open to grades K-5, is to generate a greater knowledge and appreciation of Georgia’s diverse and increasingly threatened nongame wildlife and their habitats. Nongame species (those not legally hunted or fished for) vary from rare animals and plants such as Barbour’s map turtle and dwarf trillium to common species such as the Carolina chickadee and tulip poplar.

This popular art contest is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and The Environmental Resources Network (TERN), friends group of DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section. The theme for the 2017-18 school year is “Nature at Night.” The topic highlights the various adaptive behaviors of wildlife as well as their interactions with plants.

Depending on when wild animals are most active, they are considered diurnal, crepuscular or nocturnal. Diurnal wildlife (including the chipmunk, green anole and most songbirds) usually are awake during the day but asleep at night. Crepuscular animals (like the big brown bat, common nighthawk and fireflies) are most active at twilight but may be awake during the night, too. Nocturnal animals (such as the southern flying squirrel and most owls and frogs) typically are active at night but asleep during the day.

Some native plants cater to nocturnal insects to ensure pollination. For example, yucca flowers produce most of their sweet-smelling nectar at night to attract the yucca moth. Sundrops, a type of evening primrose, keep their flowers open at night so hummingbird moths, green lacewings and other pollinators can visit.

After creating artwork based on this year’s theme and within contest rules, participants will enter their drawings and paintings at the local school level. Top school-level entries then proceed to the state contest at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens. First-, second- and third-place winners are chosen there for four divisions: kindergarten, first and second grade, third and fourth grade, and fifth grade. The deadline for schools to submit state-level entries is April 13, 2018.

The top 12 state-level winners’ artwork will be showcased on DNR Wildlife Resources Division social media sites and displayed at the State Botanical Garden in Athens May 8-16. The State Botanical Garden offers a fascinating variety of plants as well as opportunities to view wildlife in the fields and forests. Admission is free, although donations are accepted. For directions, operating hours and a garden map, visit

As a special perk for supporting this contest, each state-level winner’s teacher and one parent will receive a free bald eagle license plate, courtesy of TERN! For contest rules, awards, entry forms and other information, visit

The Nongame Conservation Section, part of Georgia DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division, is charged with conserving nongame wildlife, including native plants and natural habitats. Only a deep concern and commitment to these natural resources will ensure their existence for future generations. The Nongame Conservation Section depends primarily on fundraisers such as sales and annual renewals of the eagle and hummingbird license plates and the Give Wildlife a Chance state income tax checkoff.

Learn more at or call Nongame Conservation Section offices in Social Circle (770-761-3035), Forsyth (478-994-1438) or Brunswick (912-264-7218).


  • Theme: “Nature at Night”
  • Emphasis: Generate a greater knowledge and appreciation of Georgia’s diverse and increasingly threatened nongame wildlife and their habitats.
  • Teacher instructions: Have students design artwork that includes nongame wildlife and/or native plants. Hold a school-level contest. First-place winners in each age division progress to the state-level contest.
  • Deadline for state-level contest entries: April 13, 2018.
  • Top 12 state-level winners’ artwork will be showcased on Wildlife Resources Division social media sites and displayed at the State Botanical Garden in Athens May 8-16, 2018.
  • Details:

Holiday Gift Guide: Give the Gift of Nature at Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites

Outdoor escapades, breathtaking views, endless exhilarating family activities and long-lasting memories await the adventurer with a gift from Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites this holiday season. Give the gift of nature with the help of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites and watch a simple present turn into an unforgettable experience. Explore the outdoors amongst family, friends and fellow nature lovers with these five gift ideas that will guarantee an exciting time for all in Georgia’s great outdoors.

5 Gift Ideas for The Family Explorer

  1. Gift Cards – Take the stress out of holiday shopping and slip a Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites gift card into a stocking or card. These convenient cards come in any denomination starting at $5 and can be purchased at most Georgia State Park offices, online at or simply by calling 1-800-434-0982. Lucky for the receiver, these cards can be used at campsites, on cabins, yurts, golf greens fees, retail shops, picnic shelters, historic sites, boat rentals, as well as numerous outdoor activities. With no shortage of possibilities, gift cards are the perfect solution to the gift giving conundrum.
  1. Weekend Getaways – Make experiencing nature easy and enjoyable for the whole family and reserve a weekend stay at a state park. One unique choice is General Coffee State Park, which is known as one of southern Georgia’s best kept secrets. Here, guest can choose from several overnight accommodations including cottages, campsites or a beautiful 19th-century cabin, the Burnham House. Located in south Georgia and tucked away in a gorgeous wiregrass community, this retreat guarantees relaxation for the entire family. General Coffee State Park offers the chance for children to see farm animals in its Heritage Farm. Reservations for this getaway can be made at Additional Georgia State Parks offer “glamping” yurts, campsites and cottages as well. Reservations can be made at,
  1. Annual ParkPasses – With more than 60 properties throughout Georgia from mountains and waterfalls to marshes and swamps, there are a number of ways to treat family or friends to a year of outdoor fun, long after the seasons change. Annual ParkPasses are $50 and help to fund renovations and trail work for future visitors. Half-off ParkPass discounts are available for seniors 62 and older, as well as 25% off for active duty military and veterans. To buy an Annual ParkPass, visit any Georgia State Park or 
  1. Unique Experiences – Georgia’s state parks offer visitors a variety of unique activities in several locations, making the great outdoors the perfect backdrop for explorers and adventurers of any skill level. Here are a few out-of-the-box experiences for creative gift ideas this holiday season:
  • Park Paddlers Club – For the water lover, Georgia’s Park Paddlers Club offers 22 miles of paddling fun. Membership is $10 to join the Georgia’s Park Paddlers Club and can be purchased online or at one of the six participating parks. After finishing, members earn bragging rights and a t-shirt. This club is perfect for novice and experienced paddlers. Everyone on board must know how to swim and must wear a flotation device. More information can be found at,
  • Tree Climbers Welcome – At Panola Mountain State Park, conquer new heights with a guided tree climb up a 200-year-old Southern Red Oak. Events occur throughout spring, summer and fall and are $15 per person. More information can be found at
  • Become an Archer –Target practice with dinosaurs and other static and 3-D archery courses are offered at nine state parks. Visitors can either practice on their own or join ranger-led archery classes. More information and a list of participating parks can be found at 
  1. Tails on Trails – Get outside with a gift for the whole family, including the members with four legs. Tails on Trails is a dog walking club that challenges guests and their pets to complete seven trails at Georgia State Parks. To join, stop into one of the participating parks and purchase a $15 membership card or buy a card online at, After completing each trail, member’s cards are punched by park rangers. Finish them all and earn bragging rights, a t-shirt for yourself and a bandana for Fido. Enjoy all that nature has to offer with man’s best friend this holiday season.

Insider Tip: Looking for a gag gift to get a laugh? Forget coal and throw in a bag of cricket chips or a scorpion lollipop, both sure to get a reaction. These quirky gifts are available inside visitor’s centers around the state parks and make for a unique white elephant gift.