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Protected Species

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Many rare and protected species live in or near water and may be encountered while fishing. There are 57 fish, 8 salamanders, 1 frog, 28 snails and/or mussels, 20 crayfish and 13 turtles on Georgia’s protected species list. It is unlawful to capture, kill, or harm any protected species. However, any crayfish can be used for fishing bait as long as they are not collected from crayfish burrows or exported from the state of Georgia.

If you accidentally capture a protected species while fishing release it unharmed immediately.

For more information contact the Nongame Conservation Section at 770-918-6411 or visit



Aquatic turtle with prominent spiny keel on midline of shell. Found in large streams, rivers in Northwest and Southwest portions of state.


Large, harmless salamander found in clear, rocky mountain streams such as trout streams.

Up to 29″ in length,

11–20″ typical


Huge aquatic turtle that may weigh over 100 lbs. Occurs in large streams, rivers, reservoirs in the Southwest corner of the state. Jaws are powerful—keep a safe distance!



Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Georgia Department of Natural Resources allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Georgia Department of Natural Resources Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC &, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/ directly at 413-884-1001,
This is not the full law. Consult theGeorgia Department of Natural Resources for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code and regulations are the legal authorities.
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