Understanding Regulations and Requirements

Agreements with Bordering States

Reciprocal Agreements with Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina allow holders of Georgia fishing licenses to fish the waters covered by the agreement without obtaining a fishing license from the bordering state. Regulations under these agreements may differ from Georgia's general laws and regulations.  If this is the case, the laws and regulations of the reciprocal agreement explained in this section are to be followed.


Alabama

Waters Covered: The banks and waters of only that portion of the Chattahoochee River forming the boundary between Georgia and Alabama and Lakes Bartletts Ferry (Harding), George W. Andrews, Goat Rock, Oliver, Seminole, Walter F. George (Eufaula) and West Point.  However, this agreement does not include that portion of West Point Reservoir lying upstream (north) of the Georgia Highway 109 bridge on the Chattahoochee River arm of the reservoir. The waters covered by this agreement do not include other streams or tributaries which flow into the Chattahoochee River or its impoundments or the portion of Lake Seminole covered by the reciprocal agreement with Florida.  Lake Weiss is not covered by this agreement.

Creel and Possesion Limits: All creel and possession limits on waters covered by this agreement are the same as Georgia's statewide limits.

Length Limits:  Largemouth bass

  • West Point - 14 inches 
  • Walter F. George - 14 inches

Licenses: All persons meeting the sport fishing requirements of Georgia or Alabama may fish on the banks and waters covered without having to obtain any other license.

All other fishing laws and regulations of the State of Georgia apply in Georgia waters covered by this agreement.


Florida

Waters covered: 

  • The waters and the banks of the St. Marys River, not including its tributaries.
  • The waters and banks of Lake Seminole, bounded on the west by Florida State Road No. 271; on the south by the Jim Woodruff Dam; on the
    east by the line immediately east of the Chattahoochee Marina (also known as the Booster Club) running northwest across the reservoir to the tip of land at the junction of the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers, west of Spring Creek; and on the north by the Herman Talmadge Bridge crossing the Chattahoochee River.

Creel and Possession Limits:

  • The limit for striped bas, white bass, and hybrid white-striped bass on the St. Marys River is two (2) fish which must be 22 inches or longer.
  • For all other species in the waters covered, Georgia's statewide creel and possession limits apply.

Licenses:

  • Any person who has a valid fishing license and properly issued permits or licenses, or both, required by Georgia or Florida in their possession may sport fish for freshwater fish in the waters covered.
  • A Florida saltwater fishing license is required to fish for or to possess saltwater fish on the Florida side of the St. Marys River.
  • The Georgia Honorary Disability License is not recognized by Florida under this agreement.

Georgia Senior Citizens:

  • Georgia Senior (65+) Lifetime License holders can no longer fish the freshwaters in Florida without charge.
  • Effective July 1, 2008 Georgia Honorary (65+)  License holders must possess a Florida non-resident freshwater fishing license to freshwater fish or possess freshwater fish in Florida waters.
  • A Florida saltwater fishing license is required to fish for or to possess saltwater fish on the Florida side of the St. Mary's River.

Florida Senior Citizens:

  • Effective July 1, 2008, the reciprocal licensing agreement between Georgia and Florida regarding sportsmen 65 years and older was  terminated. Florida Senior citizens are no longer able to fish in Georgia without charge.
  • A nonresident fishing license is required to fish in freshwater or saltwater, castnet, seine, crab, gig, sport bait trawl, or harvest shell fish in saltwater in Georgia. In addition, a nonresident trout license is required to fish for mountain trout, and a nonresident WMA license is required to fish in Waters Creek.

All other fishing laws and regulations of the State of Georgia apply on the Georgia side of the St. Marys River and the Georgia portion of Lake Seminole. Florida laws and regulations apply on the Florida side of the St. Marys River and the Florida portion of Lake Seminole.


North Carolina

Waters covered: Lake Chatuge and all tributary branches lying in Georgia or North Carolina which are accessible by boat from the main body of the reservoir.

Licenses:

  • Holders of a valid Georgia or North Carolina fishing license may fish with hook and line in Lake Chatuge only from boats.  Boats may not be anchored to the shore or to a pier or boat dock that connects to the shore.
  • Senior citizen and youth license exemptions authorized by either state are honored by both states on Lake Chatuge.

All other laws and regulations of Georgia apply to the Georgia portion of Lake Chatuge.  All other laws and regulations of North Carolina apply to the North Carolina portion of Lake Chatuge.


South Carolina

  • This agreement does not apply to saltwater sport fishing or freshwater and saltwater commercial fishing.
  • A South Carolina saltwater fishing license is required when fishing from a boat on the SC side of the Savannah River downstream of where the CSX Railroad trestle crosses the Back River.
  • Any person using baskets, jugs, minnow seines, or trot lines in the waters covered must comply with the laws, rules and regulations of the state in which the baskets, jugs, minnow seines, or trot lines are fished, regardless of their residence.
  • No person may carry to either state or possess in such state more fish than the laws of that state or those of this agreement permit, even though the fish were caught in the waters of the other state.

Waters covered: On the banks and in the waters of all channels of the Savannah River from its mouth to the junction of the Tugaloo (Toogaloo) and Seneca rivers; the Tugaloo River from its mouth to the junction of the Tugaloo and Chattooga rivers; and the Chattooga River to the North Carolina state line (35th parallel of North latitude at Ellicott's Rock). This agreement also applies to all the waters and banks of Clarks Hill Reservoir (Strom Thurmond); Richard B. Russell Reservoir; Hartwell Reservoir; Yonah Lake; Tugaloo (Toogaloo) Lake; the New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam (see NOTE), and Stevens Creek Lake (except that portion on the Stevens Creek arm upstream of South Carolina Highway 53).  This agreement does not apply to any flowing portions of tributary streams to these impoundments nor to tributary streams of the Savannah, Tugaloo, and Chattooga rivers.

Licenses: All persons meeting the freshwater license requirements of Georgia or South Carolina may fish on the banks and in the waters covered without having to obtain any other license.

Length, Creel and Possession Limits: (click here)






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