Turtling Regulations

  • There is no closed season for the harvest of freshwater turtles, however taking of species protected by federal or state law is prohibited.
  • No more than 10 freshwater turtles (any combination of species) may be possessed without a commercial turtle permit (for a permit application, contact the Special Permit Unit, 770-761-3044).
  • Turtle traps can only legally be deployed in Georgia public or private waters by a permitted nuisance wildlife control operator or through the issuance of a commercial fishing permit in conjunction with a commercial turtle-farming permit issued by the DNR.
  • There are no firearms restrictions for the taking of freshwater turtles, however weapons used to take freshwater turtles should correspond to those designated in Code Section 27-3-4 for the taking small and large game during the respective seasons; shooting from a boat under power is prohibited.
  • Harvesting of freshwater turtles in private waters or from points accessed from private property (including power line, gas line, railroad and other rights-of-way) without landowners’ permission is prohibited. Written permission must be obtained if land is so posted.
  • Harvesting turtles from State Parks and Historic Sites or Wildlife Management Areas is prohibited without obtaining written permission or a special trapping permit.