Cross references.

- Authority of General Assembly to restrict land use to protect and preserve natural resources, environment, and vital areas of state, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. III, Sec. VI, Para. II.

Classification of certain dogs as hunting dogs, § 4-8-1.2.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources generally, T. 12.

Directing persons to leave parks, historic sites, or recreational areas when refusing to abide by rules and regulations, § 12-3-10.

Jurisdiction over Game and Fish Code misdemeanor violations, § 15-9-30.3.

Cruelty to animals, § 16-12-4.

Watercraft safety, § 52-7-1 et seq.

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Saltwater fishing regulations, Official Compilation of Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources, Subject 391-2-4.

Law reviews.

- For article discussing important cases applying natural resource and game and fish laws in 1976 to 1977, see 29 Mercer L. Rev. 131 (1977).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Power of state to prohibit or restrict exportation of natural resources, 32 A.L.R. 331.

CHAPTER 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Peace Officer and Prosecutor Training Fund Act of 1983 applies to cases prosecuted under the Georgia Game and Fish Code. 1985 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U85-19.

27-1-1. Short title.

This title shall be known and may be cited as the "Game and Fish Code."

(Code 1933, § 45-101, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

27-1-2. Definitions.

As used in this title, the term:

  1. "Adult supervision" means under the command and control of a person 18 years of age or older, with the minor being within sight or hearing distance of such person.

    (1.1) "Alligator" means Alligator mississippiensis, commonly known as the American alligator.

  2. "Alligator farming" means the possession, propagation, and any other act involved in the production of live alligators.
  3. "Alligator product" means any product or article made, either wholly or in part, from any part of the hide of an alligator or alligator meat or any other part of an alligator carcass.
  4. "Artificial lure" means any lure which is made completely of natural or colored plastic, wood, cork, rubber, metal, feathers, hair, tinsel, styrofoam, sponge, or string, or any combinations of such materials, in imitation of or as a substitute for natural bait. Such term does not include any item which is sprayed with or containing scented or chemical attractions.
  5. "Bag limit" or "creel limit" means the quantity of wildlife which may be taken, caught, or killed during a specified period.

    (5.1) "Bait shrimp cast net" means a cast net constructed of a minimum of three-eighths inch bar mesh.

  6. "Big game" means turkey, deer, and bear.
  7. "Board" means the Board of Natural Resources.
  8. "Bushel" means the present United States standard bushel, as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture, which standard bushel measures 2150.4 cubic inches.
  9. "Business premises" means any place of business operation including, but not limited to, offices, sheds, warehouses, vessels, boats, houses, ponds, and other such locations where commercial activity takes place and specifically includes the equipment used in conducting such activity.
  10. "Carrier" means a person engaged in the business of transporting goods and specifically includes a common carrier, a contract carrier, a private carrier, and a transportation company.

    (10.1) "Cast net" means a cone shaped net thrown and retrieved by hand without mechanical assistance and designed to spread out and capture fish and shrimp as the weighted circumference sinks to the bottom and comes together when pulled by a line.

  11. "Catch-out pond" means a fresh-water pond or lake where the owner or operator charges persons a fee for the right to fish therein.
  12. "Clam rake" means a hand-held rake, or a tool consisting of a long handle with a bar that is set transversely with projecting prongs and with a wire basket or enclosure modification, which rake or tool is suitable for scratching and removing mollusks of the class Pelecypoda from estuarine and marine substrates.
  13. "Commercial" means of or relating to buying, selling, or exchanging or offering for purchase, sale, or exchange.
  14. "Commercial crab trap" means an oblong cage or other cubical structure which is constructed of wooden slats, hardware cloth, chicken wire, or other similar material, which has one or more tunnel-shaped entrances which allow ingress but limit egress, which is to be used as a trap, which is designed to be left unattended for long periods of time, and which is used for catching decapod crustaceans, mainly of the species Callinectes sapidus.
  15. "Commercial fish hatchery" means a facility consisting of two or more ponds or a raceway system which is capable of growing fish from eggs, fry, or fingerlings to a commercially salable size and which produces fish from such eggs, fry, or fingerlings for sale more than once annually.
  16. "Commercial fishing" means fishing for the purpose of sale, the sale or offering for sale of fish by the person taking such fish, or fishing with commercial fishing gear.
  17. "Commercial quantities" means an amount equal to one bushel or more.
  18. "Commercial shooting preserve" means any shooting preserve open to the general public for a fee.
  19. "Commercial trapper" means a person who traps on any land other than that belonging to himself or to his immediate family.
  20. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of natural resources.
  21. "Crab" means any crab of the species Callinectes sapidus.
  22. "Department" means the Department of Natural Resources.
  23. "Domestic species" means those taxa of animals which have traditionally lived in a state of dependence on and under the dominion and control of man and have been kept as tame pets, raised as livestock, or used for commercial breeding purposes, including, but not limited to, dogs, cats, horses, cattle, ratites, and chickens. Animals which live in a captive or tame state and which lack a genetic distinction from members of the same taxon living in the wild are presumptively wild animals, except that lawfully obtained farmed fish which are held in confinement in private ponds shall be known as and considered to be "domestic fish," but only if they are fish species which are either indigenous to Georgia or are fish species which have been recognized prior to 1992 as having an established population in Georgia waters other than private ponds; provided, however, that Morone americana, white perch, shall not be a domestic fish.
  24. "Educational" means of or relating to an attempt to learn or convey information about the characteristics and behavior of wild animals or wildlife, where such an attempt is made:
    1. In a public or private college, university, secondary school, or primary school, which college, university, or school is accredited by either the Georgia Accrediting Commission, Inc., or the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools;
    2. By an independent study conducted in affiliation with any of the institutions mentioned in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph;
    3. By any chartered association or society organized for the purpose of conveying knowledge about such species to its members;
    4. By a research facility; or
    5. By a governmental agency.
  25. "Established bait dealership" means a facility which is used in whole or in part to sell shrimp for bait and which has been inspected by employees of the department and which has been issued a bait dealer license.
  26. "Falconer" means a person licensed according to the laws and rules and regulations pertaining to falconry.
  27. "Falconry" means the sport of taking quarry by means of a trained raptor.

    (27.1) "Farmed deer" means fallow deer (Dama dama), axis deer (Axis axis), sika deer (Cervus nippon), red deer and elk (Cervus elaphus), and reindeer and caribou (Rangifer tarandus), and hybrids between these farmed deer species raised for the commercial sale of meat and other parts or for the sale of live animals.

  28. "Feral hog" means any hog which has lived any part of its life in a wild, free-ranging state and is currently in such state or has been taken.
  29. "Fishing" means catching, capturing, taking, or killing fish, mussels, and all seafood and includes all lesser acts such as attempting to catch, capture, or kill by any device or method and every act of direct assistance to any person in catching or attempting to catch fish, mussels, or seafood.

    (29.1) "Food shrimp cast net" means:

    1. Until March 1, 2009, a cast net constructed of a minimum of one-half inch bar mesh; and
    2. On and after March 1, 2009, a cast net constructed of a minimum of five-eighths inch bar mesh.

    (29.2) "Fresh-water turtle" means any turtle or its eggs within the families Chelydridae, Emydidae (excluding Malaclemys terrapin and Terrapene carolina), Kinosternidae, and Trionychidae.

  30. "Full-time employee" means a person who works at least 30 hours per week for one employer. Expressly excluded from this term is an independent contractor or casual vendor who does not receive regular periodic compensation from one employer.
  31. "Fur-bearing animals" means the following animals: mink, otter, raccoon, fox, opossum, muskrat, skunk, bobcat, and weasel.
  32. "Fur dealer" means a person who purchases or sells raw undressed hides, furs, pelts, or skins of fur-bearing animals and alligator hides or alligator products, excluding alligator meat; provided, however, those persons engaged in wholesale or retail furrier operations, that is, those who engage in the manufacture or production of finished fur or alligator products, shall not be fur dealers for purposes of this title.
  33. "Fur dealer's agent" means any person who represents the owner of or a dealer in furs, alligator hides, or alligator products for the purpose of selling such furs, alligator hides, or alligator products.
  34. "Game animals" means the following animals: bear, bobcat, deer, fox, opossum, rabbit, raccoon, sea turtles and their eggs, squirrel, cougar (Felis concolor), and all members of the families Alligatoridae and Crocodylidae.
  35. "Game birds" means the following birds: turkey, quail, grouse, and all migratory game birds.
  36. "Game fish" means the following fish, except domestic fish as provided in paragraph (23) of this Code section:
    1. Bass:
      1. Largemouth bass;
      2. Smallmouth bass;
      3. White bass;
      4. Striped bass;
      5. Spotted bass;
      6. Redeye (Coosa) bass;
      7. Striped-white bass hybrid;
      8. Shoal bass (Flint River smallmouth); and
      9. Suwannee bass;
    2. Trout:
      1. Rainbow trout;
      2. Brown trout; and
      3. Brook trout;
    3. Crappie:
      1. White crappie; and
      2. Black crappie;
    4. Shad:
      1. American shad; and
      2. Hickory shad;
    5. Sunfish or bream:
      1. Flier;
      2. Spotted sunfish (stumpknockers);
      3. Rockbass (goggleye);
      4. Shadow bass;
      5. Redbreast sunfish;
      6. Redear sunfish;
      7. Bluegill (bream); and
      8. Warmouth;
    6. Perch:
      1. Walleye; and
      2. Sauger;
    7. Pickerel:
      1. Chain pickerel;
      2. Grass pickerel; and
      3. Redfin pickerel;
    8. Catfish:
      1. Channel catfish; and
      2. Flathead catfish; and
    9. Red drum.
  37. "Game species" means all game animals, game birds, and game fish.
  38. "Held as pets" means the possession of any wild animal for purposes other than scientific, educational, or public exhibition purposes or other than for sale to the general public or other than for resale to a retail dealer, an exhibition, or a research facility.
  39. "Hunting" means pursuing, shooting, killing, taking, or capturing wildlife or feral hogs. This term also includes acts such as placing, setting, drawing, or using any device used to take wildlife or feral hogs, whether any such act results in taking or not, and includes every act of assistance to any person in taking or attempting to take such wildlife or feral hogs.
    1. "Immediate family," except insofar as that term relates to trapping, trappers, and fur dealers, means all persons living in one household under one head of household and bearing a blood or dependent relationship to such head of household.
    2. "Immediate family," insofar as that term relates to trapping, trappers, and fur dealers, means son, daughter, father, mother, brother, sister, granddaughter, grandson, or spouse.

    (40.1) "License" means any document, decal, stamp, permit, or temporary license identification number which authorizes the holder to participate in any activity regulated by the department and which is issued by the department; provided, however, that a temporary license number shall be a valid license for ten days from the date of issuance.

  40. "Licensed bait dealer" means the owner of an established bait dealership within this state who has been properly licensed and bonded pursuant to the applicable laws and regulations.
  41. "May" means is authorized, but not required, and denotes discretion and permission rather than command. When "may" is used in authorizing a certain action to be taken, it shall also include the authorization to change that action.
  42. "Migratory game birds" means all the following birds: brant, coots, cranes, doves, ducks, gallinules, geese, rails, snipe, swans, and woodcock. Birds which are mutations of such birds and birds which are the result of hybridization between such birds or between such birds and other birds are included as migratory game birds.
  43. "Mountain trout" means rainbow, brook, and brown trout.
  44. "Night" means between the hours of 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise.
  45. "Nongame fish" means any fish not included within the definition of the term "game fish" in this Code section and is synonymous with the term "rough fish."
  46. "Peeler" means a crab which has a soft shell fully developed under the hard shell and which has a pink or red line on the outer edge of the swimming paddles.
  47. "Pen raised game bird" means any bobwhite quail, chukar or red-legged partridge, coturnix or Japanese quail, ring-necked pheasant, mallard duck, or black duck which is raised in captivity and is more than two generations removed from the wild.
  48. "Perishable" means likely to deteriorate quickly in quality or value unless given special treatment such as dressing, freezing, or cold storage.
  49. "Person" means any individual, partnership, firm, corporation, association, or other entity.
  50. "Pole and line" means any hand line or any type of pole with a line attached and specifically includes a casting rod, a spinning rod, a fly rod, and all similar hand-held equipment for use with bait or artificial lure; provided, however, such pole and line may only be used to entice fish to strike or bite such bait or lure.
  51. "Private oyster or clam beds" means oyster or clam beds in which the right to plant, cultivate, and harvest oysters and clams is not vested in the state pursuant to Code Sections 44-8-6, 44-8-7, and 44-8-8.
  52. "Private pond" means a body of water wholly on or within the lands of one title from which fish cannot go upstream or downstream or to the lands of another.
  53. "Private shooting preserve" means any shooting preserve owned or leased by an individual, partnership, firm, corporation, association, or other entity and used only by the owners, members, and guests.
  54. "Public exhibition" means any commercial or noncommercial display of wild animals or wildlife to the general public, including displays held in nontraveling facilities in fixed locations or displays held in transient facilities which travel to different parts of the state.
  55. "Public road" means any road open to and intended for use by the public and maintained at public expense.
  56. "Purchase" means to acquire, obtain, or receive or to attempt to acquire, obtain, or receive by exchange of valuable consideration. This term specifically includes barter and exchange.
  57. "Raptor" means a live migratory bird of the order Falconiformes or the order Strigiformes, other than the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) or the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).
  58. "Rats and mice" means any gnawing mammal of the class Mammalia, the subclass Theria, the order Rodentia, and either the family Muridae or the family Cricetidae and the genera Peromyscus, Sigmodon, Oryzomys, or Reithrodontomys.
  59. "Resident" means any citizen of the United States who has been domiciled within the State of Georgia for a period of at least three months. For purposes of issuing or procuring the noncommercial hunting and fishing licenses required by this title, the term "resident" shall include full-time military personnel on active duty and the dependents of such military personnel; provided, however, that requirements for residency as defined in subparagraph (c)(4)(A) of Code Section 27-2-3.1 shall apply to such military personnel and their dependents for all lifetime license types listed in Code Section 27-2-3.1 that are only available to residents. Requirements for residency as defined in subparagraph (c)(4)(A) of Code Section 27-2-3.1 shall also apply to such military personnel and their dependents for all honorary or discounted license types listed in Code Section 27-2-4 and to the landowner exemption in subsection (b) of Code Section 27-2-1, provided that the domicile requirement shall be a period of at least three months.
  60. "Retail fish dealer" means any person engaged in the purchasing, raising, propagating, breeding, or other acquiring or possessing of live fish or fish eggs to be sold or furnished to others for use thereby, other than for resale or for aquaria.

    (61.1) "Salt water fishing guide" means a person engaged in the occupation of taking fee-paying anglers fishing in the salt waters of this state.

    (61.2) "Salt water fishing pier" means a permanent structure built and maintained for the purpose of providing fishing access in the salt waters of this state and associated with a hotel or motel.

  61. "Scientific" means of or relating to a systematic attempt, made at a public or private college, university, secondary school, or primary school, which college, university, or school is accredited by either the Georgia Accrediting Commission, Inc., or the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; or made in the course of an independent study conducted in affiliation with any of the aforementioned institutions; or made by any chartered association or society organized for the purpose of conveying knowledge to its members; or made by a research facility or a governmental agency, for the purpose of discovering new knowledge through the possession of wild animals or wildlife for the testing of a theory or hypothesis, such theory or hypothesis to be tested according to the accepted procedures of observation, comparison, objective data collection, and analysis.
  62. "Seafood" means marine and estuarine fauna or flora used as food or of a kind suitable for food and specifically includes, but is not limited to, shrimp taken for bait and horseshoe crabs taken for bait.

    (63.1) "Seafood dealer" means any person other than the consumer who purchases, ships, consigns, transfers, barters, accepts, maintains, or packs any marine fishery products received from commercial seafood harvesters or marine aquaculturists for the first time.

  63. "Sell" means to dispose of, transfer, or convey or to attempt to dispose of, transfer, or convey by exchange of money or other valuable consideration. This term specifically includes barter and exchange.
  64. "Shedding facility" means a soft-shell crab facility containing a tank or other enclosure in which peelers are or may be kept alive until they shed their shells and become soft-shell crabs and containing such other equipment as may be prescribed by the department.

    (65.1) "Shellfish" means common bivalve mollusks which includes all edible species of oysters, clams, mussels, or other bivalves.

    (65.2) "Shellfish management area" means a wildlife management area where shellfish are managed by the state or lessees for the propagation of shellfish.

  65. "Shooting preserve" means any area utilized for the purpose of shooting or taking, or shooting and taking, game birds or pen raised game birds.
  66. "Small game" means all game animals and game birds other than big game.
  67. "Soft-shell crab" means a crab which has just emerged from its old shell and has a new soft, pliable shell.
  68. "Soft-shell crab dealer" means any person operating a shedding facility approved by the department.
  69. "State owned oyster or clam beds" means oyster or clam beds in which the right to plant, cultivate, and harvest oysters and clams is vested in the state pursuant to Code Sections 44-8-6, 44-8-7, and 44-8-8.
  70. "Taking" means killing, capturing, destroying, catching, or seizing.

    (71.1) "Ten-foot net" means a trawl with a cork line not to exceed ten feet from tie-to-tie between the first and last mesh across the mouth of the net, a lead line not to exceed 13 feet from tie-to-tie between the first and last mesh across the mouth of the net, and leg lines of equal length. No webbing shall extend toward the door beyond the original brail lines which run vertically between the first tie at each end of the cork line and the first tie at each end of the lead line.

  71. "Trapping" means taking, killing, or capturing wildlife with traps. This term also includes all lesser acts such as placing, setting, or staking such traps, whether such acts result in taking or not, and attempting to take and assisting any person in taking or attempting to take wildlife with traps.

    (72.1) "Twenty-foot net" means a trawl with a cork line not to exceed 20 feet from tie-to-tie between the first and last mesh across the mouth of the net, a lead line not to exceed 25 feet from tie-to-tie between the first and last mesh across the mouth of the net, and leg lines of equal length. No webbing shall extend toward the doors beyond the original brail lines which run vertically between the first tie at each end of the cork line and the first tie at each end of the lead line.

  72. "Waters of this state" means any waters within the territorial limits of this state and the marginal sea adjacent to this state and the high seas when navigated as a part of a journey or ride to or from the shore of this state except ponds or lakes not open to the public, whether such ponds or lakes are within the lands of one title or not.
  73. "Wholesale fish dealer" means any person engaged in purchasing, raising, propagating, breeding, or acquiring or possessing live fish or fish eggs to be sold or furnished to others for the purpose of resale, including any person engaged in transporting live fish or fish eggs into this state; provided, however, that any person who holds or sells only "domestic fish" and is registered pursuant to Code Section 27-4-255 or any person who holds or sells fish solely for use in aquaria shall not be considered a wholesale fish dealer.
  74. "Wild animal" means any animal which is not wildlife and is not normally a domestic species in this state.This term specifically includes any hybrid or cross between any combination of a wild animal, wildlife, and a domestic animal.Offspring from all subsequent generations of such crosses or hybrids are wild animals.
  75. "Wild animal business" means the importation, transportation, or possession of any wild animal for the purpose of sale or transfer.
  76. "Wildlife" means any vertebrate or invertebrate animal life indigenous to this state or any species introduced or specified by the board and includes fish, except domestic fish produced by aquaculturists registered under Code Section 27-4-255, mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, and mollusks or any part thereof.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 142, § 11; Ga. L. 1912, p. 113, § 4; Ga. L. 1925, p. 304, § 7; Code 1933, §§ 45-301, 45-328; Ga. L. 1937, p. 675, § 7; Ga. L. 1937-38, Ex. Sess., p. 332, § 4; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 2; Ga. L. 1960, p. 974, § 1; Ga. L. 1961, p. 515, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 2; Ga. L. 1969, p. 812, § 1; Ga. L. 1971, p. 236, § 1; Ga. L. 1973, p. 274, § 2; Ga. L. 1973, p. 897, § 1; Ga. L. 1976, p. 771, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-102, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1270, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, §§ 1-6; Ga. L. 1979, p. 420, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, §§ 1-12; Ga. L. 1979, p. 800, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 893, §§ 1-3; Ga. L. 1979, p. 1094, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1981, p. 798, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 913, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 1047, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1986, p. 1460, § 3; Ga. L. 1988, p. 848, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1207, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1579, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 6, § 27; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 2; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1636, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2863, § 1; Ga. L. 1993, p. 779, § 1; Ga. L. 1994, p. 600, § 1; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1742, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 244, § 30; Ga. L. 1995, p. 543, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 946, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 980, § 1; Ga. L. 1997, p. 1395, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, §§ 1, 2, 3; Ga. L. 1999, p. 81, § 27; Ga. L. 2001, p. 323, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1013, § 1; Ga. L. 2003, p. 140, § 27; Ga. L. 2003, p. 654, § 1; Ga. L. 2004, p. 948, § 2-2; Ga. L. 2007, p. 91, § 1/HB 81; Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, §§ 1, 2/HB 100; Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 1/SB 474; Ga. L. 2013, p. 611, § 1/HB 36; Ga. L. 2013, p. 771, § 3/HB 155; Ga. L. 2014, p. 85, § 1/HB 740; Ga. L. 2016, p. 432, § 2/HB 840; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 1/HB 208.)

The 2016 amendment, effective July 1, 2016, substituted "has lived any part of its life in a wild, free-ranging state and is currently in such state or has been taken" for "is normally considered domestic but which is living in a wild state and cannot be claimed in private ownership" in paragraph (28). See Editor's notes for applicability.

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, in paragraph (60), substituted "subparagraph (c)(4)(A) of Code Section 27-2-3.1" for "paragraph (5) of subsection (e) of Code Section 27-2-3.1" twice and inserted "or discounted" in the last sentence; and added paragraph (63.1). See Editor's note for applicability.

Cross references.

- Recreational fishing for shrimp, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources, Saltwater Fishing Regulations, § 391-2-4-.06.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1995, the "S" at the beginning of "sunfish" was lower cased in divisions (36)(E)(v) and (vi).

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1997, "farmed deer" was substituted for "farmed-deer" in paragraph (27.1).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2016, p. 432, § 6/HB 840, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2016, and shall apply to all offenses occurring on or after such date."

Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

Ga. L. 2019, p. 919, § 1-1, repealed the provisions of the Georgia Pacific White Shrimp Development Aquaculture Act, effective July 1, 2019. As a result, the amendment by Ga. L. 2004, p. 948, § 2-2, which was never funded and therefore remained dormant, is now moot.

Law reviews.

- For article on principles of water law in the southeast, see 13 Mercer L. Rev. 344 (1962). For survey article on workers' compensation law, see 59 Mercer L. Rev. 463 (2007). For note, "Regulation of Artificial Lakes and Recreational Subdivisions in Georgia," recommending methods for future regulation, see 8 Ga. St. B.J. 580 (1972). For note on the 2001 amendment to this Code section, see 18 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 129 (2001).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Former definition of "hunting" as written was vague and overbroad.

- The word "pursuing" is intended by the legislature to mean seeking or searching for wildlife for the purpose of shooting or capturing such wildlife. The words "disturbing, harrying, or worrying" are intended to be limited to situations where the activities are for the purpose of shooting or capturing such wildlife. Shirley v. State, 254 Ga. 723, 334 S.E.2d 154 (1985) (decided prior to 1986 amendment).

Activities constituting "hunting."

- In a prosecution for hunting over a baited field, evidence was sufficient to show defendant was "hunting" where defendant's activities constituted placing, setting, drawing, or using a device to take wildlife, whether or not defendant was actually in the act of pursuing, shooting, killing, or taking deer at the time of apprehension. Redding v. State, 217 Ga. App. 529, 458 S.E.2d 168 (1995).

Alligator farm.

- Definition in Employment Security Law, O.C.G.A. § 34-8-1, of "farm laborer" was applied to that same term under the Workers' Compensation Act in order to reach the determination that when an employee for an alligator farm cleaned out the pens, the employee was caring for wildlife and thus performing "agricultural labor" pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 34-8-35(m)(2)(A), but as the employer was not a "farm" because alligators were "wildlife" and "game animals" under O.C.G.A. § 27-1-2(34) and not "livestock or fur-bearing animals" pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 34-8-35(m)(3)(A), the employer did not fall within the exemption provided by O.C.G.A. § 34-9-2(a) with respect to the employee's claim for workers' compensation benefits; the trial court erred in holding that the employer was exempted from the Workers' Compensation Act's coverage. Gill v. Prehistoric Ponds, Inc., 280 Ga. App. 629, 634 S.E.2d 769 (2006).

Because an employer who was in the business of breeding, rearing, and slaughtering alligators to sell the meat, hides, and head was not a farm, as alligators were "wildlife," not livestock or fur-bearing animals, the employer did not fall within the exemption from coverage under the Worker's Compensation Act, O.C.G.A. § 34-9-1 et seq., provided by O.C.G.A. § 34-9-2(a). Cook v. Prehistoric Ponds, Inc., 282 Ga. App. 904, 640 S.E.2d 383 (2006).

Cited in Maddox v. State, 252 Ga. 198, 312 S.E.2d 325 (1984); Blackston v. State Dep't of Natural Resources, 255 Ga. 15, 334 S.E.2d 679 (1985); Manley v. State, 187 Ga. App. 773, 371 S.E.2d 438 (1988); Passmore v. State, 253 Ga. App. 901, 561 S.E.2d 123 (2001).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Private pond.

- Any opening that provides ingress and egress removes such body of water from the statutory definition of a private pond. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 197.

The term "wildlife" includes feral hogs. 1983 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U83-11.

27-1-3. Legislative declarations; ownership and custody of wildlife; preservation of hunting and fishing opportunities; promotion and right to hunt, trap, or fish; local regulation; general offenses.

  1. The General Assembly recognizes that hunting and fishing and the taking of wildlife are a valued part of the cultural heritage of the State of Georgia. The General Assembly further recognizes that such activities play an essential role in the state's economy and in funding the state's management programs for game and nongame species alike, and that such activities have also come to play an important and sometimes critical role in the biological management of certain natural communities within this state. In recognition of this cultural heritage and the tradition of stewardship it embodies, and of the important role that hunting and fishing and the taking of wildlife play in the state's economy and in the preservation and management of the state's natural communities, the General Assembly declares that Georgia citizens have the right to take fish and wildlife, subject to the laws and regulations adopted by the board for the public good and general welfare, which laws and regulations should be vigorously enforced. The General Assembly further declares that the state's wildlife resources should be managed in accordance with sound principles of wildlife management, using all appropriate tools, including hunting, fishing, and the taking of wildlife.
  2. The ownership of, jurisdiction over, and control of all wildlife, as defined in this title, are declared to be in the State of Georgia, in its sovereign capacity, to be controlled, regulated, and disposed of in accordance with this title. Wildlife is held in trust by the state for the benefit of its citizens and shall not be reduced to private ownership except as specifically provided for in this title. All wildlife of the State of Georgia is declared to be within the custody of the department for purposes of management and regulation in accordance with this title. However, the State of Georgia, the department, and the board shall be immune from suit and shall not be liable for any damage to life, person, or property caused directly or indirectly by any wildlife.
    1. To the greatest practical extent, department land management decisions and actions shall not result in any net loss of land acreage available for hunting opportunities on department managed state owned lands that exists on July 1, 2005.
    2. The department has the authority and the responsibility to work with cooperating sportsmen, conservation groups, and others to encourage participation in hunting and fishing at a level to ensure continuation of such activities in perpetuity and no net loss of hunting and fishing opportunity on state owned lands. Further, the department is authorized to promote and encourage hunting, fishing, and other wildlife associated recreation on state managed wildlife areas, public fishing areas, federally owned or managed forests, and other suitable public and private lands of this state.
  3. To hunt, trap, or fish, as defined in this title, or to possess or transport wildlife is declared to be a right to be exercised only in accordance with the laws governing such right. Every person exercising this right does so subject to the authority of the state to regulate hunting, trapping, and fishing for the public good and general welfare; and it shall be unlawful for any person exercising the right of hunting, trapping, fishing, possessing, or transporting wildlife to refuse to permit authorized employees of the department to inspect and count such wildlife to ascertain whether the requirements of the wildlife laws and regulations are being faithfully complied with. Any person who hunts, traps, fishes, possesses, or transports wildlife in violation of the wildlife laws and regulations violates the conditions under which this right is extended; and any wildlife then on his person or within his immediate possession is deemed to be wildlife possessed in violation of the law and is subject to seizure by the department pursuant to Code Section 27-1-21. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to reduce, infringe upon, or diminish the rights of private property owners as otherwise provided by general law.
  4. It shall be unlawful to hunt, trap, or fish except during an open season for the taking of wildlife, as such open seasons may be established by law or by rules and regulations promulgated by the board or as otherwise provided by law.
  5. It shall be unlawful to hunt, trap, or fish except in compliance with the bag, creel, size, and possession limits and except in accordance with such legal methods and weapons and except at such times and places as may be established by law or by rules and regulations promulgated by the board.
  6. It shall be unlawful to hunt, trap, or fish for any game species after having obtained the daily or season bag or creel limit for that species.
  7. Except as otherwise provided by general law, the power and duty to promulgate rules and regulations relating to hunting, trapping, and fishing rests solely with the board. No political subdivision of the state may regulate hunting, trapping, or fishing by local ordinance; provided, however, that a local government shall not be prohibited from exercising its management rights over real property owned or leased by it for purposes of prohibiting hunting, fishing, or trapping upon the property or for purposes of setting times when access to the property for purposes of hunting, fishing, or trapping in accordance with this title may be permitted. Nothing contained in this Code section shall prohibit municipalities or counties, by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, from reasonably limiting or prohibiting the discharge of firearms within the boundaries of the political subdivision for purposes of public safety.
  8. A person who takes any wildlife in violation of this title commits the offense of theft by taking. A person who hunts, traps, or fishes in violation of this title commits the offense of criminal attempt. Any person who violates any provision of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
  9. If any court finds that any criminal violation of the provisions of this title is so egregious as to display a willful and reckless disregard for the wildlife of this state, the court may, in its discretion, suspend the violator's right to hunt, fish, trap, possess, or transport wildlife in this state for a period not to exceed five years. Any person who hunts, fishes, traps, possesses, or transports wildlife in this state in violation of such suspension of rights shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,500.00 nor more than $5,000.00 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months or both.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-201, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, §§ 13, 14; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2391, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 302, § 1; Ga. L. 2005, p. 655, § 1/SB 206.)

Cross references.

- Prohibition against hunting, trapping, or fishing, without license or permit generally, § 27-2-1.

Creation of property rights in animals, birds, and fish generally, § 44-1-8.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2003, "this" was substituted for "thi" in the last sentence of subsection (i).

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2005, "July 1, 2005" was substituted for "the effective date of this paragraph" in paragraph (c)(1).

Law reviews.

- For article, "Local Government Law," see 53 Mercer L. Rev. 389 (2001). For article on proposed constitutional amendment regarding hunting and fishing, see 22 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 11 (2005). For note, "Regulation of Artificial Lakes and Recreational Subdivisions in Georgia," recommending methods for future regulation, see 8 Ga. St. B.J. 580 (1972). For note on the 2001 amendment of this Code section, see 18 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 134 (2001).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, §§ 11, 12, 14, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

The state may exercise its police power to enforce and exercise its sovereign capacity over wildlife in order to preserve and protect it for the public good. Allen v. State, 11 Ga. App. 75, 74 S.E. 706 (1912) (decided under Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, §§ 11, 12, 14); Maddox v. State, 252 Ga. 198, 312 S.E.2d 325, cert. denied, 469 U.S. 820, 105 S. Ct. 93, 83 L. Ed. 2d 39 (1984).

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources properly prevented an alligator farmer from selling alligators, because the farmer's legal stock had mixed with wild alligators, the farmer refused to recapture and separate the legal alligators from the wild alligators, and the state owned the wild alligators pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 27-1-3(b). Wright v. Dep't of Natural Res., 254 Ga. App. 450, 562 S.E.2d 515 (2002).

Criminality.

- The legislature may make it criminal to sell or offer for sale wild game or to possess wild game during the closed season, regardless of whether the game was killed or taken within or without the state. Allen v. State, 11 Ga. App. 75, 74 S.E. 706 (1912) (decided under Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, §§ 11, 12, 14).

Authority to stop and question hunters.

- A Department of Natural Resources officer may approach a hunter in a state-run wildlife management area to determine whether the hunter has the necessary license and permits and to ask the hunter questions about the hunt, regardless of whether the officer has reason to suspect that the hunter has broken any laws. Elzey v. State, 239 Ga. App. 47, 519 S.E.2d 751 (1999).

Cited in Blackston v. State, Dep't of Natural Resources, 255 Ga. 15, 334 S.E.2d 679 (1985).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 1 et seq., 26 et seq., 51 et seq., 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 2, 3, 31 et seq. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Protection of Wildlife, §§ 2 et seq., 23 et seq., 51, 75.

ALR.

- Title to fish and game taken by trespasser, 23 A.L.R. 1402.

Rights, title, and remedies of hunter in respect of game which he is pursuing or has killed or wounded, 49 A.L.R. 1498.

Applicability of state fishing license laws or other public regulations to fishing in private lake or pond, 15 A.L.R.2d 754.

Right created by private grant or reservation to hunt or fish on another's land, 49 A.L.R.2d 1395.

Right to kill game in defense of person or property, 93 A.L.R.2d 1366.

27-1-4. Powers and duties of board generally.

The board shall have the following powers and duties relative to this title:

  1. Establishment of the general policies to be followed by the department under this title;
  2. Promulgation of all rules and regulations necessary for the administration of this title including, but not limited to, rules and regulations to regulate the times, places, numbers, species, sizes, manner, methods, ways, means, and devices of killing, taking, capturing, transporting, storing, selling, using, and consuming wildlife and to carry out this title, and rules and regulations requiring daily, season, or annual use permits for the privilege of hunting and fishing in designated streams, lakes, or game management areas; and
  3. Promulgation of rules and regulations to protect wildlife, the public, and the natural resources of this state in the event of fire, flood, disease, pollution, or other emergency situation without complying with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act." Such rules and regulations shall have the force and effect of law upon promulgation by the board.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 1; Ga. L. 1924, p. 101, §§ 1, 3, 4; Ga. L. 1931, p. 7, § 25; Ga. L. 1937, p. 264, §§ 1, 4, 9; Ga. L. 1943, p. 128, §§ 1, 2, 14; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 3; Ga. L. 1972, p. 1015, § 1527; Ga. L. 1973, p. 344, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-103, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 7; Ga. L. 1979, p. 420, § 3; Ga. L. 1987, p. 179, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Board of Natural Resources generally, § 12-2-20 et seq.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1987, p. 179, § 6, not codified by the General Assembly, set forth the legislative intent of that Act.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

The Board of Natural Resources can delineate by regulation the fresh and salt waters of this state for the purposes of law enforcement and licensing. 1972 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 72-166.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 40.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 24 et seq.

ALR.

- Power of state to prohibit or restrict exportation of natural resources, 32 A.L.R. 331.

27-1-5. Applicability of "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act" to rules and regulations promulgated by board; affirmation of decision by operation of law; appellate review.

  1. Except as otherwise specifically provided, all rules and regulations promulgated by the board under this title shall be promulgated pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act." For the purposes of this title, rule making under subsection (b) of Code Section 50-13-4 in response to an imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare shall include rule making to protect wildlife, the public, and the natural resources of this state in the event of fire, flood, disease, pollution, or other emergency situations.
  2. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, when a petition for judicial review of a final decision of the board in any matter arising under this title is filed pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," if the superior court in which the petition for review is filed does not hear the case within 90 days from the date the petition for review is filed with the court, the final decision of the board shall be considered affirmed by operation of law unless a hearing originally scheduled to be heard within the 90 days has been continued to a date certain by order of the court.In the event a hearing is held later than 90 days after the date the petition for review is filed with the court because a hearing originally scheduled to be heard within the 90 days has been continued to a date certain by order of the court, the final decision of the board shall be considered affirmed by operation of law if no order of the court disposing of the issues presented for review has been entered within 30 days after the date of the continued hearing.If a case is heard within 90 days from the date the petition for review is filed, the final decision of the board shall be considered affirmed by operation of law if no order of the court dispositive of the issues presented for review has been entered within 30 days of the date of the hearing.
  3. A decision of the board affirmed by operation of law under subsection (b) of this Code section shall be subject to appellate review in the same manner as a decision of the superior court.The date of entry of judgment for purposes of appeal pursuant to Code Section 5-6-35 of a decision affirmed by operation of law without action of the superior court shall be the last date on which the superior court could have taken action under subsection (b) of this Code section.Upon the setting aside of any such decision of the board, the court may recommit the controversy to the board for further hearing or proceedings in conformity with the judgment and opinion of the court; or such court may enter the proper judgment upon the findings, as the nature of the case may demand.Such decree of the court shall have the same effect and all proceedings in relation thereto shall, subject to the other provisions of this chapter, thereafter be the same as though rendered in an action heard and determined by the court.
  4. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, any reference to an administrative law judge or hearing officer in this title shall be to an administrative law judge appointed by the chief state administrative law judge. The decision of the administrative law judge shall constitute the final administrative decision in any matter and any party to the matter, including the commissioner, shall have the right of judicial review in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50. Any request for administrative review by an administrative law judge appointed by the chief state administrative law judge shall be filed with the commissioner.
  5. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, any reference to a final decision of the Board of Natural Resources in this title shall be to a final administrative decision by an administrative law judge appointed by the chief state administrative law judge.

(Code 1933, § 45-104, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 800, § 6; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 27; Ga. L. 1990, p. 223, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 543, § 2.)

27-1-6. Powers and duties of department generally.

The department shall have the following powers and duties:

  1. Subject to all applicable state laws, to acquire by purchase, condemnation, lease, agreement, gift, or devise lands or waters suitable for the purposes enumerated in this paragraph and to develop, operate, and maintain the same for the following purposes:
    1. For fish hatcheries, nursery ponds, game farms, sanctuaries, reservations, and refuges;
    2. For wildlife restoration, propagation, protection, preservation, research, or management; and
    3. For public hunting, fishing, or trapping areas, where the public may hunt, fish, or trap in accordance with the provisions of law and the rules and regulations of the board;
  2. To capture, propagate, transport, purchase, sell, band, or release any species of wildlife for propagation, research, or stocking purposes; to safeguard and enhance the habitat on which the wildlife depends; and to exercise control measures of nuisance or destructive species;
  3. To enter into cooperative agreements with educational institutions and state, federal, and other agencies to promote wildlife management, conservation, and research;
  4. To purchase all uniforms, equipment, and supplies necessary for the administration of this title;
  5. To carry out the operational, field, and administrative functions contained in this title;
  6. To publish in print or electronically and distribute magazines, pamphlets, books, or literature of any nature as may be necessary to inform and educate the public concerning the wildlife resources of the state and the functions, duties, activities, laws, rules, and regulations of the department pursuant to this title and pursuant to any other title;
  7. To keep a public record which correctly discloses all moneys received and expended by the department and all such information as may be necessary or proper in the conduct of the affairs and business of the department. The books and accounts of the department shall be audited in the same way as other books and accounts of the other departments of the state are audited;
  8. To pay to each game warden the expenses incurred by such warden in the performance of his duties;
  9. To contract with private landowners for the purposes of managing and operating public hunting and fishing areas on the property of such private landowners; and
  10. To develop an official waterfowl stamp for the State of Georgia and to issue such stamp to any interested person and to contract with any person granting such person the right to reproduce and market the official waterfowl stamp in stamp, print, poster, or such other form as the department shall determine and to contract with any person for the purpose of promoting, supporting, or otherwise assisting any waterfowl program of the department, including, but not limited to, public education; research; acquisition of wetlands; and management, development, and protection of waterfowl programs; provided, however, that not more than 15 percent of the funds retained by the department, if any, shall be used for law enforcement activities. The department is authorized to establish a special fund to be known as the "Waterfowl Stamp Fund." This fund shall consist of all moneys paid to the department as royalties, all moneys derived from the sale of any official waterfowl stamp, and all moneys contributed to the fund for the purposes provided in this paragraph and all interest thereon. All balances in the fund shall be deposited in an interest-bearing account identifying the fund and shall be carried forward each year so that no part thereof may be deposited in the general treasury. The department shall administer the fund and may expend moneys held in the fund in furtherance of the purposes provided in this paragraph. Moneys paid into this fund shall be deemed supplemental to and shall in no way supplant funding that would otherwise be appropriate for these purposes. As used in this paragraph, the term "waterfowl" means any species of ducks, swans, or geese.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, §§ 1, 4; Ga. L. 1924, p. 101, §§ 1, 3, 4, 7, 26; Ga. L. 1925, p. 302, § 22; Ga. L. 1925, p. 339, § 31; Ga. L. 1931, p. 7, § 25; Code 1933, §§ 45-106, 45-109; Ga. L. 1937, p. 264, §§ 1, 4, 9; Ga. L. 1943, p. 128, §§ 1, 2, 12, 14; Ga. L. 1945, p. 404, §§ 4, 8; Ga. L. 1952, p. 206, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 3; Ga. L. 1960, p. 228, § 1; Ga. L. 1966, p. 149, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 5; Ga. L. 1972, p. 1015, § 1527; Ga. L. 1973, p. 344, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-105, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 691, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 357, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 506, § 1; Ga. L. 2010, p. 838, § 10/SB 388; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game warden" for "conservation ranger" in paragraph (8).

Cross references.

- Department of Natural Resources generally, § 12-2-1 et seq.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1987, "Moneys" was substituted for "Monies" in the next-to-last sentence in paragraph (10).

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2019, "such warden" was substituted for "such ranger" in paragraph (8).

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Boating Infrastructure Grant Program, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources, Subject 391-2-7.

Law reviews.

- For article discussing regulation of selected activities to effect environmental planning, see 10 Ga. L. Rev. 53 (1975). For note, "Regulation of Artificial Lakes and Recreational Subdivisions in Georgia," recommending methods for future regulation, see 8 Ga. St. B.J. 580 (1972).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Cited in Thornton v. State, 353 Ga. App. 252, 836 S.E.2d 541 (2019).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Proposed acquisition of game and fish areas by the state for custody in the Department of Natural Resources, in which sellers reserve timber rights for a limited time, will not violate the constitutional prohibition against the state becoming a joint owner. 1989 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 89-16.

Authority of department to contract for use of waters on state park property.

- An agreement between the Department of State Parks and the Game and Fish Commission (now consolidated in the Department of Natural Resources) pursuant to which the latter would utilize waters located on State Park property for the stocking and breeding of fish, with the right to fertilize such waters and perform other functions incidental thereto, was authorized. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 554 (rendered under Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, prior to amendment by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1).

Authority of department to restrict use of alcohol and firearms on state property.

- The Department of Natural Resources is authorized to adopt and enforce rules and regulations restricting the use of alcohol and firearms on state property, and in particular, property acquired as a public hunting area. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 237 (rendered under Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, prior to amendment by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 26 Am. Jur. 2d, Eminent Domain, § 72. 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 25 et seq., 40, 49, 55.

C.J.S.

- 29A C.J.S., Eminent Domain, § 52. 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 6, 24 et seq. 38 C.J.S., Game, § 4.

27-1-7. Technical assistance for control or elimination of wild or abandoned dogs.

Upon the request of the governing authority of a city, county, or combination thereof, the department is authorized to provide technical assistance to the city, county, or combination thereof relative to the control or elimination of wild or abandoned dogs running at large, provided that, with the exception of the technical assistance provided in accordance with this Code section, all costs relative to the control or elimination shall be borne by the city, county, or combination thereof.

(Code 1933, § 45-105.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1979, p. 849, § 1.)

Law reviews.

- For article surveying legislative and judicial developments in Georgia local government law for 1978-79, see 31 Mercer L. Rev. 155 (1979).

27-1-8. Construction of fish ladders; requiring construction by private persons; assessment of cost upon refusal; issuance of execution.

  1. The department is authorized to provide for the free passage of fish in the fresh-water streams of Georgia for the purpose of spawning and propagating and to erect or cause to be erected fish ladders or other passageways whereby fish may pass over any dam or other obstruction placed in the fresh-water streams of Georgia by any person.
  2. It shall be the duty of the department to give written notice to any person owning, leasing, or constructing any dam or other obstruction which restricts the free passage of fish in the fresh-water streams of this state, which notice shall require the person to provide a suitable fish ladder or passageway over the dam or obstruction. The person shall, within 60 days after the receipt of the notice, provide at his own expense a fish ladder or other suitable passageway for the purpose of allowing fish in such fresh water to pass freely over the dam or obstruction.
  3. Should any person owning, leasing, or constructing any dam or other obstruction in the fresh-water streams of this state fail and refuse to provide a fish ladder or other passageway after receiving the notice, as required in subsection (b) of this Code section, the department is authorized to build or erect a fish ladder or other passageway over the dam or obstruction; and the cost of the same shall be assessed by the department against the person owning, leasing, or constructing the dam or obstruction.
  4. The department is authorized to issue an execution in the nature of a fi. fa. against any person against whom an assessment has been made pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section. The assessment shall be collected by any sheriff or other authorized officer of the state by means of levy and sale in the same manner as the collection of any other fi. fas.

(Ga. L. 1935, p. 380, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 19; Code 1933, § 45-106, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Dam safety generally, § 12-5-370 et seq.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 50.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 37.

27-1-9. Consent to federal rules and regulations pursuant to federal law authorizing purchase of land by United States government for river navigability purposes.

The consent of the General Assembly is given to the making by the Congress of the United States or under its authority of all such rules and regulations as the federal government shall determine to be needed in respect to game animals, game and nongame birds, and fish on such lands in the northern part of Georgia as shall have been or may hereafter be purchased by the United States under the terms of the act of Congress of March 1, 1911, entitled "An Act to Enable any state to Cooperate with any other state or states, or with the United States, for the Protection of the Watersheds of Navigable Streams, and to Appoint a Commission for the Acquisition of Lands for the Purpose of Conserving the Navigability of Navigable Rivers" (36 United States Statutes at Large, page 961), and acts of Congress supplementary thereto and amendatory thereof, and in or on the waters thereof.

(Ga. L. 1922, p. 106, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-336; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 24; Code 1933, § 45-110, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

U.S. Code.

- The federal Act of March 1, 1911, 36 Stat. 961, referred to in this Code section, is codified principally at 16 U.S.C. §§ 480, 500, 515 through 519, 521, 552, and 563.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 51, 53.

27-1-10. Assent to federal law respecting wildlife conservation and restoration projects, fish restoration projects, wildlife conservation education, and wildlife associated recreation projects.

The State of Georgia assents to the provisions of P.L. 75-415 and P.L. 81-681. The department is authorized, empowered, and directed to perform such acts as may be necessary to establish and conduct cooperative wildlife restoration projects as defined in P.L. 75-415, cooperative fish restoration projects as defined in P.L. 81-681, and wildlife conservation and restoration programs, wildlife conservation education, and wildlife associated recreation projects as defined in P.L. 106-553, as well as the regulations promulgated under those federal acts. No funds accruing to the state from license fees paid by hunters or fishermen or interest thereon shall be diverted for any purpose other than the administration of the department and for the study, protection, preservation, restoration, or propagation of fish and wildlife in this state.

(Ga. L. 1943, p. 128, § 11; Ga. L. 1951, p. 673, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, §§ 25, 26; Code 1933, §§ 45-111, 45-112, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1013, § 2.)

U.S. Code.

- P.L. 75-415, referred to in this Code section, is codified at 16 U.S.C. § 669 et seq. P.L. 81-681, also referred to in this Code section, is codified at 16 U.S.C. § 777 et seq.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 32, 51.

27-1-11. Consent to acquisition of land by United States government for conservation purposes; notice of intended use.

  1. The consent of the State of Georgia is given to the acquisition by the United States government by purchase, gift, devise, lease, condemnation, or otherwise of such areas of land or water or of land and water in the State of Georgia as the United States government may deem necessary for the conservation, protection, propagation, and development of all species of fish and wildlife and for other conservation purposes. However, the State of Georgia reserves full and complete jurisdiction and authority over all such areas not incompatible with the administration, maintenance, protection, and control thereof by the United States government under the first terms of any act of Congress authorizing such acquisitions.
  2. The consent given by subsection (a) of this Code section is conditioned on the requirement that, prior to the acquisition, notice shall be given by the federal government to the department of plans stating the specific use to be made of and the specific location and description of the lands desired by the federal government for any such conservation use and, further, that the plan for acquisition of the lands shall be approved by the department.

(Ga. L. 1961, p. 123, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-113, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 26 Am. Jur. 2d, Eminent Domain, § 72.

C.J.S.

- 29A C.J.S., Eminent Domain, § 52.

27-1-12. Federal-state cooperation in protection and management of wildlife in national forest; powers of board.

  1. The department shall have the authority to enter into cooperative agreements with the United States government or with the proper authorities thereof for the protection and management of the wildlife resources of the national forest lands within the State of Georgia and for the restocking of the same with desirable species of wildlife.
  2. After entering into an agreement under subsection (a) of this Code section, the board shall have the authority to close all hunting and fishing in the national forest lands within this state for such period of time as the board may deem necessary. The board shall have authority from time to time to prescribe the season for hunting or fishing in such lands, to prescribe the number of animals, fish, and birds that may be taken from such lands and the size thereof, and to prescribe the conditions under which the same may be taken.

(Ga. L. 1935, p. 375, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 27; Code 1933, § 45-109, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 32, 52 et seq.

27-1-13. Disposition of funds received by department; appropriations; grants and donations for natural resources conservation camps.

  1. All funds resulting from the operation of the department and from the administration of the laws and regulations pertaining to wildlife, excluding fines, but including all license fees and other income (except that income provided for in subsection (b) of this Code section), shall be paid into the general funds of the state treasury; and each year at least such amount shall be appropriated to the department. The board shall be authorized to establish, by rule or regulation, a procedure to refund fees collected in error or overpayment or to which the department or state is otherwise not entitled.
  2. The department is authorized to accept grants and donations (either monetary or of real or personal property) for the purpose of creating and maintaining natural resources conservation camps in the state. Any donation or grant so received and any income therefrom or any income derived from the operation of any of the camps shall be held and maintained by the department for the exclusive use and the benefit of each of said camps. The board is authorized and directed to promulgate reasonable rules and regulations respecting the operation of said camps.
  3. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the department is authorized to retain all miscellaneous funds generated by the operation of its wildlife management areas and refuges, its public fishing areas, and its wildlife, hunter, and boating education programs for use in the operation and maintenance of those areas, refuges, and programs. Any such funds not expended for this purpose in the fiscal year in which they are generated shall be deposited in the state treasury. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed so as to allow the department to retain any funds required by the Constitution of Georgia to be paid into the state treasury. The department shall comply with all provisions of Code Section 45-5-7, Parts 1 and 2 of Article 4 of Chapter 12 of Title 45, the "Budget Act," except Code Section 45-12-92, prior to expending any such miscellaneous funds.

(Ga. L. 1931, p. 173, § 8; Code 1933, § 45-220; Ga. L. 1943, p. 128, § 10; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 8; Code 1933, § 45-114, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 95, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 323, § 3; Ga. L. 1984, p. 22, § 27; Ga. L. 1995, p. 10, § 27; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1013, § 3; Ga. L. 2011, p. 558, § 4/SB 121.)

Cross references.

- Payment of revenue into general fund of state treasury, Ga. Const. 1983, Art. VII, Sec. III, Para. II.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Protection of Wildlife, §§ 52 et seq., 81 et seq.

27-1-14. Disposition of fines and bond forfeitures.

The proceeds from all fines and bond forfeitures arising from criminal prosecution for violation of the wildlife laws, rules, and regulations shall, except as otherwise specifically provided in this title, be applied initially to payment of the fees of the officers of the trial court and court costs as prescribed by law. Any money remaining after such disposition shall be remitted promptly by the clerk of the court in which the case is disposed of to the county treasurer of the county in which the fine is assessed, who shall deposit the funds in the general funds of the county.

(Ga. L. 1931, p. 173, § 4; Code 1933, § 45-127; Ga. L. 1935, p. 386, § 11; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 17; Code 1933, § 45-115, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 20; Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 3-32/HB 233.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 4-1/HB 233, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015, and shall apply to seizures of property for forfeiture that occur on or after that date. Any such seizure that occurs before July 1, 2015, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such seizure."

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 1 (2015).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Protection of Wildlife, §§ 81, 82.

27-1-15. Wildlife technicians.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 1981, p. 798, § 3, effective July 1, 1981.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2013, p. 141, § 27/HB 79, reserved the designation of this Code section, effective April 24, 2013.

27-1-16. Establishment of unit of game wardens; qualifications, appointment, and supervisory personnel; retention of badge and weapon upon disability retirement.

  1. Within the department is established a unit of peace officers to be known as game wardens. All such game wardens shall be at least 21 years of age. Such unit of peace officers shall include, but not be limited to, the commissioner and other supervisory personnel; provided, however, that the commissioner and the director of the division to which peace officer functions are assigned shall be excluded from the classified service as defined by Code Section 45-20-2 unless otherwise provided by law. The commissioner shall have the power to appoint such a number of game wardens of the state at large, as may be necessary to carry out the duties assigned to them, who shall be charged with the law enforcement responsibilities pertaining to the department.
  2. After a game warden has accumulated 25 years of service with the department as a peace officer and upon leaving such department under honorable conditions, such game warden shall be entitled as part of such officer's compensation to retain his or her weapon and badge pursuant to regulations promulgated by the commissioner.
  3. As used in this subsection, the term "disability" means a disability that prevents an individual from working as a law enforcement officer. When a game warden leaves the department as a result of a disability arising in the line of duty, such game warden shall be entitled as part of such officer's compensation to retain his or her weapon and badge in accordance with regulations promulgated by the commissioner.

(Ga. L. 1931, p. 173, §§ 1-3; Code 1933, § 45-124; Ga. L. 1943, p. 128, § 19; Ga. L. 1945, p. 404, § 3; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 13; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 5; Ga. L. 1973, p. 1483, § 1; Ga. L. 1974, p. 1453, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-116, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 8; Ga. L. 1981, p. 798, § 2; Ga. L. 1993, p. 392, § 1; Ga. L. 2004, p. 1058, § 2; Ga. L. 2005, p. 60, § 27/HB 95; Ga. L. 2009, p. 745, § 2/SB 97; Ga. L. 2012, p. 446, § 2-32/HB 642; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game wardens" for "conservation rangers" in three places in subsection (a), and substituted "game warden" for "conservation ranger" in two places in subsection (b) and in two places in subsection (c).

Cross references.

- Employment and training of peace officers, § 35-8-1 et seq.

Authority of conservation rangers to enforce boat safety laws, § 52-7-25.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2012, p. 446, § 3-1/HB 642, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "Personnel, equipment, and facilities that were assigned to the State Personnel Administration as of June 30, 2012, shall be transferred to the Department of Administrative Services on the effective date of this Act." This Act became effective July 1, 2012.

Ga. L. 2012, p. 446, § 3-2/HB 642, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "Appropriations for functions which are transferred by this Act may be transferred as provided in Code Section 45-12-90."

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Conservation officer/ranger engaged in official duties in enforcing traffic.

- Sufficient evidence supported the defendant's convictions of felony and misdemeanor obstruction of an officer and driving without carrying a license because the on-duty and uniformed conservation ranger had authority to arrest and was authorized to enforce traffic offenses and the state showed that the ranger was acting within the lawful discharge of official duties when the defendant was asked to turn down the music from the vehicle. Thornton v. State, 353 Ga. App. 252, 836 S.E.2d 541 (2019).

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Powers, duties, titles, qualifications, appointments and other matters pertaining to the department's unit of peace officers, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Administration, Organization and Public Participation, § 391-1-1-.03.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Purchase of uniforms for conservation rangers.

- The Department of Natural Resources can purchase uniforms only for its conservation rangers, which, by statute, are made a uniformed division; purchase of uniforms for any other employees would not be authorized. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 686 (rendered under Ga. L. 1955, p. 483 prior to the 1977 amendment).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 29, 30.

27-1-17. Deputy game wardens.

  1. The board shall have the power to appoint deputy game wardens. No deputy game wardens may be appointed without actual duties relating to the protection of natural resources.
  2. Deputy game wardens shall have all or part of the powers and duties of game wardens, as assigned by the board. Deputy game wardens who are not employees of the department shall receive no compensation for their services. The board is authorized to appoint such number of deputy game wardens as may be necessary to carry out the duties assigned to them.
  3. Each deputy game warden who is not an employee of the department shall personally secure a bond of not less than $5,000.00 from a bonding or surety company licensed to transact business in the State of Georgia conditioned upon the faithful performance of his duties, payable to the department.
  4. The board shall have the power to adopt rules and regulations concerning qualifications, appointments, badge, oath of office, and other matters pertaining to deputy game wardens.

(Ga. L. 1966, p. 151, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1973, p. 1483, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-117, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, §§ 9, 10; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game wardens" for "conservation rangers" twice in subsection (a), in four places in subsection (b), and once in subsection (d); and substituted "game warden" for "conservation ranger" in subsection (c).

Cross references.

- Authority of conservation rangers to enforce boat safety laws, § 52-7-25.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 29, 30.

27-1-18. Powers of game wardens generally.

  1. Game wardens shall have the power and authority:
    1. To enforce all state laws on all property owned or controlled by the department;
    2. To enforce all state laws pertaining to functions assigned to the department;
    3. To enforce any state law when the violation of that law is committed in conjunction with a violation of a state law pertaining to functions assigned to the department;
    4. To enforce any state law when ordered to do so by the Governor or to protect any life or property when the circumstances demand action; and
    5. At the expense of the department, to assist the Department of Public Safety and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in carrying out their duties and responsibilities when requested to do so by the Department of Public Safety or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
  2. The commissioner may, and in the case of a request by the Governor shall, authorize and direct the department's game wardens to cooperate with and render assistance to any law enforcement agency of this state or any municipality, county, or other political subdivision thereof in any criminal case, in the prevention or detection of violations of any law, or in the apprehension or arrest of persons who violate the criminal laws of this state, any other state, or the United States, upon a request by the governing authority or chief law enforcement officer of any municipality, the sheriff of any county, a judge of the superior court of any county, or the Governor.

(Ga. L. 1973, p. 1483, § 3; Code 1933, § 45-118, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 11; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 27; Ga. L. 1990, p. 376, § 1; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "Game wardens" for "Conservation rangers" in the introductory language of subsection (a) and substituted "game wardens" for "conservation rangers" in subsection (b).

Cross references.

- Authority of conservation rangers to inspect coastal marshland to ascertain whether laws pertaining to protection of such areas are being observed, § 12-5-286.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Conservation officer/ranger engaged in official duties in enforcing traffic.

- Sufficient evidence supported the defendant's convictions of felony and misdemeanor obstruction of an officer and driving without carrying a license because the on-duty and uniformed conservation ranger had authority to arrest and was authorized to enforce traffic offenses and the state showed that the ranger was acting within the lawful discharge of official duties when the defendant was asked to turn down the music from the vehicle. Thornton v. State, 353 Ga. App. 252, 836 S.E.2d 541 (2019).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 29, 30.

27-1-19. Power of game wardens and deputy game wardens to arrest persons; procedure upon failure of person arrested to appear to answer charges.

  1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, game wardens and deputy game wardens, when authorized to do so by the board, may arrest persons accused of violating any law or regulation which such officers are empowered to enforce by the issuance of a citation, provided that the offense is committed in the presence of the officer or information concerning the offense constituting a basis for arrest was received by the arresting officer from a law enforcement officer observing the offense being committed. The arresting officer may issue to the person a citation which shall enumerate the specific charges against the person and the date upon which the person is to appear and answer the charges. Whenever an arrest is made by the arresting officer on the basis of information received from another law enforcement officer observing the offense being committed, the citation shall list the name of each officer, and each must be present when the charges against the offender are heard.
  2. If the person charged shall fail to appear as specified in the citation, the judge having jurisdiction of the offense may issue a warrant ordering the apprehension of the person and commanding that he be brought before the court to answer the charge contained within the citation and the charge of his failure to appear as required. The person shall then be allowed to make a reasonable bond to appear on a given date before the court.

(Ga. L. 1976, p. 522, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-119, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game wardens" for "conservation rangers" twice in subsection (a).

Cross references.

- Acceptance of cash bonds for violation of game and fish laws, § 17-6-5 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Conservation officer/ranger engaged in official duties.

- Sufficient evidence supported the defendant's convictions of felony and misdemeanor obstruction of an officer and driving without carrying a license because the on-duty and uniformed conservation ranger had authority to arrest and was authorized to enforce traffic offenses and the state showed that the ranger was acting within the lawful discharge of official duties when the defendant was asked to turn down the music from the vehicle. Thornton v. State, 353 Ga. App. 252, 836 S.E.2d 541 (2019).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 29, 30.

27-1-20. Additional powers of game wardens; functions of other agencies assigned to department.

  1. In addition to the powers enumerated in Code Sections 27-1-18 and 27-1-19, game wardens shall have all the powers previously vested in any other law enforcement officers within the department including, but not limited to, the following:
    1. To enforce all laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to wildlife and to boating safety and as otherwise provided;
    2. To execute all warrants and search warrants for the violation of the laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to wildlife or to boating safety;
    3. To serve subpoenas issued for the examination, investigation, and trial of all offenses against the laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to wildlife or to boating safety;
    4. To arrest without warrant any person found violating any of the laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to wildlife or to hunting, fishing, or boating;
    5. To seize and take possession of all wildlife or parts thereof taken, caught, killed, captured, possessed, or controlled or which have been shipped or are about to be shipped at any time and in any manner or for any purpose contrary to the laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to wildlife;
    6. To go upon property outside of buildings, posted or otherwise, in the performance of their duties;
    7. To carry firearms while performing duties pertaining to wildlife;
    8. To seize as evidence, without warrant, any device other than a boat, vehicle, or aircraft when they have cause to believe that its possession or use is in violation of any of the provisions of the laws or regulations dealing with wildlife. For the purposes of this Code section, "device" includes any light, hunting apparatus, or fishing or netting gear or tackle;
    9. To enter and inspect any commercial cold storage warehouse, ice house, locker plant, butcher shop, or other plant or building for the purpose of determining whether wildlife is being kept or stored therein in violation of the wildlife laws or regulations; and
    10. To exercise the full authority of peace officers while in the performance of their duties.
  2. Unless inconsistent with this title, whenever any statute pertaining to an agency whose functions are assigned to the department refers to law enforcement personnel of that agency, that reference applies to game wardens.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 4; Ga. L. 1912, p. 113, § 1; Ga. L. 1931, p. 173, §§ 1-3; Code 1933, §§ 45-108, 45-126; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 18; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 6; Ga. L. 1970, p. 466, § 1; Ga. L. 1973, p. 1483, § 4; Code 1933, § 45-120, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game wardens" for "conservation rangers" in the introductory language of subsection (a) and at the end of subsection (b).

Cross references.

- Searches without warrants generally, § 17-5-1 et seq.

Peace officers generally, § 35-8-1 et seq.

Enforcement of laws pertaining to boating safety, § 52-7-25.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Conservation officer/ranger engaged in official duties in enforcing traffic.

- Sufficient evidence supported the defendant's convictions of felony and misdemeanor obstruction of an officer and driving without carrying a license because the on-duty and uniformed conservation ranger had authority to arrest and was authorized to enforce traffic offenses and the state showed that the ranger was acting within the lawful discharge of official duties when the defendant was asked to turn down the music from the vehicle. Thornton v. State, 353 Ga. App. 252, 836 S.E.2d 541 (2019).

Ranger may observe evidence of crime before search.

- The fruits of a search of the defendant's premises, by a conservation ranger looking for deer carcasses, conducted with the defendant's consent, were admissible. The legality of such a search was not vitiated because, prior to obtaining consent, the ranger had observed the evidence of the crime by walking around the side of the house. State v. Sutton, 258 Ga. 382, 369 S.E.2d 249 (1988).

Intoximeter test administered by ranger.

- The probate court properly denied defendant's motion to suppress the intoximeter result since a conservation ranger was empowered and authorized, in addition to the ranger's regularly enumerated duties, to exercise the full authority of peace officers. Smith v. State, 204 Ga. App. 576, 420 S.E.2d 29, cert. denied, 204 Ga. App. 922, 420 S.E.2d 29 (1992).

Seizure of evidence.

- Conservation rangers had authority to seize unlicensed hunter's crossbow and rifle without a warrant. Dowis v. State, 232 Ga. App. 111, 501 S.E.2d 275 (1998).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 29, 30.

ALR.

- Validity of roadblocks by state or local officials for purpose of enforcing fish or game laws, 87 A.L.R.4th 981.

Authority of public official, whose duties or functions generally do not entail traffic stops, to effectuate traffic stop of vehicle, 18 A.L.R.6th 519.

27-1-21. Seizure and disposal of wildlife illegally taken or possessed; civil action by possessor; disposal of wildlife unable to be stored; disposition of unmarketable items.

  1. Game wardens, sheriffs, and other peace officers of this state or any political subdivision thereof shall seize any wildlife taken or possessed in violation of the wildlife laws and regulations of this state. Such wildlife shall be sold or disposed of in such manner as the commissioner may direct, in conformance with any rules and regulations promulgated by the board, at any time after the expiration of 30 days following the seizure, unless the owner thereof or the person in possession at the time of the seizure files a civil action against the State of Georgia, Department of Natural Resources, within 30 days following the seizure, in the state or superior court having jurisdiction in the county where the seizure was made. The person filing the action shall have the burden of proof, and the action shall be tried as other civil cases in such court. Items for which such an action has been filed shall be held pending the resolution of the action, provided that reasonable charges for storage shall be paid by the person filing the action in the event that such person does not prevail in the action.
  2. If the wildlife seized is perishable or if by its nature, size, or quantity it cannot be humanely, conveniently, or economically stored, held, or contained, or if the wildlife seized poses a threat to public safety or public health, the commissioner may at any time order that it be disposed of and the proceeds, if any, held in escrow for 30 days following such seizure. If the owner thereof or the person in possession at the time of seizure files an action pursuant to this Code section, the action will be for the return of the proceeds, if any, and the proceeds will be held in escrow until final disposition of the action. If no such action is filed, the proceeds shall be paid into the state treasury.
  3. Items for which there is no conveniently ascertainable commercial market may be donated to a charitable institution or otherwise disposed of as the commissioner may direct.

(Ga. L. 1970, p. 466, § 2; Ga. L. 1975, p. 1288, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-208, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2863, § 2; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "Game wardens" for "Conservation rangers" at the beginning of subsection (a).

Law reviews.

- For annual survey of administrative law, see 38 Mercer L. Rev. 17 (1986).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

O.C.G.A. § 27-1-21 is not unconstitutionally vague or ambiguous. Blackston v. State, Dep't of Natural Resources, 255 Ga. 15, 334 S.E.2d 679 (1985).

O.C.G.A. § 27-1-21 comports with due process by granting the complaining party 30 days within which to file a civil action for return of the wildlife or the proceeds from the sale thereof. Blackston v. State, Dep't of Natural Resources, 255 Ga. 15, 334 S.E.2d 679 (1985).

For both perishable and nonperishable items, the civil action to recover the items themselves or the proceeds of the sale must be filed within 30 days of the seizure. Blackston v. State, Dep't of Natural Resources, 255 Ga. 15, 334 S.E.2d 679 (1985).

Cited in Department of Natural Resources v. Padgett, 146 Ga. App. 121, 245 S.E.2d 480 (1978).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 28 et seq., 63.

ALR.

- Validity of roadblocks by state or local officials for purpose of enforcing fish or game laws, 87 A.L.R.4th 981.

27-1-22. Taking, possessing, and releasing of wildlife generally.

For purposes of wildlife management and in accordance with sound principles of wildlife research and management, authorized personnel of the department and persons authorized by contract with the department are authorized to take, transport, possess, purchase, sell, band, and release wildlife at such times, by such methods, and in such quantities as are otherwise made unlawful by this title.

(Code 1933, § 45-214, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 16.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Hunt to thin deer population authorized.

- A safely conducted controlled hunt to thin an excessive deer population would be authorized by O.C.G.A. Title 27. Robinson v. Landings Ass'n, 264 Ga. 24, 440 S.E.2d 198 (1994).

27-1-23. Inspection of business premises and records of commercial license holders.

Any commercial license holder shall be deemed, by application for such license, to have agreed to make his business premises and records available for inspection by authorized agents of the department during normal business hours and at any other time when the licensed commercial activity is being conducted on such premises.

(Code 1933, § 45-211, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 51.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

27-1-24. Inspection of vessels and boats.

The provisions of this title or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this title pertaining to the operation of vessels or boats upon the waters of this state shall be enforceable by, in addition to game wardens, agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and other persons having responsibility to preserve the peace and enforce the laws of this state. Such persons shall have the authority to order any vessel or boat within the boundaries of this state to stop and lay to and shall have the authority to board, inspect, and examine the vessel or boat, its equipment, the wildlife on board, if any, and such documents, licenses, or other records which the vessel or boat is required to possess under this title and Code Sections 52-7-1 through 52-7-25 for the purpose of determining compliance with the provisions of such laws.

(Code 1933, § 45-123, enacted by Ga. L. 1979, p. 1283, § 1; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game wardens" for "conservation rangers" in the first sentence of this Code section.

Cross references.

- Enforcement of laws relating to boating safety generally, § 52-7-25.

27-1-25. Interference with arrest or performance of game warden's duties.

It shall be unlawful for any person to resist or interfere by force, menace, threat, or in any other manner with any arrest for violation of any wildlife law. It shall also be unlawful for any person to refuse to go with a game warden or deputy game warden after such an arrest has been made or to interfere with such warden in the performance of his duty.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 20; Code 1933, § 45-209, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game warden" for "conservation ranger" in two places in the second sentence of this Code section.

Cross references.

- Obstructing or hindering law enforcement officers in discharge of duties generally, § 16-10-24.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2019, "such warden" was substituted for "such ranger" near the end of the second sentence.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 5 Am. Jur. 2d, Arrest, §§ 81 et seq., 120, 128.

27-1-25.1. Failure or refusal to bring motor vehicle or boat to a stop when ordered to do so.

It shall be unlawful for any person operating any motor vehicle or power boat to fail or refuse to bring such vehicle or boat to a stop, or otherwise to flee or attempt to elude a pursuing peace officer who is in uniform, who prominently displays his badge of office, and who is authorized to enforce this title, when given a visible or audible signal to bring such vehicle or boat to a stop. An officer may give such visible or audible signal by use of his hand or voice or by use of an emergency light or siren.

(Code 1981, §27-1-25.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 2.)

27-1-26. Impersonation of conservation officer.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 1986, p. 1059, § 2, effective April 7, 1986.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2013, p. 141, § 27/HB 79, reserved the designation of this Code section, effective April 24, 2013.

27-1-27. Damaging or destroying department property.

It shall be unlawful for any person to take, damage, or destroy any wildlife, equipment, gate, building, or other property belonging to or under the custody and control of the department or any of its employees or agents.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 20; Code 1933, § 45-212, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

27-1-28. Taking of nongame species.

  1. Except as otherwise provided by law, rule, or regulation, it shall be unlawful to hunt, trap, fish, take, possess, or transport any nongame species of wildlife, except that the following species may be taken by any method except those specifically prohibited by law or regulation:
    1. Rats;
    2. Mice;
    3. Coyotes;
    4. Armadillos;
    5. Groundhogs;
    6. Beaver;
    7. Fresh-water turtles;
    8. Poisonous snakes;
    9. Frogs;
    10. Spring lizards;
    11. Fiddler crabs;
    12. Fresh-water crayfish;
    13. Fresh-water mussels; and
    14. Nutria.
  2. The nongame species enumerated in subsection (a) of this Code section may be taken by any method except those specifically prohibited by law or regulation.
  3. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to authorize the taking of any species which is protected under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, P.L. 93-205, as amended, or under any state law which has as its purpose the protection of endangered or threatened species.

(Code 1933, § 45-202, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 15; Ga. L. 1981, p. 798, § 4; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 3; Ga. L. 1984, p. 537, § 1.)

U.S. Code.

- The federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, referred to in this Code section, is codified at 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 45, 46.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 31 et seq. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 6 et seq.

ALR.

- Construction and application of the consultation requirement under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C.A. § 1536(a) to (d), 1 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 4.

Construction and application of exceptions under § 10 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C.A. § 1539, 2 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 2.

Construction and application of threatened species requirements under Sec. 4(a) and (b) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C.A. § 1533(a) and (b), 6 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 2.

Construction and application of the cooperation with states requirement under Sec. 6 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C.A. § 1535, 8 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 3.

Construction and application of prohibited acts under Sec. 9(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C.A. § 1538(a), 9 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 3.

27-1-29. Sale or purchase of game.

Except as otherwise specifically provided, it shall be unlawful for any person in this state to sell or to purchase any game species or parts thereof, provided that authorized personnel of the department and of any federal agency may buy or sell such game species or parts thereof for the sole purpose of obtaining evidence of violations of the wildlife laws and regulations.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 12; Ga. L. 1916, p. 114, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-302; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 53; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 16; Code 1933, § 45-205, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 15.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Sale of carcasses or parts prohibited.

- O.C.G.A. § 27-1-29 prohibits the sale of carcasses or parts of carcasses of game animals including raccoon, bobcat, fox, and opossum regardless of the means by which the animals are taken, except that the undressed fur, hide, skin, or pelt of a fur-bearing animal may be sold pursuant to a valid commercial trapping license or fur dealer license. 1992 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U92-6.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 3, 56, 57.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 35. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 54.

27-1-30. Disturbing or destroying wildlife habitats.

Except as otherwise provided by law or regulation, it shall be unlawful to disturb, mutilate, or destroy the dens, holes, or homes of any wildlife; to blind wildlife with lights; or to use explosives, chemicals, electrical or mechanical devices, or smokers of any kind in order to drive such wildlife out of such habitats.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 17; Code 1933, § 45-322; Ga. L. 1949, p. 1005, § 1; Ga. L. 1952, p. 362, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 62; Code 1933, § 45-207, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1629, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 20; Ga. L. 2014, p. 381, § 1/SB 322.)

27-1-31. Unlawful possession or use of wildlife; unlawful concealment.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to make use of or possess any wildlife or parts thereof which he knows or reasonably should have known have been taken or possessed contrary to any of the wildlife laws, rules, and regulations.
  2. It shall also be unlawful for any person to conceal the taking or possessing of wildlife by himself or any other person, whether by accident or otherwise, if the person concealing the taking or possessing knows or reasonably should have known that the wildlife has been taken or possessed illegally.

(Ga. L. 1972, p. 925, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-203, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Conviction reversed.

- Defendant's conviction for unlawful possession of wildlife was reversed where, although defendant's joint constructive possession of a wild turkey could be inferred from the circumstances, the state failed to show beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the turkey was taken illegally by the nonresident codefendant, who had unlawfully obtained an honorary hunting license. Ford v. State, 178 Ga. App. 706, 344 S.E.2d 514 (1986).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 59 et seq.

ALR.

- Construction and application of statute or ordinance making possession of carcass of game, fish, or bird, or parts thereof, a criminal offense, 125 A.L.R. 1200.

Validity, construction, and application of state wildlife possession laws, 50 A.L.R.5th 703.

27-1-32. Hiring of another to take wildlife contrary to law.

It shall be unlawful for any person to hire another to take or possess wildlife in violation of the wildlife laws, rules, and regulations.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 54; Code 1933, § 45-206, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

27-1-33. Noncompliance with laws while on fishing area, fish hatchery, natural area, or wildlife management area; acts constituting criminal trespass.

  1. It shall be unlawful to enter upon or to hunt, trap, or fish on any public fishing area, fish hatchery, or natural area, or wildlife management area owned or operated by the department except in compliance with all applicable laws and all rules and regulations promulgated by the board, including, but not limited to, any law, rule, or regulation relating to seasons or bag limits or requiring a special permit.
  2. Any person who enters upon or who hunts, traps, or fishes on any public hunting or fishing area, fish hatchery, or natural area or any game management area owned or operated by the department in violation of this Code section commits the offense of criminal trespass.

(Code 1933, § 45-213, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 16; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 4; Ga. L. 1987, p. 179, § 2; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1552, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 980, § 2; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1013, § 4; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 4/HB 475; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 1/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, in subsection (a), inserted a comma following "promulgated by the board" in the middle of the first sentence, and deleted the former second sentence, which read: "Further, it shall be unlawful for any person except those specifically excluded by law to hunt on a wildlife management area without a valid wildlife management area license as authorized by Code Section 27-2-23."

Cross references.

- Prohibition against certain acts at a park, historic site, or recreational area, § 12-3-10.

Prohibition against hunting while intoxicated, § 27-3-7.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1987, p. 179, § 6, not codified by the General Assembly, set forth the legislative intent of that Act.

Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 1/HB 475, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'Feral Hog Control Act.'"

Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 2/HB 475, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "The General Assembly finds that feral hogs are an invasive species in Georgia and are detrimental to the natural resources and agricultural production of the state. Feral hogs cause significant damage to crops and wildlife habitat. In addition, as carriers of communicable diseases, feral hogs pose a health risk to humans, livestock, companion animals, pets, and native wildlife."

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting required for violators.

- Since O.C.G.A. § 27-1-33 could be violated in such a manner that it involved firearms or other dangerous weapons where fingerprinting would be mandatory in order to promote consistency in the treatment of offenders, this offense shall be designated as an offense for which those charged with a violation are to be fingerprinted. 1989 Op. Att'y Gen. 89-52.

27-1-34. Defenses not available in prosecutions for violations.

In any prosecution for the violation of any of the provisions of the wildlife laws, it shall not be a defense that the person taking, possessing, selling, transporting, or storing wildlife was mistaken as to the species, sex, age, size, or any other fact regarding such wildlife or that the person lacked criminal intent, it being one of the purposes of the wildlife laws to penalize recklessness resulting in the violation of the wildlife laws.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 52; Code 1933, § 45-204, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 44. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 81 et seq.

27-1-35. Jurisdiction of probate courts; summons.

  1. The jurisdiction of the probate courts of the several counties of this state is enlarged and extended so that probate courts, acting by and through the judge or presiding officer, shall have the right and power to receive pleas of guilty and impose sentence upon defendants violating the provisions of this title.
  2. When a person is arrested for any violation of the wildlife laws, the arresting officer may, at his discretion, choose to issue to the offender a summons to appear before a court of jurisdiction. Every such summons shall show:
    1. That it is issued by authority of the department;
    2. The name of the person summoned or, if the person to be summoned refuses to give his name or the officer serving the summons believes the name given is false or if the officer is for other cause unable to ascertain the correct name of the person to be summoned, a fictitious name plainly identified as such;
    3. The offense with which the person being summoned is charged and the date and location of the alleged offense;
    4. The location of the court and the day and hour at which he is summoned to appear;
    5. That failure to so appear is a violation of Georgia laws and subject to prosecution;
    6. The date the summons is served; and
    7. The name and official designation of the officer serving it.
  3. Every person so summoned shall appear at the place and on the date ordered except in cases where a bond has been posted in lieu of the summons or where the court has granted a continuance.
  4. The officer serving a summons pursuant to this Code section shall, on or before the return date of the summons, deliver a copy thereof to the court before which it is returnable, or to the clerk of such court, and shall file any information and such affidavits as may be required with respect to the alleged offense.
  5. Personal delivery of a summons to the persons charged shall constitute due and proper service of the summons; provided, however, that if the violation is for a vehicle parking violation involving an unattended vehicle, service may be made by placing the summons on the driver's side of the windshield of the vehicle.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 20; Code 1933, § 45-215, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 980, § 3.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Cited in Thomas v. State, 185 Ga. App. 500, 364 S.E.2d 630 (1988).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 48, 49. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 70 et seq.

27-1-36. Civil enforcement by department; disposition of penalties.

  1. As an alternative to criminal enforcement pursuant to Code Section 27-1-38, the department, in order to enforce this title or any rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, may employ any one or any combination of the following methods:
    1. Any person who violates any provisions of this title or any regulations or orders promulgated and administered thereunder shall be liable civilly for a penalty in an amount of up to $1,000.00 for each and every violation thereof, the penalty to be recoverable by a civil action brought in the name of the commissioner by the district attorney of the county in which the alleged violator resides. The commissioner on his motion may or upon complaint of any interested party charging a violation shall refer the matter directly to the district attorney of the county in which the alleged violator resides. The proceeds from all civil penalties arising from enforcement of the wildlife laws, regulations, and orders pursuant to this Code section shall be used in the manner prescribed in Code Section 27-1-14;
    2. Whenever the commissioner determines that any person has violated any provision of this title or any regulations or orders promulgated under this title, the commissioner may issue an administrative order imposing a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 for the violation. Any person who is aggrieved or adversely affected by any such order shall, upon petition within 30 days after the issuance of such order, have a right to a hearing before an administrative law judge appointed by the Board of Natural Resources. The hearing before the administrative law judge shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," and the rules and regulations adopted by the board pursuant thereto. The decision of the administrative law judge shall constitute the final decision of the board and any party to the hearing, including the commissioner, shall have the right of judicial review thereof in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50; or
    3. All civil penalties recovered by the department as provided in this Code section shall be paid into the state treasury. The commissioner may file in the superior court in the county in which the person under order resides or, if the person is a corporation, in the county in which the corporation maintains its principal place of business, or in the county in which the violation occurred, a certified copy of a final order of the commissioner or the administrative law judge unappealed from or of a final order of the administrative law judge affirmed upon appeal, whereupon the court shall render judgment in accordance therewith and notify the parties. The judgment shall have the same effect, and all proceedings in relation thereto shall thereafter be the same, as though the judgment had been rendered in an action duly heard and determined by the court.
  2. The civil penalty prescribed in this Code section shall be concurrent with, alternative to, and cumulative of any and all other civil, criminal, or alternative rights, remedies, forfeitures, or penalties provided, allowed, or available to the commissioner with respect to any violation of this title and any regulations or orders promulgated pursuant thereto; provided, however, that in no instance shall the department be authorized to proceed against any person under both Code Section 27-1-38 and this Code section for any single violation of the wildlife laws, rules, and regulations.

(Code 1933, § 45-217, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 404, § 7; Ga. L. 1985, p. 149, § 27; Ga. L. 1993, p. 91, § 27.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 43, 44. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 81 et seq.

27-1-37. Administrative orders; emergency administrative orders; administrative review.

  1. Whenever the department has reason to believe that a violation of any provision of this title, any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, or a condition of any permit issued thereunder has occurred or is occurring, the department may, in its discretion, issue an administrative order requiring the violator to take whatever corrective action the department deems necessary in order to obtain compliance within a period of time set forth in such order. Such order may also authorize the seizure of any wildlife or wild animal which the department determines is being or has been taken, imported, sold, transferred, or possessed in violation of this title, any regulation promulgated pursuant thereto, or a condition of any permit or license issued thereunder. Any such order issued by the department shall become final unless the person named therein files with the department a written request for a hearing within 30 days after the order is served personally or by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery on such person.
  2. In addition to taking the actions authorized in subsection (a) of this Code section, the department may issue an emergency administrative order for the purpose of authorizing any appropriate enforcement action including, but not limited to, the seizure of wildlife or wild animals; provided, however, that such emergency order must be supported by and have attached thereto an affidavit stating that the affiant has personal knowledge that immediate irreparable injury is likely to occur to wildlife or other natural resources, to wild animals, or to human beings. Any such emergency order issued by the department shall be effective immediately upon the issuance of the order. The person named in the order shall, upon written request within 30 days of the issuance of the order, be entitled to a hearing, the hearing to be held within ten days of receipt of the request.
  3. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to require the issuance of an administrative order or emergency administrative order to seize contraband or wildlife in accordance with this title.
  4. The hearing reviewing an administrative order or an emergency administrative order shall be conducted by an administrative law judge appointed by the Board of Natural Resources. The hearing before the administrative law judge shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," and the rules and regulations adopted by the board pursuant thereto. The decision of the administrative law judge shall constitute the final decision of the board and any party to the hearing, including the department, shall have the right of judicial review thereof in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50.

(Code 1933, § 45-122, enacted by Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 14; Ga. L. 1984, p. 404, § 8; Ga. L. 1985, p. 149, § 27; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1589, § 3.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 1589, § 16, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that the amendment to subsection (a) is applicable with respect to notices delivered on or after July 1, 2000.

27-1-38. Penalty for violations of title.

Unless otherwise specifically provided, any person who violates any of the provisions of this title shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; provided, however, that unless otherwise specifically provided, any person who violates any of the provisions of this title or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto relating to the possession or use of fishing gear on trawlers shall be a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and shall be fined $1,000.00 for the first offense, $3,000.00 for the second offense, and $5,000.00 for the third and each subsequent offense.

(Code 1933, § 45-216, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 2002, p. 1232, § 1.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Sufficiency of evidence.

- For cases finding sufficient evidence to support a conviction of hunting with an unplugged pump shotgun, see Beard v. State, 151 Ga. App. 724, 261 S.E.2d 404 (1979).

Cited in Holzmeister v. State, 156 Ga. App. 94, 274 S.E.2d 109 (1980).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting required.

- Violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-1-38 is an offense requiring fingerprinting. 2002 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2002-7.

27-1-39. Rules and regulations used to establish criminal violations.

Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, for purposes of establishing criminal violations of the rules and regulations promulgated by the Board of Natural Resources as provided in this title, the term "rules and regulations" means those rules and regulations of the Board of Natural Resources in force and effect on January 1, 2019.

(Code 1981, §27-1-39, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 1550, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1013, § 5; Ga. L. 2002, p. 1232, § 2; Ga. L. 2003, p. 654, § 2; Ga. L. 2006, p. 226, § 1/HB 338; Ga. L. 2008, p. 702, § 1/HB 239; Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 2/SB 474; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 1/HB 869; Ga. L. 2013, p. 92, § 2/SB 136; Ga. L. 2014, p. 344, § 1/HB 783; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1056, § 2/SB 112; Ga. L. 2016, p. 432, § 3/HB 840; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 2/SB 72.)

The 2016 amendment, effective July 1, 2016, substituted "January 1, 2016" for "January 1, 2015" at the end of this Code section. See Editor's notes for applicability.

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "2019" for "2016" at the end of this Code section.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2013, p. 92, § 14/SB 136, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act "shall apply to all offenses occurring on and after May 15, 2013; provided, however, that for purposes of determining the number of prior convictions or pleas of nolo contendere pursuant to the felony provisions of paragraph (4) of subsection (m) of Code Section 52-7-12, only those offenses for which a conviction or a plea of nolo contendere is obtained on or after May 15, 2013, shall be considered."

Ga. L. 2014, p. 344, § 5/HB 783, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective on May 1, 2014, and shall apply to offenses occurring on or after such date."

Ga. L. 2016, p. 432, § 6/HB 840, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2016, and shall apply to all offenses occurring on or after such date."

CHAPTER 2 LICENSES, PERMITS, AND STAMPS GENERALLY

Article 1 Hunting, Trapping, or Fishing.
Article 2 Wildlife Violator Compact.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Constitutionality of statutes licensing or otherwise regulating business of breeding and dealing in game or undomesticated animals, 62 A.L.R. 473.

ARTICLE 1 HUNTING, TRAPPING, OR FISHING

27-2-1. Hunting, trapping, or fishing without license or permit generally; nonresidents.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt, fish, trap, or possess any wildlife or feral hog without first procuring all of the licenses, stamps, or permits required or authorized under this title.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any resident of this state who has attained the age of 16 years to hunt, fish in the waters of this state, or trap without a valid hunting license, fishing license, or trapping license, respectively, as provided in Code Section 27-2-23, except on premises owned by him or her or his or her immediate family; provided, however, that the resident owner of any vessel with a valid registration in accordance with Code Section 52-7-5 shall have, as part of the registration fee for such vessel, a paid one-day resident hunting and fishing license valid only on the anniversary of such owner's date of birth in accordance with the requirements of this title and as otherwise specified by the department. It shall be unlawful for any resident of this state to hunt, fish, or trap in this state without carrying such license upon his or her person, except on premises owned by him or her or his or her immediate family and except when otherwise specifically directed by authorized personnel of the department.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person not a resident of Georgia who has attained the age of 16 years to hunt, fish in the waters of this state, or trap in this state without a valid nonresident hunting, fishing, or trapping license, respectively, as provided in Code Section 27-2-23, except as otherwise specifically provided by law and interstate agreements. It shall be unlawful for any nonresident to hunt, fish in the waters of this state, or trap without carrying such license on his or her person, unless otherwise specifically directed by authorized personnel of the department.
  4. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this Code section, no license shall be required to fish with permission of the owner from noncommercial premises not open to the public, including docks and foreshores of such premises, or at a facility or on a charter boat licensed pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 27-2-23.2.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 13; Ga. L. 1916, p. 114, § 3; Ga. L. 1925, p. 302, § 27; Ga. L. 1931, p. 7, § 25; Ga. L. 1931, p. 178, § 6; Code 1933, §§ 45-201, 45-204, 45-205; Ga. L. 1935, p. 379, § 1; Ga. L. 1935, p. 480, § 1; Ga. L. 1941, p. 463, § 6; Ga. L. 1952, p. 258, § 2; Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 166, § 1; Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 173, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, §§ 30, 31; Ga. L. 1966, p. 6, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, §§ 7, 10; Ga. L. 1973, p. 1265, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-302, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 20; Ga. L. 1978, p. 2290, § 6; Ga. L. 1979, p. 1255, § 6; Ga. L. 1979, p. 1320, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 144, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 2; Ga. L. 2013, p. 771, § 6/HB 155; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 2/HB 208.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, substituted "a paid one-day resident hunting and fishing license valid only on the anniversary of such owner's date of birth" for "a paid three-day resident hunting and fishing license that begins on such owner's date of birth and extends two consecutive days thereafter" in the first sentence of subsection (b). See Editor's note for applicability.

Cross references.

- Unlawful acts pertaining to hunting, trapping or fishing, generally, § 27-1-3.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under Ga. L. 1937, p. 675, § 1, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Incorrect date on summons.

- Because the date of the alleged offense is not generally material, except for statute of limitations purposes, and failure to rely on a specific date is not harmful unless the defendant is surprised and prejudiced in the preparation of defendant's defense, defendant was not harmed by the appearance of an incorrect date on the summons. Blackwelder v. State, 256 Ga. 283, 347 S.E.2d 600 (1986).

Evidence sufficient to sustain conviction.

- Evidence that defendant obtained resident hunting licenses by giving a Georgia address as defendant's legal residence, while a resident of the State of Virginia, evidence of the act of hunting and testimony that defendant had been hunting and had taken a turkey was sufficient to sustain defendant's conviction under O.C.G.A. § 27-2-1. Blackwelder v. State, 256 Ga. 283, 347 S.E.2d 600 (1986).

Because the defendant acknowledged hunting doves in an open field without a hunting license and "fading" into the woods when the rangers approached, the rangers had a reasonable and articulable suspicion that illegal activity had occurred; consequently, defendant's fourth amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure were not violated and the trial court properly denied the defendant's motion for a new trial on the charges of illegal hunting and obstruction. Sharp v. State, 275 Ga. App. 487, 621 S.E.2d 508 (2005).

License required for invitees of owner of private pond.

- While owner of private pond may fish therein without procuring a license and may take fish therefrom in any manner whatever, other residents of the state over 16 years of age, even though fishing in such private pond as invitees of the owner, would be required to obtain a license. Vickers v. Jones, 200 Ga. 338, 37 S.E.2d 205 (1946) (decided under Ga. L. 1937, p. 675, § 1).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 12, 22, 43, 51m 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

ALR.

- Applicability of state fishing license laws or other public regulations to fishing in private lake or pond, 15 A.L.R.2d 754.

Validity, construction, and application of state statutes prohibiting, limiting, or regulating fishing or hunting in state by nonresidents, 31 A.L.R.6th 523.

27-2-2. Issuance and sale of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses; identification required; withdrawal of agents' authority to sell licenses; online licensing system to allow making of anatomical gifts; anatomical gift education and awareness.

  1. Hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses shall be issued and sold by the department on forms containing such information as may be prescribed by the department. As used in this Code section, the term "license" shall include all permits, licenses, or stamps issued by the department under Code Section 27-2-23. Licenses for hunting and fishing may be sold in each county by persons approved by the department to be license agents.
  2. Each license agent may be required to:
    1. Remit to the department a premium which shall entitle him or her to coverage under a blanket performance bond provided by the department. The premium, which may include the reasonable cost of administering a self-insurance program, shall be in an amount determined by the commissioner, and shall be due and payable annually upon billing by the department;
    2. Account for all license sales and the monetary receipts from such sales in reports to the department, which reports shall be on a schedule and in a form specified by the written agreement between the license agent and the department. Failure to remit license sales receipts as specified in the agreement may result in suspension of the license agent's ability to sell licenses; and
    3. Receive for himself or herself no more than 60› for each license issued, except for nonresident hunting licenses and resident sportsman licenses, for which the license agent may receive $1.25 for each license issued, and except for licenses sold by telephone by an approved telephone license agent or over the Internet by an approved Internet license agent, for which the agent may charge and receive up to $5.00 per transaction in addition to the actual cost of the license or licenses sold during the transaction; provided, however, that neither the telephone license agent nor the Internet license agent shall receive any additional fee per license sold during a telephone or Internet transaction; provided, further, that the sale of one or more licenses to one applicant during one telephone call or one Internet session shall constitute a single transaction.
  3. The commissioner may either purchase a blanket performance bond for the department's license agents from or through the Department of Administrative Services or any other source or establish a self-insurance bond by retaining all moneys paid to the department for the premium established pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section, all moneys received as interest, and nonappropriated funds received from other sources to establish and maintain a reserve fund for the purpose of making payments to the department upon the defalcations of license agents and defraying the expenses necessary to administer the program; provided, however, that no revenue collected from taxes, fees, and assessments for state purposes shall be deposited in such fund. The commissioner shall invest any such moneys in the same manner as other moneys in his or her possession. The commissioner is authorized, in his or her discretion, to contract for any or all of the services necessary to carry out the functions enumerated in this Code section.
  4. Prior to selling any license, except for a license sold over the telephone by an approved telephone license agent or over the Internet by an approved Internet license agent, each license agent shall require each person desiring to purchase a license to display a driver's license or equally reliable identification of the individual and the current residence and age of such individual. In the event the department determines that a license agent has intentionally or negligently sold a resident license to a person who is a nonresident or who is underage, the department may immediately withdraw the authority of such license agent to issue and sell licenses on behalf of the department, provided that the department shall not withdraw the license agent's authority until the license agent has been given ten days' written notice of intention to withdraw authority setting forth the reason or reasons for the withdrawal and giving the license agent a hearing in the county of said agent's residence on the reasons for withdrawal.
    1. The General Assembly finds that it is in the best interest of this state to encourage improved public education and awareness regarding anatomical gifts of human organs and tissues and to address the ever-increasing need for donations of anatomical gifts for the benefit of the citizens of Georgia.
    2. Whenever any person applies for or requests the issuance or renewal of any hunting, fishing, or trapping license through the department's online licensing system, excluding those requested through license agents, the department shall allow the applicant to make an anatomical gift pursuant to Article 6 of Chapter 5 of Title 44, the "Georgia Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act." The department shall not be required to keep the physical record of the donor's application once it has entered the information into the online system and issued the license in order for the anatomical gift to be valid.
    3. The department website shall provide links to organ procurement websites and provide information describing anatomical gifts, along with the need for and benefits of anatomical gifts.
    4. The department, with the consent of the applicant, shall make available to organ procurement organizations or secure data centers maintained and managed at the direction of such organizations information as provided for in Article 6 of Chapter 5 of Title 44, the "Georgia Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act," including the name, license number, date of birth, gender, and most recent address of any person eligible pursuant to such Act who obtains a fishing, hunting, or trapping license and who indicates such person's desire to be an organ donor; provided, however, that the information shall be made available only to an organ procurement organization or secure data center if such organization or center has sufficient funds to reimburse the department for reasonable costs associated with the application process and providing such information. Information so obtained by such organizations and centers shall be used for a state-wide organ donor registry accessible to organ tissue and eye banks authorized to function as such in this state and shall not be further disseminated.

(b.1)Any person who applies to be a license agent after June 30, 1998, shall be assessed a fee not to exceed the fair market cost of automated licensing equipment the department shall install in such agent's place of business. Such fees shall be due and payable upon installation of the automated equipment.

(Ga. L. 1931, p. 173, § 5; Code 1933, §§ 45-206, 45-218; Ga. L. 1935, p. 379, § 2; Ga. L. 1935, p. 386, § 7; Ga. L. 1941, p. 463, §§ 1-4; Ga. L. 1943, p. 537, § 1; Ga. L. 1949, p. 1156, § 1; Ga. L. 1949, p. 1577, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1952, p. 258, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 28; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 7; Ga. L. 1976, p. 1159, §§ 1, 2; Code 1933, § 45-301, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, §§ 17-19; Ga. L. 1978, p. 2290, §§ 1-3; Ga. L. 1979, p. 924, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 1255, §§ 1-3; Ga. L. 1981, p. 144, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1987, p. 179, § 3; Ga. L. 1992, p. 915, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 946, §§ 2, 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 3; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1013, § 6; Ga. L. 2019, p. 816, § 1/SB 99.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, added subsection (e). See Editor's notes for applicability.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1998, paragraph (b)(4) was redesignated as subsection (b.1) and, in subsection (b), "and" was added at the end of paragraph (2) and a period was substituted for "; and" at the end of paragraph (3).

Cross references.

- Voter registration incorporated into resident hunting, fishing or trapping licenses, § 21-2-221.1.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1987, p. 179, § 6, not codified by the General Assembly, set forth the legislative intent of that Act.

Ga. L. 2019, p. 816, § 2/SB 99, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be applicable to all licenses issued on or after July 1, 2019."

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Liability of license agent.

- A license agent is liable for loss of funds collected from sale of state hunting and fishing licenses. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 168 (decided under Ga. L. 1955, p. 483).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 51.

12 Am. Jur. Pleading and Practice Forms, Fish and Game, § 4.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

27-2-3. Effective periods of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses generally; multiyear licenses.

  1. Except as otherwise specifically provided, all hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses, including without limitation commercial fishing and commercial fishing boat licenses issued pursuant to Code Section 27-2-8, shall be effective from April 1 to March 31 of the following year; except that all annual, two-year, or other multiyear hunting, fishing, and hunting and fishing combination licenses issued pursuant to paragraphs (1) through (4) of Code Section 27-2-23 shall be effective through the applicable one-year, two-year, or multiyear anniversary of the date of issuance. If a person possesses a valid annual, two-year, or other multiyear hunting, fishing, or hunting and fishing combination license at the time of sale of one or more annual, two-year, or other multiyear licenses with identical privileges to the valid license, the new license or licenses shall become effective when the original license expires and shall remain valid through the full applicable period. The department may specify the effective dates and term of the following licenses or permits:
    1. The Georgia waterfowl and migratory bird stamp to meet requirements of Code Section 27-2-20;
    2. The free Georgia salt water fishing endorsement to meet requirements of Code Section 27-2-20.1; and
    3. Any permit or requirement authorized by Code Section 27-3-29 regarding harvest recording and reporting.
  2. Multiyear licenses valid for any desired number of years may be purchased through a single transaction for licenses listed in paragraphs (1) through (4) of Code Section 27-2-23. The fee for any such multiyear license shall be equivalent to the lowest cost combination of annual or two-year licenses necessary to form the desired multiyear license period. No resident license shall be valid at the time of hunting or fishing unless the licensee is a resident of this state at such time, except for lifetime licenses.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 30; Code 1933, § 45-302, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 22; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1552, § 2; Ga. L. 2003, p. 654, § 3; Ga. L. 2007, p. 47, § 27/SB 103; Ga. L. 2009, p. 787, § 1/HB 326; Ga. L. 2012, p. 775, § 27/HB 942; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 3/HB 208.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, added the last two sentences in subsection (a); added paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3); and, in the last sentence of subsection (b), substituted "No resident license" for "No multiyear license" at the beginning and added ", except for lifetime licenses" at the end. See Editor's note for applicability.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

27-2-3.1. Hunting licenses; sportsman's license; license card carrier requirement; creation of lifetime sportsman's licenses.

  1. The requirements in this title for procuring any paid license or permit for noncommercial hunting and fishing privileges, except for harvesting alligators, shall be satisfied by a resident or nonresident who procures a sportsman's license; provided, however, that the department may specify other nonpaid licenses and permits required by law or by rule or regulation of the board. An applicant for such license shall furnish all information required by the department prior to the issuance of such license. An applicant for any paid or nonpaid license who is a resident shall certify and provide satisfactory evidence of his or her residency as set forth in paragraph (4) of subsection (c) of this Code section.
  2. All licenses, stamps, or permits for noncommercial hunting and fishing privileges shall be attached to or printed on a form provided by the department which shall include the applicant's name, address, date of birth, and hunter safety certification number; provided, however, that each such item of information may be, but is not required to be, printed on lifetime licenses.
    1. The requirements in this title for procuring any paid license, stamp, or permit for noncommercial hunting and fishing privileges shall be satisfied by a resident or nonresident who procures a lifetime sportsman's license; provided, however, that the department may specify other required nonpaid licenses and permits required by law or by rule or regulation of the board for such resident or nonresident and that an applicant for such license shall furnish all information required by the department prior to the issuance of such license; and provided, further, that the requirements in this title for procuring any paid license, stamp, or permit for noncommercial hunting or for noncommercial fishing privileges, separately, shall be satisfied by a resident or nonresident who procures a lifetime sportsman's license for hunting only or for fishing only, respectively, as described in subparagraph (d)(1)(E) of this Code section.
    2. An applicant for a veteran's lifetime sportsman's license shall, in addition to satisfactory evidence of residency, be required to provide satisfactory evidence that he or she served more than 90 days of federal active duty military service and was honorably discharged.
    3. An applicant for a lifetime sportsman's license who is a nonresident shall not be eligible for issuance of such license unless:
      1. He or she is from two through 15 years of age and is the grandchild of a resident who holds a valid paid lifetime sportsman's license (excluding a no-cost Type S lifetime license). The resident grandparent who holds such a lifetime sportsman's license and who is the sponsor of an eligible nonresident applicant for a lifetime sportsman's license shall certify the nonresident applicant's relationship to him or her in writing to the department; or
      2. He or she is less than two years of age.
      1. For purposes of procuring a lifetime sportsman's license, the term "residency" means a domicile within Georgia for a minimum of three consecutive months immediately prior to procuring such license. Satisfactory evidence of residency shall consist of a current Georgia driver's license or official Georgia identification card issued by the Department of Driver Services; provided, however, that no license or identification card issued pursuant to Code Section 40-5-21.1 shall satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.
      2. Minors under 18 years of age shall be presumed to be residents upon proof of parent's resident status as provided for in this Code section. For purposes of procuring the Type I (Infant) and Type Y (Youth) lifetime license, a copy of a certified copy of the birth certificate of the licensee shall be required to show age (Types I and Y) and parentage (Type Y). A court order or other legal document establishing parental rights or legal custody may be provided to show parentage.
    1. Lifetime sportsman's licenses and fees for residents shall be as follows:
      1. Type I (Infant), available only to those individuals under two years of age: $500.00;
      2. Type Y (Youth), available only to those individuals from two through 15 years of age: $600.00;
      3. Type A (Adult), available to those individuals 16 years to 49 years of age: $750.00;

        (C.1) Type OA (Older Adult), available to those individuals 50 years to 59 years of age: $375.00;

      4. Type SD (Senior Discount), available to those individuals 60 years to 64 years of age: $315.00;
      5. Type S (Senior), available to those individuals 65 years of age or older born on or before June 30, 1952: no charge. The lifetime sportsman's licenses and fees available to those individuals 65 years of age and older born after June 30, 1952, shall be as follows:
        1. Type SP (Senior Paid): $70.00;
        2. Type SH (Senior Hunt), for hunting only: $35.00; and
        3. Type SF (Senior Fish), for fishing only: $35.00;
      6. Type V (Veterans), available only to those individuals who served more than 90 days of federal active duty military service and were honorably discharged: 80 percent of the amount of the fee specified for Type A lifetime sportsman's licenses in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph;
      7. Type M (Military), available only to those residents currently in active military service and who are in possession of a valid United States Department of Defense Common Access Card with a Uniformed Services affiliation. As used in this subsection, the term "active military service" means service on active duty with the armed forces of the United States or service with a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, including service in the Georgia National Guard or National Guard of another state: 80 percent of the amount of the fee specified for Type A lifetime sportsman's licenses in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph; and
      8. Type SP (Shooting Preserve), available to any individual, resident or nonresident, and which entitles the holder to hunt pen raised game birds and fish in any private or state waters within the boundaries of a properly licensed shooting preserve: $75.00.
    2. The fee for any lifetime sportsman's license for a nonresident, Type NR, shall be twice the amount of the fee for a Type A (Adult) lifetime sportsman's license for a resident, except that the fee for a nonresident Type I (Infant) license shall be the same fee as for a resident Type I (Infant) license.
    3. After July 1, 2017, the General Assembly shall not increase the cost of any license provided for in this subsection by more than 20 percent.
  3. Lifetime sportsman's licenses shall be valid for the lifetime of the purchaser, whether resident or nonresident. Change of residency to another state shall not affect the validity of the lifetime license when hunting or fishing in Georgia.
  4. The commissioner shall revoke the lifetime sportsman's license of any person who knowingly attempts to or does purchase, obtain, or assist another person to obtain a lifetime sportsman's license by fraudulent means, without refund of any fees paid.
  5. Upon payment of a replacement fee of up to $15.00, any durable plastic card showing a lifetime sportsman's license or other valid license may be replaced if lost, stolen, or destroyed, provided that the applicant's name and lifetime license number or other required license information are in the records of the department.
  6. Once a lifetime license is issued, no refunds of fees will be made except in the case of the death before age 16 years of a Type I (Infant) lifetime license holder or a Type Y (Youth) license holder, in which case a full refund of fees collected may be made upon submission of the lifetime license and any other documentation required by the department.
  7. The requirements in this title for procuring any paid license, stamp, or permit for noncommercial hunting and fishing privileges shall be satisfied by a resident youth younger than 16 years of age who procures an optional annual or an optional multiyear resident youth sportsman's license. The requirements in this title for procuring any paid license, stamp, or permit for noncommercial fishing privileges shall be satisfied by a youth younger than 16 years of age who procures an optional annual or an optional multiyear resident youth license for fishing only. A resident youth multiyear fishing license or resident youth multiyear sportsman's license will be valid from the time of purchase until such person reaches 17 years of age. The department may require satisfactory evidence to show age and residency before issuing an annual or youth multiyear license.

(Code 1981, §27-2-3.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1995, p. 946, § 4; Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 4; Ga. L. 1998, p. 826, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1013, § 7; Ga. L. 2002, p. 415, § 27; Ga. L. 2003, p. 654, §§ 4, 5; Ga. L. 2004, p. 338, § 1; Ga. L. 2005, p. 334, § 11-1/HB 501; Ga. L. 2007, p. 91, § 1A/HB 81; Ga. L. 2009, p. 787, § 2/HB 326; Ga. L. 2010, p. 878, § 27/HB 1387; Ga. L. 2013, p. 771, § 4/HB 155; Ga. L. 2014, p. 859, § 1/HB 786; Ga. L. 2015, p. 5, § 27/HB 90; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 4/HB 208.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, rewrote subsection (a); inserted "paid" near the beginning and added the proviso at the end of paragraph (c)(1); deleted former paragraph (c)(2), which read "An applicant for such license who is a resident shall certify and provide satisfactory evidence of his or her residency as set forth in paragraph (5) of this subsection."; redesignated former paragraphs (c)(3) through (c)(5) as present paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(4), respectively; in paragraph (c)(3), substituted "a lifetime sportsman's licence" for "such license" in the introductory language and substituted "(excluding a no-cost Type S lifetime license)" for "(not a Type S lifetime license)" in the first sentence of subparagraph (c)(3)(A); in subparagraph (c)(4)(b), inserted "or legal custody" in the last sentence; in paragraph (d)(1), substituted "$500.00" for "$200.00" in subparagraph (d)(1)(A), substituted "$600.00" for "$350.00" in subparagraph (d)(1)(B), substituted "$750.00" for "$500.00" in subparagraph (d)(1)(C), added subparagraph (d)(1)(C.1), substituted "60 years to 64 years of age: $315.00" for "60 years of age or older: $95.00" in subparagraph (d)(1)(D), rewrote subparagraph (d)(1)(E), deleted "and" at the end of subparagraph (d)(1)(F), added subparagraph (d)(1)(G), and redesignated former subparagraph (d)(1)(G) as present subparagraph (d)(1)(H); added paragraph (d)(3); substituted "$15.00" for "$10.00" near the beginning of subsection (g); and added subsection (i). See Editor's note for applicability.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting not required.

- An offense under O.C.G.A. § 27-2-3.1 would not be designated as one which requires fingerprinting. 1998 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 98-20.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Validity, construction, and application of state statutes prohibiting, limiting, or regulating fishing or hunting in state by nonresidents, 31 A.L.R.6th 523.

27-2-4. Honorary and discounted hunting and fishing licenses.

  1. The department shall issue a discounted hunting and fishing license, which shall entitle a resident to hunt and fish in this state without the payment of fees described in Code Section 27-2-23, to each resident who is permanently and totally disabled. For purposes of this Code section, a permanent, total disability shall be a physical or mental impairment of a total and permanent nature which is certified as such by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, the Social Security Administration, Medicaid, medicare, the Railroad Retirement System, or a unit of federal, state, or local government recognized by the board by rule or regulation; provided, however, that persons disabled because of a mental impairment shall be issued a discounted fishing license only. Persons issued a discounted license under disability provisions shall renew such licenses and recertify their eligibility for such licenses every three years; provided, however, that licenses in effect as of July 1, 1998, shall not require renewal. The fee for a discounted three-year license issued pursuant to this subsection shall be $9.00 for hunting or fishing only and $15.00 for hunting and fishing combined. The fee for a discounted annual license issued pursuant to this subsection shall be $3.00 for hunting or fishing only and $5.00 for hunting and fishing combined.
  2. Any resident who is totally blind and who applies to the department shall receive a lifetime honorary fishing license which shall entitle the holder thereof to fish in this state without the payment of any fee whatsoever.
  3. Any person holding a valid honorary or discounted license pursuant to this Code section shall not be required to obtain the trout license and big game license otherwise required by Code Section 27-2-6.
  4. All honorary and discounted hunting and fishing licenses are subject to all wildlife laws, rules, and regulations with the exception of the provisions requiring the payment of fees described in Code Section 27-2-23 for such licenses. Such honorary and discounted licenses may be revoked in accordance with this title. It shall be unlawful for any person who has an honorary or discounted hunting and fishing license to permit the use of same by any other person. It shall also be unlawful for any person who is not entitled to a discounted hunting and fishing license to use such a license or for any totally and permanently disabled person issued such a license to possess or use such license when the disability is no longer total or permanent. Licenses for the totally and permanently disabled may, upon a determination that the disability is no longer total or permanent, be revoked until such time as the disability is again total and permanent.
  5. The commissioner is authorized to make and enter into agreements from time to time with the proper authorities of various states of the United States regarding nonresident hunting and fishing license fees for persons 65 years of age or older so as to provide discounted hunting and fishing licenses to be issued to nonresidents 65 years of age or older where such practice is reciprocated for Georgia residents in that person's state of residence.
  6. Persons holding lifetime honorary licenses issued to persons 65 years of age or older prior to April 1, 1999, shall not be required to obtain a lifetime license pursuant to Code Section 27-2-3.1, and such lifetime honorary license shall carry the same rights and privileges as a lifetime license issued pursuant to that Code section.
    1. As used in this subsection, the term "returning veteran" means a person who is discharged from active duty as a member of the regular or reserve component of the United States armed forces, the United States Coast Guard, the Georgia National Guard, or the Georgia Air National Guard and who was on ordered federal duty for a period of 90 days or longer.
    2. The department shall issue an honorary hunting and fishing license to any returning veteran which shall entitle him or her to hunt and fish in this state without the payment of fees described in Code Section 27-2-23 for a period of one year following issuance. A returning veteran requesting such an honorary license shall provide proof of his or her discharge.

(Ga. L. 1949, p. 1194, §§ 1-4; Ga. L. 1956, p. 590, § 1; Ga. L. 1964, p. 461, § 1; Ga. L. 1965, p. 228, § 1; Ga. L. 1966, p. 6, § 2; Ga. L. 1971, p. 38, § 1; Ga. L. 1973, p. 1265, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-302, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 935, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, §§ 17, 18; Ga. L. 1984, p. 22, § 27; Ga. L. 1988, p. 842, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 45, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 94, § 27; Ga. L. 1994, p. 496, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 5; Ga. L. 1998, p. 826, § 2; Ga. L. 2005, p. 213, § 3/SB 258; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 5/HB 208.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, in subsection (a), substituted "a discounted" for "an honorary" in three places, deleted "which prevents gainful employment and" following "total and permanent nature" in the second sentence, deleted "honorary" following "however, that" in the third sentence, and added the last two sentences; inserted "or discounted" in subsection (c); in subsection (d), inserted "and discounted" in the first and second sentences, inserted "or discounted" in the third sentence, and substituted "a discounted" for "an honorary" in the fourth sentence; and, in subsection (e), substituted "discounted" for "honorary" and deleted "without charge" following "licenses to be issued". See Editor's note for applicability.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1985, a comma was inserted following "license" in the first sentence of subsection (a).

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1998, a comma was deleted following "time" in subsection (e).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Presumption concerning nonresidents.

- One is presumed to know that a nonresident cannot obtain an honorary hunting license. Ford v. State, 178 Ga. App. 706, 344 S.E.2d 514 (1986).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions under Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, as it read prior to revision by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Widow of deceased veteran is not entitled to free hunting or fishing license unless she herself is 65 years of age or older and a legal resident of Georgia. 1971 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 71-127 (decided under Ga. L. 1955, p. 483).

Meaning of phrase "without the payment of any fee whatsoever."

- Phrase "without the payment of any fee whatsoever" is designed to modify infinitive phrase "to hunt and fish"; legislative intent of former subsection (a) then would seem to be that holder of honorary license is not to be charged any state-imposed license or use fee for hunting and fishing. 1971 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 71-67 (decided under Ga. L. 1955, p. 483).

27-2-4.1. Fishing license reciprocity for Florida residents over 65 years of age.

No fishing license shall be required for any Florida resident who is more than 65 years of age, to the extent that a reciprocal provision exists under Florida law for any Georgia resident who is more than 65 years of age. Florida residents exempted from the requirement of obtaining a fishing license under this Code section shall be entitled to fish in this state without the payment of any fee whatsoever, except that in order to engage in the activities regulated by subsection (a) of Code Section 27-2-6 such a Florida resident must have paid the fee otherwise required for a trout license and must have in his or her possession such proof of such payment as may be prescribed by the department. Florida residents exempted from the requirement of obtaining a fishing license under this Code section are subject to all wildlife laws, rules, and regulations with the exception of provisions requiring fishing licenses. The privileges granted to a Florida resident under this Code section may be suspended or revoked on the same grounds and in the same manner as fishing licenses are suspended and revoked. A Florida resident fishing as authorized by this Code section shall carry upon his or her person proof of his or her age and residence.

(Code 1981, §27-2-4.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1987, p. 365, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 6.)

27-2-4.2. Courtesy nonresident fishing licenses to certain paralyzed or disabled veterans.

The department is authorized to issue a courtesy nonresident fishing license, without fee, to any person who is not a resident of this state who is a paralyzed or disabled veteran and who is participating in an organized fishing tournament in this state which is sponsored and conducted by a nonprofit charitable association of paralyzed or disabled veterans, provided that such tournament is approved by the department. Such courtesy nonresident license shall be valid for use only during the specified dates of such tournament and for a maximum of seven days and shall include all requirements and privileges of a nonresident fishing license, including the nonresident trout license, for use only in association with such tournament.

(Code 1981, §27-2-4.2, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 1659, § 2; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 6/HB 208.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, added the proviso at the end of the first sentence and added "and shall include all requirements and privileges of a nonresident fishing license, including the nonresident trout license, for use only in association with such tournament" at the end of the last sentence. See Editor's note for applicability.

Cross references.

- Discount for certified disabled veterans, § 12-3-9.1.

Veterans affairs, T. 38, C. 4.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Validity, construction, and application of state statutes prohibiting, limiting, or regulating fishing or hunting in state by nonresidents, 31 A.L.R.6th 523.

27-2-4.3. Special hunting privileges for young people with a terminal illness.

  1. As used in this Code section, the term "terminal illness" means an incurable or irreversible condition with a corresponding life expectancy that does not exceed 12 months.
  2. The commissioner is authorized to issue special authorization to hunt big game or alligators to any person not older than 21 years of age who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness by a doctor of medicine currently licensed to practice either by the Georgia Composite Medical Board or the State Board of Examiners in Osteopathy. Such special authorization may include waiving legal weapons requirements, antler restrictions, quota limitations, or hunter education requirements as necessary to facilitate special situations for persons with a terminal illness. The commissioner may impose any terms and conditions deemed necessary to implement the special authorization. Such authorization shall be for only one hunting season.
  3. The commissioner may prepare an application to be used by persons requesting special authorization and may require signed documentation from a doctor of medicine currently licensed to practice either by the Georgia Composite Medical Board or the State Board of Examiners in Osteopathy verifying that an applicant has a terminal illness.
  4. A person who receives special authorization to hunt under this Code section shall conduct all hunting under the direct supervision of a licensed adult hunter and abide by the terms and conditions of the special authorization issued by the commissioner.

(Code 1981, §27-2-4.3, enacted by Ga. L. 2012, p. 889, § 2/SB 309.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2012, p. 889, § 1/SB 309, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as 'Taylor's Law.'"

27-2-4.4. Special turkey hunting season for young and mobility impaired hunters.

  1. As used in this Code section, the term "mobility impaired person" means any person who has been verified by a doctor of medicine currently licensed to practice by the Georgia Composite Medical Board, the State Board of Examiners in Osteopathy, or an equivalent body of another state to have any one of the following permanent conditions:
    1. Dependence upon a wheelchair or similar device for ambulation;
    2. Hemiplegia;
    3. Monoplegia;
    4. Paraplegia; or
    5. Single-leg amputation above the knee.
  2. The board shall promulgate rules and regulations authorizing the hunting of turkeys during an extended open season to:
    1. Any person who is 16 years of age or younger; or
    2. Any mobility impaired person.
  3. Notwithstanding any provisions of Code Section 27-3-15 to the contrary, such extended season shall be for the weekend prior to the first weekend of the open turkey season, as established by the board.
  4. Such special authorization shall be subject to all other provisions of this title.

(Code 1981, §27-2-4.4, enacted by Ga. L. 2013, p. 538, § 1/HB 207.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2013, "Dependence" was substituted for "Dependance" in paragraph (a)(1).

27-2-4.5. Outdoor mentoring program.

  1. As used in this Code section, the term:
    1. "Outdoor mentee" means any resident to whom the department has never issued both a hunting and fishing license, or an outdoor passport, under this chapter.
    2. "Outdoor mentor" means any individual who is 18 years of age or older and who has a current license that allows hunting and fishing pursuant to this chapter.
    3. "Outdoor passport" means a reduced cost license issued by the department which licenses or permits noncommercial hunting and fishing privileges across all categories of hunting and fishing.
  2. The General Assembly finds that an outdoor mentor program can spark interest in hunting and fishing as lifelong activities; provide safe, memorable, and positive introductions for first-time hunting and fishing experiences; and promote safe and ethical hunting and fishing practices.
  3. The department shall establish and maintain an outdoor mentor program that enables experienced hunters and fishers to mentor new hunters and fishers in safe, ethical, and responsible hunting and fishing practices. In furtherance of such outdoor mentor program, the department:
    1. Shall establish a mentor education course that provides instruction to outdoor mentors, the completion of which shall be required before he or she may mentor an outdoor mentee under the program;
    2. Shall work with partners to develop incentives for outdoor mentors and may include reduced license fees for an outdoor mentor participating in the program;
    3. Shall issue outdoor mentees participating in the program an outdoor passport which shall expire one year after issuance; and
    4. Shall prepare necessary applications and impose any further criteria and terms and conditions not inconsistent with this Code section for implementation of the program.

(Code 1981, §27-2-4.5, enacted by Ga. L. 2018, p. 948, § 1/SB 332.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective July 1, 2018.

27-2-5. Required hunter education courses.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person born on or after January 1, 1961, to procure a hunting license or to hunt by means of weapons in this state unless that person has been issued a certificate or other evidence the department deems acceptable which indicates satisfactory completion of a hunter education course as prescribed by the board. Persons ages 12 through 25 shall provide such certificate or other evidence to the issuing agent at the time of purchase of a hunting license. All persons required by this subsection to complete a hunter education course, by buying such license, by receiving a temporary license identification number, or by receiving a license from a telephone license agent, Internet license agent, or other vendor, shall certify by such action their compliance with this subsection.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person authorized to issue hunting licenses in this state to issue a hunting license to any person age 16 through 25 unless that license agent shall have been provided with a certificate showing the license applicant has satisfactorily completed a hunter education course as prescribed by the board, or to any other person born on or after January 1, 1961, unless such person provides such other evidence of completion of a hunter education course as the department deems acceptable. Internet and telephone license agents may accept a valid hunter education certificate number as fulfillment of this requirement.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person age 16 through 25 who is not required by law to obtain a hunting license to hunt in this state unless that person carries on his or her person while hunting a certificate attesting to that person's satisfactory completion of a hunter education course as prescribed by the board. Such person shall present his or her certificate to a game warden or deputy game warden for inspection upon demand.
  4. Any person who is age 12 through 15 shall satisfactorily complete a hunter education course as a prerequisite to hunting with a weapon in this state. It shall be unlawful for any adult to permit his or her child or ward age 12 through 15 to hunt with a weapon unless the child has a certificate attesting to his or her satisfactory completion of such course on his or her person; provided, however, that a hunter education course is not required for a child less than 16 years of age who is hunting under adult supervision by a licensed adult hunter.
  5. Any person applying for an annual or multiyear nonresident hunting/fishing license may provide a certificate of completion or such other evidence of completion the department deems acceptable of the official hunter education or hunter safety course of such person's state of residence if that course shall have been approved by the department. No one applying for an outdoor passport, a hunting license of less than one year in duration, or a lifetime license shall be required to exhibit such a certificate or to complete a hunter education course in order to obtain the license. Persons holding a lifetime license shall complete an official hunter education or hunter safety course and display proof of completion as specified by the department in order to hunt unless otherwise exempted by this title.
  6. By rule or regulation, the board shall prescribe a course of instruction in competency and safety in hunting and in the handling of weapons. The board shall also prescribe procedures whereby competent residents of this state shall be certified as hunter education instructors. The board may provide, by rule or regulation, for charging reasonable fees for the issuance by the department of duplicate certificates of completion of a hunter education course and for hunter education courses in order to defray the expenses of conducting such courses. Any such fees shall be deemed as "other income" of the department for purposes of subsection (c) of Code Section 27-1-13.
  7. Any person violating any provision of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; provided, however, that this subsection shall not apply to any person under the age of 16.
  8. The requirements of subsections (c) and (d) of this Code section shall not apply to any person hunting on his or her own land or that of his or her parents or legal guardian or to persons permitting a child or ward aged 12 through 15 years to hunt on the parent's or guardian's own land.

(Code 1933, § 45-302.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1978, p. 2264, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 1177, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 842, § 2; Ga. L. 1993, p. 779, § 2; Ga. L. 1995, p. 946, § 5; Ga. L. 1996, p. 6, § 27; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1013, § 8; Ga. L. 2009, p. 787, § 3/HB 326; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 7/HB 208; Ga. L. 2018, p. 948, § 2/SB 332; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, in subsection (a), substituted "ages 12" for "ages 16" in the second sentence and, in the last sentence, substituted "buying such license" for "signing such license" and inserted "by such action" near the end; substituted "less than 16 years of age" for "age 12 through 15 years" near the end of the last sentence of subsection (d); in subsection (e), inserted "or multiyear" near the beginning of the first sentence, substituted "No one applying for a hunting license of less than one year in duration or for a lifetime license shall be required" for "Those persons applying for a hunting license other than a season hunting license shall not be required" in the second sentence, and added the third sentence. See Editor's note for applicability.

The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, in subsection (e), in the middle of the second sentence, inserted "an outdoor passport," and substituted "duration, or a" for "duration or for a".

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game warden" for "conservation ranger" in two places in subsection (c).

Cross references.

- Misuse of firearm or archery tackle while hunting, § 16-11-108.

Liability of volunteers, employees, or officers of nonprofit association conducting or sponsoring sports or safety program; liability of association, § 51-1-20.1.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Nonresident hunter education certification.

- Nonresidents born prior to January 1, 1961, may hunt in this state or obtain season nonresident hunting licenses without proof of hunter training; nonresidents born on or after January 1, 1961, may not obtain nonresident season hunting licenses in this state without certification of hunter training. 1979 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 79-68.

O.C.G.A. § 27-2-5 does not expressly subject nonresident hunters to special requirements. 1979 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 79-68.

This language is permissive, not mandatory. 1979 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 79-68.

27-2-6. Trout license, Georgia waterfowl and migratory bird stamp, big game license, and alligator harvest permit.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person who has attained the age of 16 years to fish for or possess mountain trout or to fish in any waters designated as trout waters or trout streams pursuant to Code Section 27-4-51 unless such person has in his or her possession a trout license in addition to his or her fishing license.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person who has attained the age of 16 years to hunt or possess big game unless such person has in his or her possession a big game license in addition to the required hunting license; provided, however, that all nonresidents, regardless of age, must possess a nonresident hunting/fishing license along with any harvest records required by law or regulation to hunt big game in this state.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person who has attained the age of 16 years to hunt ducks, geese, or swans unless such person has in his or her possession a Georgia waterfowl and migratory bird stamp in addition to the required hunting license; provided, however, that a Georgia waterfowl and migratory bird stamp or a landowner Georgia waterfowl and migratory bird stamp shall be required for any resident of this state to hunt migratory birds on premises owned by him or her or his or her immediate family.
  4. It shall be unlawful for any person who has attained the age of 16 years to hunt alligators unless such person has in his or her possession a valid hunting license. A resident or nonresident alligator harvest permit shall be required to harvest an alligator. Such permit shall be free to lifetime license holders if selected as part of any department quota or lottery.
  5. No resident of this state shall be required to obtain a trout license or big game license to hunt, fish, or trap on premises owned by him or her or his or her immediate family.
  6. Any visitor to a state park, whether a resident or nonresident of Georgia, shall not be required to purchase a trout license when fishing in impounded waters on lands owned or leased by the department.

(Ga. L. 1971, p. 38, § 1; Ga. L. 1973, p. 274, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-302, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 21; Ga. L. 1978, p. 2290, § 5; Ga. L. 1979, p. 1255, § 5; Ga. L. 1979, p. 1320, § 2; Ga. L. 1989, p. 506, § 2; Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 7; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1550, § 2; Ga. L. 2000, p. 136, § 27; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1013, § 9; Ga. L. 2003, p. 654, § 6; Ga. L. 2009, p. 787, § 4/HB 326; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 8/HB 208.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, in subsection (c), substituted "a Georgia waterfowl and migratory bird stamp" for "an official Georgia waterfowl license" near the end and added the proviso at the end; in subsection (d), substituted "possession a valid hunting license." for "possession an alligator hunting license in addition to the required hunting license; provided, however, that this subsection shall not apply to lifetime license holders." in the first sentence and added the last two sentences and deleted ", official Georgia waterfowl license," following "trout license" near the middle of subsection (e). See Editor's note for applicability.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Incorrect date on summons.

- Because the date of the alleged offense is not generally material, except for statute of limitations purposes, and failure to rely on a specific date is not harmful unless the defendant is surprised and prejudiced in the preparation of a defense, defendant was not harmed by the appearance of an incorrect date on the summons. Blackwelder v. State, 256 Ga. 283, 347 S.E.2d 600 (1986).

Evidence sufficient to sustain conviction.

- Evidence that defendant obtained resident hunting licenses by giving a Georgia address as defendant's legal residence, while a resident of the State of Virginia, evidence of the act of hunting and testimony that defendant had been hunting and had taken a turkey was sufficient to sustain defendant's conviction under O.C.G.A. § 27-2-6. Blackwelder v. State, 256 Ga. 283, 347 S.E.2d 600 (1986).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions under Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, as it read prior to revision by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Nonresidents fishing for mountain trout.

- Nonresidents under 16 years of age could fish for other than mountain trout with no license but, when fishing for mountain trout, would have to have both a sport fishing license and a trout stamp. 1971 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 71-130 (decided under Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1).

Big game license required of nonresident.

- A nonresident under the age of 16 would not have to have a license to hunt small game; however, when hunting big game, a nonresident must have a hunting license and a big game license. 1971 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 71-130 (decided under Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 22, 42 et seq., 56 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 35. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 51 et seq.

ALR.

- Validity, construction, and application of state statutes prohibiting, limiting, or regulating fishing or hunting in state by nonresidents, 31 A.L.R.6th 523.

27-2-7. Powers of department as to making and entering into agreements relating to hunting license reciprocity.

  1. The department is authorized to make and enter into agreements, from time to time, with the proper authorities of the States of Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee whereby a citizen of the State of Georgia who owns farm lands in such adjoining states may purchase a resident hunting license in the state in which his land is situated which will permit said Georgia citizen to hunt on his own land in the adjoining state without purchasing a nonresident hunting license in that state. The department is authorized to reciprocate this courtesy and issue a resident hunting license in Georgia to citizens of such adjoining states who own farm lands in Georgia, permitting such citizens to hunt on their own land in Georgia without purchasing a nonresident hunting/fishing license.
  2. The department is also authorized to enter into agreements, from time to time, with the proper authorities of the States of Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee whereby a valid hunting license issued by the State of Georgia will be accepted and honored, as and in lieu of a hunting license for the respective state so agreeing, for hunting waterfowl only, on the banks and in the waters of the lakes, rivers, and streams lying between the State of Georgia and such adjoining state or partly within the boundaries of both the State of Georgia and the adjoining state. In turn, valid licenses issued by the respective state shall be accepted and honored, as and in lieu of a Georgia hunting license, for hunting waterfowl only, on the banks and in the waters of such lakes, rivers, and streams.
  3. The department is authorized to make and enter into agreements, from time to time, with the proper authorities of the States of Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee regarding nonresident hunting/fishing license fees, seasons, and bag limits; provided, however, that such seasons and bag limits for nonresident hunters shall not be less restrictive than those which control Georgia residents; and provided, further, that nonresident license fees in Georgia shall not be less than the amount established in Code Section 27-2-23 for a small game hunting license and for a big game hunting license.
  4. If the commissioner determines that any of the States of Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee does not have an existing reciprocal agreement governing nonresident fishing or small game hunting licenses with the State of Georgia and has a fee for a nonresident fishing or small game hunting license or its equivalent, which substantially differs from the comparable fee which Georgia charges a citizen of that contiguous state, then the commissioner, notwithstanding the fees specified in Code Section 27-2-23, and in order to encourage the reduction of the excessive fee or the entering into of a reciprocal agreement, shall be authorized to adjust the nonresident fishing or small game hunting license fee as applied to citizens of that contiguous state, to an amount equal to the fee a Georgia citizen is required to pay to fish or hunt in that contiguous state.

(Ga. L. 1952, p. 389, § 2; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 21; Code 1933, § 45-108, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 13; Ga. L. 1983, p. 837, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 22, § 27; Ga. L. 1988, p. 842, § 3; Ga. L. 2009, p. 787, § 5/HB 326; Ga. L. 2010, p. 878, § 27/HB 1387.)

Cross references.

- Agreements with adjoining states regarding fishing license reciprocity, § 27-4-234.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Validity, construction, and application of state statutes prohibiting, limiting, or regulating fishing or hunting in state by nonresidents, 31 A.L.R.6th 523.

27-2-8. Commercial fishing boat licenses.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in commercial fishing with a boat or vessel in the salt waters of this state without first obtaining a valid commercial fishing boat license for the boat or vessel. The owner or operator of the boat or vessel shall present in writing an application for the license, setting forth such data and information as the department shall require. The application shall be made upon a form prescribed by the department and shall be under oath and duly witnessed by an officer authorized by law to administer oaths.
  2. Fees for licenses required under this Code section shall be as follows:
    1. A trawler (which shall be any boat or vessel which utilizes one or more trawls or power-drawn nets in the taking of shrimp, crabs, or fish), up to and including 18 feet in overall length: $85.00;
    2. A trawler more than 18 feet in overall length: $85.00 plus $3.00 per foot or fraction thereof of overall length in excess of 18 feet; and
    3. All boats other than trawlers, regardless of length: $5.00.
  3. To defray the additional cost of regulating and policing, aliens and nonresidents shall be charged a license fee in addition to that provided by subsection (b) of this Code section in the amount of $150.00 for each trawl boat or vessel used and $50.00 for each boat or vessel other than a trawler used in commercial fishing or in the taking of seafood, which boat or vessel is owned, in whole or part, by such nonresident or alien, provided that, in the event such nonresident or alien applying for the license is a resident of another state which charges nonresidents a license fee greater than the total license fee charged for nonresidents in this state, then the additional license fee provided for nonresidents in this subsection shall be increased to the amount necessary to cause the Georgia nonresident license fee to be the same amount as the nonresident license fee of such other state.
  4. The owner or operator of a trawler licensed according to subsection (b) of this Code section may purchase a trawler crew license as provided for in subparagraphs (W) and (X) of paragraph (8) of Code Section 27-2-23. Such license shall cover all crew members aboard the trawler while fishing, and all such crew members while so covered shall be exempt from the personal commercial fishing license requirements otherwise applicable under this title. Such trawler crew license shall be separate and distinct from any other license, shall be valid only for the trawler for which it is purchased, and shall not be transferable to any other trawler or vessel. Such trawler crew license shall be valid for a fishing year as provided for in Code Section 27-2-3 and shall be carried onboard the trawler while the trawler is in operation for purposes of the trawler crew license.

(Ga. L. 1919, p. 237, § 3; Ga. L. 1924, p. 116, § 35; Ga. L. 1931, p. 7, § 25; Code 1933, §§ 45-209, 45-210, 45-211; Ga. L. 1937-38, Ex. Sess., p. 255, § 1; Ga. L. 1939, p. 185, § 1; Ga. L. 1953, Jan.-Feb. Sess., p. 527, §§ 1-12; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 34; Ga. L. 1956, p. 590, § 4; Ga. L. 1967, p. 634, § 4; Ga. L. 1968, p. 202, § 1; Ga. L. 1974, p. 420, §§ 1, 2; Code 1933, § 45-305, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 25; Ga. L. 1981, p. 823, § 3; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 9/HB 208.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, substituted "length: $85.00" for "length, $50.00" in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2); added "and" at the end of paragraph (b)(2); substituted "regardless of length: $5.00" for "up to and including 18 feet in overall length, $5.00;" in paragraph (b)(3); deleted former paragraph (b)(4), which read: "All boats, other than trawlers, over 18 feet in overall length, $5.00 plus 50 per foot or fraction thereof in excess of 18 feet"; in subsection (c), near the middle, substituted "$150.00" for "$25.00", inserted "trawl", and inserted "and $50.00 for each boat or vessel other than a trawler used"; and added subsection (d). See Editor's note for applicability.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 43, 51.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

ALR.

- Right to enjoin business competitor from unlicensed or otherwise illegal acts or practices, 90 A.L.R.2d 7.

27-2-9. Taxidermist licenses; unlawful acts and omissions by taxidermists.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the business of taxidermy or provide taxidermy services to anyone other than himself unless he has first been issued a taxidermist license by the department as provided in Code Section 27-2-23. Such license shall authorize the holder thereof to have, at his business premises, wildlife which has been legally taken for the sole purpose of preserving or mounting or preserving and mounting. Such license shall be issued only after submission of an application in such form and containing such information and conditions as may be prescribed by the department.
  2. Any wildlife at the business premises of a taxidermist must have a tag attached displaying a number that can be cross-referenced with the same number in the written records that are required in subsection (f) of this Code section.Any wildlife transferred to another taxidermist must have an additional tag attached showing the name, address, and telephone number of the taxidermist which has the original written record needed for cross-referencing to the numbered tag. Such tags may be removed as necessary during mounting but must otherwise remain on the wildlife until final disposition.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any taxidermist to fail to notify the department of any wildlife in his possession which he knows or reasonably should know was not legally taken.
  4. It shall be unlawful for a taxidermist to sell any wildlife or part thereof without the prior written permission of the commissioner or his designee; provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful for a taxidermist to mount and sell legally taken furbearers, deer, and squirrel, or parts thereof.
  5. It shall be unlawful for a taxidermist to possess or mount any game species for which there is no open season or any endangered, rare, threatened, or unusual species without obtaining a special permit from the department. There shall be no charge for such permit.
  6. It shall be unlawful for any taxidermist to fail to keep at his business premises a written record of all wildlife received by him, which record shall show the name and address of the owner, the date such wildlife was killed, the number and species of such wildlife, and the date received.Each taxidermist shall keep such records at his business premises until he has disposed of the specimen to which the records refer.
  7. Notwithstanding any other provision of this title to the contrary, it shall not be unlawful for a licensed taxidermist to mount and sell legally taken furbearers or alligators and alligator products without procuring a fur dealer's license.

(Ga. L. 1976, p. 1674, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-308, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, §§ 29, 30; Ga. L. 1981, p. 798, § 5; Ga. L. 1986, p. 485, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1988, p. 848, § 3; Ga. L. 1990, p. 386, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 94, § 27; Ga. L. 1993, p. 91, § 27.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Right to enjoin business competitor from unlicensed or otherwise illegal acts or practices, 90 A.L.R.2d 7.

27-2-10. Commercial alligator farming licenses.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in alligator farming unless such person has a valid commercial alligator farming license as provided in Code Section 27-2-23. Any person desiring to establish, maintain, and operate a commercial alligator farm shall apply to the department for such a license.
  2. It shall be lawful for any person with a valid commercial alligator farming license to possess and propagate live alligators and to process and sell or export the hides of the alligators harvested on such alligator farm, provided that it shall be unlawful for any person, including a person with a commercial alligator farming license, to acquire any live alligator, except by propagation of live alligators lawfully in his possession, without first obtaining a permit from the department to acquire the live alligator. It shall also be unlawful for any person, including a person with a valid commercial alligator farming license, to sell, barter, exchange, give, or loan any live alligator to any other person without first obtaining a permit from the department to so sell, barter, exchange, give, or loan the live alligator.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person with a valid commercial alligator farming license to acquire or possess any alligator hide or carcass except from the harvest of live alligators lawfully in his possession and on his alligator farm.
  4. At such time as is deemed necessary by the department to discharge its responsibilities under this Code section, every person with a valid commercial alligator farming license shall file reports with the department in such form and containing such information as deemed necessary by the department. In addition, every such licensee shall maintain on his business premises records in such form and containing such information as is required by the department to discharge its responsibilities under this Code section.
  5. The board shall have the authority to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations relative to commercial alligator farming including, but not limited to, the power:
    1. To establish standards relating to enclosures, housing facilities, handling, care, and treatment of live alligators on the alligator farm of the licensee;
    2. To establish standards relating to the processing, marking, sale, and exportation of hides of alligators harvested on the alligator farm of the licensee;
    3. To require, at such times as it deems necessary for the department to discharge its responsibilities under this Code section, from each licensee an application for a commercial alligator farming license in such form and containing such information as the department deems necessary; and
    4. To require each licensee to maintain on his business premises records in such form and containing such information as is required by the department to discharge its responsibilities under this Code section.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 480, §§ 2-7; Code 1933, § 45-310, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 27.)

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Commercial alligator farming, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Subject 391-4-11 et seq.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 58, 51, 56, 57.

C.J.S.

- 16D C.J.S., Constitutional Law, §§ 2343, 2344, 2345. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 1, 52.

ALR.

- Right of one who acquires title to, or other interest in, real property to benefit of a license previously issued by the public, permitting use of property for a specified purpose, 131 A.L.R. 1339.

Right to enjoin business competitor from unlicensed or otherwise illegal acts or practices, 90 A.L.R.2d 7.

27-2-11. Game-holding permits.

It shall be unlawful for any person to hold or possess any game animal or game bird for the purpose of propagation or to hold such animal or bird as a pet without first obtaining a valid game-holding permit as provided in Code Section 27-2-23. The department may grant such a permit when, in its discretion, it determines that the issuance of the permit is in the best interest of the game animal or game bird and in the best interest of the wildlife and the citizens of this state. If such a permit is issued, the department shall prescribe the term for each permit and may impose conditions as it determines necessary. Any game animal or game bird held under such permit may not be sold by the holder but must be retained, consumed, or disposed of without charge, in accordance with this title, provided that holders of valid commercial shooting preserve licenses may charge a fee to users of such preserves who take or attempt to take such species. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to authorize the holding or possession of the progeny of any game bird or game animal under the permit under which a parent is held or possessed, unless specifically so stated on the game-holding permit.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 13; Code 1933, § 45-312, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 31; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 20.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 48, 51, 56, 57.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

27-2-12. Scientific collecting permits.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to take, possess, or transport any of the wildlife of this state, or the plumage, skin, or body thereof, or the nests or eggs of the same for scientific purposes without obtaining a scientific collecting permit and complying with this Code section.
  2. Application for a scientific collecting permit must be made on forms obtained from the department and must be accompanied by the permit fee as provided in Code Section 27-2-23 and a project proposal containing the justification for and an outline of the proposed collecting activities.
  3. The department shall issue such a permit only if it has determined that the proposed collecting activities are in the best interest of the wildlife resources. In making such a determination, the department shall consider the following:
    1. Whether there is a need for the information or data;
    2. Whether the proposed collecting activities would duplicate sound research previously accomplished;
    3. Whether there would be benefit to the species or population being studied;
    4. Whether the project would be detrimental to the particular wildlife population or associated populations or to the habitat of the wildlife; and
    5. Whether the project is of reasonably sound design.
  4. Based on the conditions outlined in subsection (c) of this Code section, such permit may contain conditions on the number and type of wildlife to be collected, the dates and locations of collecting, and the type of gear which may be used. Notwithstanding any other provision of this title to the contrary, the department may authorize the use of baskets, nets, seines, traps, chemicals, and electrical devices for purposes of collecting pursuant to this Code section.
  5. Persons issued a scientific collecting permit shall treat all wildlife humanely and shall notify the department at least three days in advance of the date of collecting. Such persons shall also submit to the department reports detailing the information or data obtained from such collecting activities. The reports shall be submitted by the following March 31 or within 60 days after collecting, whichever is later.
  6. Permits may be denied, revoked, or not renewed in accordance with the procedures outlined in Code Section 27-2-25 for the reasons outlined in said Code section or for any of the following reasons:
    1. Violation of specific conditions listed on the permit;
    2. Excessive collection of wildlife;
    3. Submitting false information;
    4. Failure to maintain records;
    5. Failure to notify the department within three days of collecting activities;
    6. Inhumane treatment of wildlife; or
    7. Any other violation of this Code section or the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

(Ga. L. 1916, p. 114, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-304; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 32; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 12; Code 1933, § 45-313, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 42, 51, 56, 57.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 36. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 52, 55, 56.

27-2-13. Wildlife exhibition permits.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep, hold, or possess any wildlife in captivity for the purpose of display or exhibition to the public without first procuring a valid wildlife exhibition permit as provided in Code Section 27-2-23. No such permit shall be issued by the department except where the exhibition or display is solely for educational purposes. The department may impose conditions on such permit requiring adequate sanitation facilities, housing, and feed for the animals and insuring the safety of the public in accordance with regulations promulgated by the board. Exhibitions of wildlife by educational institutions; state, city, county, or municipal zoos; or transient circuses shall not be required to procure a wildlife exhibition permit, provided that such exhibitors must comply with all regulations of the board relating to sanitation, housing, feed, and public safety. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to require a permit to exhibit or display fish.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person holding any wildlife in captivity pursuant to a wildlife exhibition permit to release the wildlife from captivity or to house or maintain the wildlife in such a manner as to pose a reasonable possibility that the wildlife may be released accidentally or escape from captivity.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 20; Code 1933, § 45-314, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 32.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 48, 51, 56, 57.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

27-2-13.1. Film production wildlife permits; release.

    1. For purposes of this subsection, the term "film production" means the creation of film, video, or digital projects in this state, including, but not limited to, the creation of feature films, documentaries, series, pilots, movies for television, advertisements, music videos, and interactive entertainment.
    2. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep, hold, or possess any wildlife in captivity for film production purposes or to otherwise provide wildlife for use in film production without first procuring a film production wildlife permit as provided in Code Section 27-2-23. No wildlife may be possessed by the applicant prior to a film production wildlife permit being granted by the department, unless such wildlife was legally possessed by the applicant prior to the grant of the permit. The department may impose conditions on such permit requiring adequate sanitation facilities, housing, and feed for the animals and insuring the safety of the public in accordance with regulations promulgated by the board.
    3. A permit issued pursuant to this subsection shall authorize the permit holder to transport, possess, or transfer wildlife for any permitted purpose related to film production; provided, however, that possession of a permit shall not exempt the holder from any other local, state, or federal requirements.
  1. It shall be unlawful for any person holding any wildlife in captivity pursuant to a permit issued in accordance with this Code section to release the wildlife from captivity or to house or maintain the wildlife in such a manner as to pose a reasonable possibility that the wildlife may be released accidentally or escape from captivity.

(Code 1981, §27-2-13.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2016, p. 432, § 4/HB 840.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective July 1, 2016.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2016, p. 432, § 6/HB 840, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2016, and shall apply to all offenses occurring on or after such date."

27-2-14. Liberation-of-wildlife and liberation-of-domestic fish permits.

It shall be unlawful for any person to liberate any wildlife within this state or to liberate domestic fish except into private ponds except under permit from the department; provided, however, that pen raised quail may be released for purposes of training pointing, flushing, and retrieving dogs.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 20; Code 1933, § 45-315, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1994, p. 600, § 2; Ga. L. 2002, p. 807, § 1; Ga. L. 2004, p. 948, § 2-3.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 919, § 1-1, repealed the provisions of the Georgia Pacific White Shrimp Development Aquaculture Act, effective July 1, 2019. As a result, the amendment by Ga. L. 2004, p. 948, § 2-3, which was never funded and therefore remained dormant, is now moot.

27-2-15. Wildlife storage permits.

It shall be unlawful for any person operating a grocery store, hotel, market, cold storage house, restaurant, or other commercial facility to receive for storage or to store any wildlife or parts thereof without first obtaining a wildlife storage permit from the department and without requiring the person delivering the wildlife for storage to exhibit a valid license authorizing the person to take or possess the wildlife, provided that nothing in this Code section shall be construed to require a permit to store fish.

(Ga. L. 1937, p. 678, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 70; Code 1933, § 45-316, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 33.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 56, 57.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

27-2-16. Commercial quail breeder permits; maintenance of records by holders; selling and transporting of pen raised quail generally.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the business of propagating quail for food, restocking, propagation, or other commercial purposes unless the quail are pen raised quail and unless the person has obtained a commercial quail breeder permit as provided in Code Section 27-2-23. For purposes of this Code section, the term "pen raised quail" means a quail that has been hatched from an egg laid by a quail confined in a pen or coop.
  2. Each person holding a commercial quail breeder permit shall keep records, in a suitably bound book, of all bird carcasses sold, to whom sold, and the number sold.
  3. It shall be unlawful to sell the carcass of any pen raised quail unless the carcass has been stamped with the following information:
Ga. Department of Natural Resources Comm. Quail Permit
No._____________ Name of Breeder)
Permit expires (date) , d)It shall be unlawful to sell pen raised quail which have been killed with a firearm.

It shall be unlawful to transport any pen raised quail without meeting the requirements of this title relating to the transportation of wildlife, provided that nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the number of pen raised quail which may be transported in this state.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 28; Code 1933, § 45-317, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1999, p. 81, § 27.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions under Ga. L. 1956, p. 48, as it read prior to revision by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Validity of regulations providing for alternate methods of identification.

- Intent and purpose of subsection (c) is to provide a means of identifying carcass of pen-raised quail; therefore, the Game and Fish Commission (now Department of Natural Resources) can adopt regulations permitting use of wing clips or other devices to be attached to carcass of bird, so long as method utilized contains basic information required. 1958-59 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 172 (decided under Ga. L. 1956, p. 48).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 48, 51, 55 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 35. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 51 et seq.

27-2-17. Falconry permits; duties, permitted acts, and prohibitions pertaining to permit holders.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to trap, take, transport, or possess raptors for falconry purposes unless such person possesses, in addition to any licenses and permits otherwise required by this title, a valid falconry permit as provided in Code Section 27-2-23.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any nonresident to trap, take, or attempt to trap or take a raptor from the wild in this state or to transport or possess any raptor in this state unless such nonresident possesses:
    1. A valid falconry license or permit issued by his or her state, tribe, or territory, provided that such state, tribe, or territory has been certified by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as compliant with applicable federal falconry law; and
    2. All licenses and permits otherwise required by this title.
  3. Application for a falconry permit shall be made on forms obtained from the department.
  4. No falconry permit shall be issued until the applicant's raptor housing facilities and equipment have been inspected and certified by the department.
  5. The department shall have the right, during reasonable times, to enter upon the premises of persons subject to this Code section to inspect and certify compliance with federal and state standards.
  6. It shall be lawful for a falconer who is in full compliance with this Code section to take small game with raptors, so long as such falconer observes all other laws regulating the taking of small game.
  7. The board shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out the purposes of this Code section and to ensure compliance with federal law. If the commissioner certifies that any rule is necessary for compliance with federal law, the board may adopt such rule without complying with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."

(Code 1981, §27-2-17, enacted by Ga. L. 2013, p. 801, § 1/HB 274.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2013, p. 801, § 1/HB 274, repealed former Code Section 27-2-17, pertaining to falconry permits; duties, permitted acts, and prohibitions pertaining to permit holders, and enacted the present Code section. The former Code section was based on Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 20; Code 1933, § 45-318, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, §§ 34, 35; Ga. L. 1984, p. 568, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2863, § 3; Ga. L. 1993, p. 91, § 27; Ga. L. 2009, p. 787, § 6/HB 326.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 48, 51 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 10, 45 et seq.

27-2-18. Permits to kill deer causing damage to crops.

The department shall be authorized to issue to a person who cultivates crops, who is immediately responsible for their cultivation, or who is the principal owner of the crops a permit to kill deer which have caused or are reasonably certain to cause damage to crops which were planted for the purpose of harvesting and marketing such crops or their by-products. The person shall apply to the department for such a permit on a form containing such information as may be necessary for the proper evaluation and consideration of the application. Permits shall be issued only in cases where the department has determined that the killing of deer is justified. Representatives of the department are authorized to investigate claims of damage and the necessity of killing deer prior to the issuance of such a permit. Permits issued by the department shall include restrictions and conditions relative to the property on which deer may be killed, persons authorized to kill deer on the property, crops which may be protected, number and sex of deer which may be killed, expiration of permit, and such other restrictions and conditions as may be necessary. It shall be unlawful for any person to kill any deer under the authority of any such permit except in accordance with the restrictions and conditions of the permit.

(Ga. L. 1976, p. 645, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-321, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 20.)

Cross references.

- Deer generally, § 27-3-40 et seq.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 45, 51.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 51 et seq.

27-2-19. Wildlife importation permits.

It shall be unlawful to import any wildlife other than fish, pen raised duck, pen raised turkey, and pen raised quail without obtaining, at no cost, a wildlife importation permit from the department. The department shall only issue such a permit when it has determined that the issuance of the permit is in the best interest of the wildlife of this state. If such a permit is issued, the department shall prescribe the term for each such permit and may impose any conditions it determines necessary to ensure adequate public safety and the best interests of the wildlife of this state.

(Code 1933, § 45-325, enacted by Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 37; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 23; Ga. L. 1987, p. 663, § 1.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1989, "duck" was substituted for "ducks" near the beginning of the Code section.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 49, 51.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 51 et seq.

27-2-20. Federal migratory bird hunting and conservation stamp; participation in federal Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person 16 years of age or older to hunt brant, ducks, geese, and swans in this state without a federal migratory bird hunting and conservation stamp.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person required to obtain a hunting license as provided in Code Section 27-2-1 to hunt any migratory game bird, including brant, ducks, geese, swans, doves, rails, woodcock, snipe, gallinules, and coots, without participating in the federal Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program. Participation in such program shall require the completion of an annual screening questionnaire prior to obtaining a Georgia waterfowl and migratory bird stamp or a landowner Georgia waterfowl and migratory bird stamp. Persons holding any other license conveying migratory bird hunting privileges, including a lifetime sportsman's license, shall complete the annual screening questionnaire before hunting migratory birds. Persons shall be in possession of the license and evidence of participation in the annual screening questionnaire as provided by the department while hunting migratory birds.

(Code 1933, § 45-326, enacted by Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 37; Ga. L. 1995, p. 946, § 6; Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 8; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1013, § 10; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 10/HB 208.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, substituted the present provisions of subsection (b) for the former provisions, which read: "It shall be unlawful for any person required to obtain a hunting license as provided in Code Section 27-2-1 to hunt any migratory game bird, including brant, ducks, geese, swans, doves, rails, woodcock, snipe, gallinules, and coots, without participating in the federal Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program. Participation in such program shall require the completion of a screening questionnaire prior to obtaining a free Georgia migratory bird license and the possession of the license or other evidence of participation while hunting migratory birds.". See Editor's note for applicability.

Editor's notes.

- Regulations governing the federal Migratory Bird program can be found at 50 C.F.R. Section 20.20.

Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 55.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 23 et seq., 51 et seq.

27-2-20.1. Required participation in Saltwater Information Program.

It shall be unlawful for any person required to obtain a fishing license as provided in Code Section 27-2-1 to fish in the salt waters of this state without participating in the Saltwater Information Program. Participation in such program shall require the completion of a screening questionnaire prior to obtaining a free Georgia salt water fishing endorsement and the possession of such endorsement or other evidence of participation while salt water fishing.

(Code 1981, §27-2-20.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 2/HB 869.)

27-2-21. Field and retriever trials; permits; hunting licenses.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct a field or retriever trial without first obtaining a permit, at no cost, from the department. In trials conducted with such a permit, the species of wildlife specified on the permit may be set or pursued by dogs, but such wildlife may not be taken except during the open season for such species of wildlife. The person conducting such a field trial shall require all participants therein to register.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to participate in a field or retriever trial unless a permit for such trial has been issued by the department and unless the person is registered as a participant in the trial.
  3. All persons participating in a field or retriever trial will be required to have an appropriate resident hunting license or nonresident hunting/fishing license unless the field or retriever trial is recognized by a nationally registered field trialing organization or unless the field or retriever trial is conducted by a local field trialing organization based in the State of Georgia which is recognized by the department as being qualified to conduct such trial.
  4. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code section, properly marked pen raised mallard ducks and properly marked pen raised quail may be killed by any person registered as a participant in a permitted field trial.

(Code 1933, § 45-327, enacted by Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 37; Ga. L. 1984, p. 537, § 2; Ga. L. 1988, p. 842, § 4; Ga. L. 1989, p. 231, § 1; Ga. L. 2009, p. 787, § 7/HB 326.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 51 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 51 et seq.

27-2-22. Wildlife rehabilitation permits.

It shall be unlawful for any person to keep, hold, or possess in captivity any sick or injured wildlife, except fish, without first obtaining, at no charge, a wildlife rehabilitation permit from the department; provided, however, that such permit shall only be issued to persons determined by the department, based on criteria established by regulation of the board, to be competent and capable of rehabilitating the wildlife for which a permit has been requested; provided, further, that the department shall only issue such a permit when it has determined that the issuance of the permit is in the best interest of the wildlife of this state. If such a permit is issued, the department shall prescribe the term for each such permit and may impose any conditions it determines necessary to ensure adequate public safety and to be in the best interests of the wildlife of this state.

(Code 1933, § 45-328, enacted by Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 24; Ga. L. 1993, p. 91, § 27.)

27-2-22.1. Fox trapping and selling.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to trap and sell live fox without first procuring a commercial trapping license provided for in Code Section 27-2-23.Notwithstanding any other provision of this title to the contrary, live fox may be taken from the wild only during trapping season and may be sold only to licensed commercial fox hunting preserves or licensed commercial fox breeders.Foxes may be held during open trapping season for up to five days until sold but must be sold or dispatched within five days after the close of trapping season.Any person in possession of a live fox must comply with the provisions of Code Section 27-5-6.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to purchase a live fox unless the person selling such game animal has a valid commercial trapping license and unless the person purchasing such animal has a valid license provided for in this Code section.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person to own or operate an area utilized for the purpose of running, taking, or hunting penned fox for a fee or other manner of compensation to such owner or operator unless such person has a valid commercial fox hunting preserve license provided for in this subsection and in Code Section 27-2-23. For purposes of this Code section, the term "penned fox" means a fox that has been trapped, purchased, or raised in captivity. The license required by this subsection shall be effective from April 1 through March 31 of the following year. An application for a commercial fox hunting preserve license shall be submitted on a form prescribed by the department. No license shall be issued pursuant to this subsection unless the following conditions are met and each permit shall be conditioned upon the following:
    1. Fox may be held in holding pens not less than four acres in size or in smaller facilities for the treatment of fox which are injured, diseased, or very young;
    2. There shall be no restriction on the number of dogs which may be used concurrently in areas of at least 100 acres in size which are enclosed and used for the purpose of running, taking, or hunting penned fox. For enclosed areas of less than 100 acres only one dog may be used for each five acres of area to be utilized for running, taking, or hunting penned fox;
    3. The density of fox in a running pen may not exceed one animal per ten acres;
    4. The boundary lines of areas to be utilized for the purpose of running, taking, or hunting penned fox must be posted against trespassing and must be marked by signs indicating such boundary lines, and letters not less than two inches in height shall be used to indicate such boundary lines and that the area is posted against trespassing;
    5. All facilities to be utilized by the fox hunting preserve shall be maintained in a sanitary condition with adequate food, water, and shelter available at all times for such animals. Fox shall also be vaccinated against canine disease prior to release into an area used for running, taking, or hunting; and
    6. Records of fox located within the fox hunting preserve and of any known losses of fox shall be maintained and kept current by the owner or operator of such facility. Records shall also be maintained of all fox purchased, including the number of fox purchased, the date of purchase, and the name and address of the seller, for the purpose of inspection by the department.
  4. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the business of propagating or breeding fox for sale, restocking, propagation, or other commercial purposes unless that person has obtained a commercial fox breeder license provided for in this subsection and in Code Section 27-2-23. Such license shall be effective from April 1 through March 31 of the following year. An application for a commercial fox breeder license shall be submitted on a form as prescribed by the department. No license shall be issued pursuant to this subsection unless the following conditions are met and each permit shall be conditioned upon the following:
    1. All facilities associated with the business of propagating or breeding fox shall be maintained in a sanitary condition with adequate food, water, and shelter available at all times for such animals;
    2. Records shall be kept of fox purchased by the commercial fox breeder, including the number of animals, the date of purchase, and the name and address of the seller, for the purpose of inspection by the department; and
    3. Persons engaged in the business of propagating or breeding fox shall be knowledgeable and competent in such business.
  5. It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt, take, or possess fox at a commercial fox hunting preserve without first procuring the licenses required under this title; provided, however, nonresidents of this state may procure a nonresident hunting preserve license which shall meet the requirements of this subsection and this title.
  6. It shall be unlawful to receive or possess any fox shipped, transported, or removed from outside of this state unless the jurisdiction from which such fox was transported is pursuant to a permit from the department.

(Code 1981, §27-2-22.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1987, p. 469, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2863, § 4; Ga. L. 1993, p. 91, § 27.)

27-2-23. License, permit, tag, and stamp fees.

Fees for licenses, permits, tags, and stamps required by this title shall be as follows: (1) Hunting licenses: (A) Resident hunting license Annual $ 15.00 (B) Nonresident hunting license Annual 100.00 (C) Nonresident hunting license One-day 20.00 (D) Resident big game license Annual 25.00 (E) Nonresident big game license Annual 225.00 (F) Resident big game license One-day 10.00 (G) Nonresident big game license One-day 130.00 (H) Resident senior hunting license for 65 years of age or older Annual 4.00 (I) Shooting preserve hunting license valid for residents and nonresidents Two-year 12.00 (J) Commercial fox hunting preserve license Seasonal 75.00 (K) Commercial fox breeder license Seasonal 75.00 (L) Georgia waterfowl and migratory bird stamp valid for residents and nonresidents Annual 5.00 (M) Landowner Georgia waterfowl and migratory bird stamp Annual 0.00 (2) Hunting and fishing licenses: (A) Resident hunting/fishing license Annual 30.00 (B) Nonresident hunting/fishing license One-day 30.00 (C) Resident hunting/fishing license One-day 5.00 (D) Nonresident hunting/fishing license Annual 150.00 (3) Sportsman's licenses: (A) Resident sportsman's license Annual 65.00 (B) Nonresident sportsman's license Annual 400.00 (C) Resident sportsman's license One-day 25.00 (D) Nonresident sportsman's license One-day 170.00 (E) Resident optional youth sportsman's license for 12 to 15 years of age Annual 5.00 (F) Resident optional youth sportsman's license for 12 to 15 years of age Multiyear 15.00 (G) Resident senior sportsman's license for 65 years of age or older Annual 7.00 (H) Nonresident youth sportsman's license for 15 years of age and under Annual 50.00 (4) Recreational fishing licenses: (A) Resident fishing license Annual 15.00 (B) Nonresident fishing license Annual 50.00 (C) Nonresident fishing license One-day 10.00 (D) Resident trout license Annual 10.00 (E) Resident trout license One-day 5.00 (F) Nonresident trout license Annual 25.00 (G) Nonresident trout license One-day 10.00 (H) Resident optional youth fishing license Annual 3.00 (I) Resident optional youth fishing license Multiyear 10.00 (J) Resident senior fishing license for 65 years of age or older Annual 4.00 (5) Trapping licenses: (A) Resident commercial trapping license Annual 40.00 (B) Nonresident commercial trapping license Annual 325.00 (6) Commercial fishing licenses: (A) Resident commercial fishing license Seasonal 20.00 (B) Nonresident commercial fishing license Seasonal 200.00 (C) Resident commercial fishing species endorsement Seasonal 5.00 (D) Nonresident commercial fishing species endorsement Seasonal 10.00 (E) Resident commercial crabbing license Seasonal 20.00 (F) Nonresident commercial crabbing license Seasonal 200.00 (7) Fur, hide, and pelt licenses: (A) Resident fur dealer license Annual 300.00 (B) Nonresident fur dealer license Annual 450.00 (C) Fur dealer's agent license Annual 200.00 (8) Miscellaneous licenses and permits: (A) Retail fish dealer license Annual 40.00 (B) Wholesale fish dealer license Annual 75.00 (C) Resident game-holding permit Annual 5.00 (D) Commercial quail breeder permit Annual 30.00 (E) Scientific collecting permit Annual 75.00 (F) Wildlife exhibition permit Annual 150.00 (G) Commercial shooting preserve license Annual 150.00 (H) Private shooting preserve license Annual 50.00 (I) Reserved. (J) Commercial fish hatchery license Annual 75.00 (K) Catch-out pond license Annual 250.00 (L) Soft-shell crab dealer license Annual 40.00 (M) Resident taxidermist license Three-year 150.00 (N) Nonresident taxidermist license Three-year 500.00 (O) Falconry permit Three-year 40.00 (P) Commercial alligator farming license Annual 75.00 (Q) Resident alligator harvest permit Annual 75.00 (R) Nonresident alligator harvest permit Annual 250.00 (S) Wild animal license Annual 250.00 (T) Wild animal auction license Seven-day 5,500.00 (U) Resident bait dealer license Seasonal 40.00 (V) Nonresident bait dealer license Seasonal 250.00 (W) Resident film production wildlife permit Annual 300.00 (X) Nonresident film production wildlife permit Annual 600.00 (Y) Resident trawler crew license Annual 200.00 (Z) Nonresident trawler crew license Annual 600.00 (AA) Seafood dealer license Annual 40.00

Any one-day license purchased that has not expired may be extended for up to ten additional consecutive days by payment of additional reduced rate daily fees:

Nonresident hunting license: $6.00 per day;

Resident big game license: $2.00 per day;

Nonresident big game license: $8.00 per day;

Nonresident hunting/fishing license: $10.00 per day;

Resident hunting/fishing license: $1.00 per day;

Nonresident fishing license: $3.50 per day;

Resident trout license: $1.00 per day;

Nonresident trout license: $2.00 per day;

Resident sportsman's license: $3.00 per day; and

Nonresident sportsman's license: $20.00 per day.

The board is authorized to provide by rule for a fee not to exceed $19.00 for resident daily, seasonal, or annual use permits, or licenses; a fee of $38.00 for resident two-year use permits; or a fee not to exceed $73.00 for nonresident annual use permits or licenses to hunt and fish on or otherwise use specially designated streams, lakes, public fishing areas, or wildlife management areas.

For wildlife that may be legally taken by commercial fishing gear as authorized in this title or by board rule, the board may designate which species of wildlife or species grouping of wildlife require a commercial fishing species endorsement for a fee shown in subparagraphs (C) and (D) of paragraph (6) of this Code section in addition to the required commercial fishing license. Each species or group of species so designated shall require a separate commercial fishing species endorsement.

The fees for any annual license established in subparagraphs (A) through (E) of paragraph (1) and in paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of this Code section shall be reduced by the amount of the lowest available renewal transaction fee for each renewal transaction made before the expiration date of the then current license or tag. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "renewal transaction" means the renewal of one or more licenses by a licensee during a single telephone call, Internet session, or on-site visit to a store.

After July 1, 2017, the General Assembly shall not increase the cost of any license, permit, tag, or stamp provided for in this Code section by more than 20 percent.

(Ga. L. 1916, p. 114, § 2; Ga. L. 1924, p. 101, § 36; Ga. L. 1925, p. 302, § 13; Ga. L. 1931, p. 7, § 25; Ga. L. 1931, p. 173, § 6; Code 1933, §§ 45-206, 45-207, 45-213, 45-304; Ga. L. 1935, p. 379, § 2; Ga. L. 1935, p. 386, § 5; Ga. L. 1937, p. 675, § 2; Ga. L. 1937-38, Ex. Sess., p. 332, § 5; Ga. L. 1939, p. 316, § 1; Ga. L. 1945, p. 315, § 1; Ga. L. 1949, p. 1005, § 1; Ga. L. 1949, p. 1116, § 1; Ga. L. 1949, p. 1188, § 1; Ga. L. 1949, p. 1189, § 1; Ga. L. 1949, p. 1577, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1951, p. 157, §§ 8-9a; Ga. L. 1952, p. 258, §§ 2, 3; Ga. L. 1953, Jan.-Feb. Sess., p. 521, § 1; Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 173, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 158, §§ 1, 3, 4; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, §§ 30, 31; Ga. L. 1959, p. 184, § 1; Ga. L. 1960, p. 974, §§ 2-4; Ga. L. 1966, p. 6, § 1; Ga. L. 1967, p. 634, § 3; Ga. L. 1968, p. 480, § 3; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 9; Ga. L. 1971, p. 38, § 1; Ga. L. 1972, p. 915, § 1; Ga. L. 1973, p. 274, § 1; Ga. L. 1975, p. 1254, § 3; Ga. L. 1976, p. 771, § 2; Ga. L. 1976, p. 1159, § 3; Ga. L. 1976, p. 1674, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-303, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1270, § 6; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, §§ 23, 24; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1552, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 420, §§ 4-7; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 19; Ga. L. 1979, p. 800, § 5; Ga. L. 1979, p. 1094, § 3; Ga. L. 1981, p. 144, §§ 4-6; Ga. L. 1981, p. 823, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, §§ 5-7; Ga. L. 1983, p. 467, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 837, § 2; Ga. L. 1985, p. 913, § 2; Ga. L. 1985, p. 1047, § 3; Ga. L. 1987, p. 179, §§ 4, 5; Ga. L. 1987, p. 469, § 2; Ga. L. 1987, p. 663, § 2; Ga. L. 1988, p. 13, § 27; Ga. L. 1989, p. 506, § 3; Ga. L. 1990, p. 386, § 2; Ga. L. 1990, p. 2422, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1157, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 470, §§ 1, 5; Ga. L. 1995, p. 156, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 946, § 7; Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 9; Ga. L. 2003, p. 654, § 7A; Ga. L. 2005, p. 517, § 1/HB 662; Ga. L. 2009, p. 787, § 8/HB 326; Ga. L. 2012, p. 958, § 1A/SB 464; Ga. L. 2013, p. 771, § 5/HB 155; Ga. L. 2016, p. 432, § 5/HB 840; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 11/HB 208; Ga. L. 2018, p. 948, § 3/SB 332; Ga. L. 2019, p. 1056, § 27/SB 52.)

The 2016 amendment, effective July 1, 2016, added subparagraphs (8)(W) and (8)(X). See Editor's notes for applicability.

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, rewrote this Code section. See Editor's note for applicability.

The 2018 amendment, effective July 1, 2018, added subparagraph (3)(H).

The 2019 amendment, effective May 12, 2019, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, deleted the dollar sign preceding "50.00" in subparagraph (3)(H).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1995, a second, repetitive "preserve" was deleted from the version of subparagraph (7)(H) (now subparagraph (8)(H)).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1987, p. 179, § 6, not codified by the General Assembly, set forth the legislative intent of that Act.

Ga. L. 1992, p. 470, §§ 4 and 5, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "The General Assembly declares its intent to use the increases and changes in fees provided in this Act to fund the acquisition and management of lands and waters, by and through the Department of Natural Resources, for fish hatcheries; for wildlife restoration, propagation, protection, preservation, research, or management; for public hunting, fishing, or trapping; and for related recreational areas. The General Assembly further recognizes the importance of wildlife related recreation and the need to provide greater opportunities for such recreation and public lands in the face of rapid woodland development and appropriation of existing wildlife habitat. The General Assembly further declares its intent to ensure that the funding provided by hunters and fishermen through the payment of these license fee increases and changes will fund the acquisition of fish and wildlife habitat and public recreational areas.

"This Act shall become effective on April 1, 1992, or as soon thereafter as it is approved by the Governor or becomes law without such approval; provided, however, that the fees which are increased in Sections 1 and 3 of this Act shall on March 31, 2012, be reduced to the level of such fees prior to the effective date of this Act."

Ga. L. 2009, p. 787, §§ 10, 11, and 12/HB 326 eliminated the automatic reduction of rates provided by Ga. L. 1992, p. 470, § 5.

Ga. L. 2016, p. 432, § 6/HB 840, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2016, and shall apply to all offenses occurring on or after such date."

Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 37, 47.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

27-2-23.1. Raccoon fur seller's license.

  1. In addition to the fur dealers' licenses provided for in Code Section 27-2-23, the department shall issue a raccoon fur seller's license for an annual fee of $5.00. A person to whom a raccoon fur seller's license has been issued shall be authorized to sell the raw, undressed furs, hides, skins, or pelts of raccoons lawfully taken by any means other than by trapping.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell the raw, undressed fur, hide, skin, or pelt of a raccoon lawfully taken by means other than trapping unless such person has a current valid raccoon fur seller's license issued by the department. Any person violating this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
  3. A person who purchases or sells raw, undressed furs, hides, skins, or pelts of raccoons taken by trapping and by means other than trapping shall be considered a fur dealer within the meaning of this Code section and must be licensed therefor as provided in Code Section 27-2-23. The license authorized by this Code section shall be issued only to persons who take raccoons exclusively by lawful means other than trapping.

(Ga. L. 1981, p. 1006, § 2; Ga. L. 1986, p. 194, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 53.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 51 et seq.

27-2-23.2. Salt water fishing guide licenses; fees; reporting requirements.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the occupation of salt water fishing guide without holding a valid annual salt water fishing guide license pursuant to the provisions of this Code section.
    1. A salt water fishing guide who possesses a valid United States Coast Guard operator of passenger vessel license may purchase an annual customer fishing license pursuant to the provisions of this Code section, which license shall cover all fee-paying anglers while fishing with such guide during the license year; and all such anglers while so covered shall be exempt from fishing license requirements otherwise applicable under this title.
    2. Any person operating a single hotel or motel facility having a salt water fishing pier or piers may purchase an annual salt water fishing pier license pursuant to the provisions of this Code section, which license shall cover all anglers while fishing from such salt water fishing pier during the license year; and all such anglers while so covered shall be exempt from fishing license requirements otherwise applicable under this title.
  2. Fees for licenses required under this Code section shall be as follows:
      1. Resident salt water fishing guide license, $25.00;
      2. Nonresident salt water fishing guide license, $50.00;
        1. Customer fishing license for a resident salt water fishing guide carrying six or fewer fee-paying anglers, $150.00;
        2. Customer fishing license for a resident salt water fishing guide carrying an unlimited number of fee-paying anglers, $400.00;
      1. Customer fishing license for a nonresident salt water fishing guide, $400.00; and
    1. Salt water fishing pier license, $400.00.
  3. Each person who holds a salt water fishing guide license or salt water fishing pier license pursuant to the provisions of this Code section shall report such information as required by the department at such times and in such manner as the board provides by rule or regulation.

(Code 1981, §27-2-23.2, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 10; Ga. L. 2007, p. 91, § 2/HB 81.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2007, subsections (b) and (c), as enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 10, were redesignated as subsections (c) and (d), respectively.

27-2-24. Service of process for licensees, permittees, and applicants.

All applications to the department for any license or permit, or license and permit, provided by this title shall designate an address in Georgia where the applicant can be personally served with legal process, or shall contain an appointment of an agent in Georgia for acceptance of service of legal process together with the agent's Georgia address, or shall contain a designation of the Secretary of State of Georgia for acceptance of service of legal process. A copy of any application so designating the Secretary of State shall be forwarded by the department to the Secretary of State. The filing of an application with the department for a license or permit, or both, shall constitute an admission by the applicant that the applicant is doing business in Georgia.

(Code 1933, § 45-322, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

27-2-25. Revocation, suspension, denial, or nonrenewal of license or permits; administrative and judicial review.

  1. Upon a determination by the commissioner that a person has violated this title or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto, the commissioner may revoke, suspend, deny, or refuse to renew any license or permit, or both, required by this title which is held by or has been applied for by the person, for a period of up to two years following the determination of such violation, provided that the license or permit, or both, to be revoked, suspended, denied, or not renewed must not be unrelated to the violation determined by the commissioner. The licensee, permit holder, or applicant for a license or permit, or both, shall be notified of the proposed revocation, suspension, denial, or nonrenewal personally or by a letter sent by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the name and address indicated on the application for the license or permit, or both, or to the Secretary of State as provided in Code Section 27-2-24. The proposed revocation, suspension, denial, or nonrenewal shall become final 30 days after issuance if not appealed as provided in this Code section.
  2. In the event any person who is an employee, agent, or representative of a licensee, permittee, or applicant for a license or permit, or both, engages in the licensed or permitted activity pursuant to the authority of the license or permit of such licensee, permittee, or applicant for a license or permit, or both, and violates this title or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto, the commissioner may revoke, suspend, deny, or refuse to renew a license or permit in accordance with this Code section.
  3. Any person whose license, permit, or application for a license or permit, or both, is proposed for revocation, suspension, denial, or nonrenewal shall, upon petition within 30 days of issuance of notice given as stated in subsection (a) of this Code section, have a right to a hearing before an administrative law judge appointed by the Board of Natural Resources. The hearing before the administrative law judge shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," and the rules and regulations adopted by the board pursuant thereto. The decision of the administrative law judge shall constitute the final decision of the board and any party to the hearing, including the commissioner, shall have the right of judicial review thereof in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50.

(Code 1933, § 45-323, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 36; Ga. L. 1984, p. 404, § 9; Ga. L. 1985, p. 149, § 27; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1589, § 3.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 1589, § 16, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that the amendment to subsection (a) is applicable with respect to notices delivered on or after July 1, 2000.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 51.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

27-2-25.1. Suspension of hunting privileges for negligent hunting; procedures following hunting accidents.

  1. The General Assembly has heretofore found and declared that hunting is a privilege to be exercised only in accordance with the law granting such privilege. The General Assembly now specifically finds and declares that while the act of hunting is an enjoyable and beneficial form of recreation, it can be dangerous not only to the hunter himself but also to other persons if due care is not exercised. Therefore, the General Assembly declares that all persons who refuse or fail to exercise such due care may have their hunting privileges suspended as provided in this Code section.
  2. Any person engaged in the act of hunting who by the use of a weapon kills or injures another person or persons, whether or not such other person or persons are likewise engaged in the act of hunting, shall notify the department or any appropriate law enforcement officer who shall then notify the department immediately after such occurrence. Any person who fails so to notify the department or such law enforcement officer shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
  3. Upon notification of such a death or injury, whether by the hunter or by some other person, the department shall immediately initiate an investigation of such incident and submit a report to the commissioner. If the commissioner determines culpable negligence on the part of the person causing the death or injury and that such negligence was the proximate cause of such death or injury, the commissioner may suspend that person's hunting privileges for a specified period of time not to exceed ten years. Any such determination to suspend shall be subject to review as provided for in this Code section. When the commissioner shall decide to suspend said person's hunting privileges, the commissioner must notify such person of said suspension and of his right to a hearing to contest the commissioner's determination. The notification from the commissioner to the person whose license is being suspended shall be by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery with return receipt requested; or, in lieu thereof, notice may be given by personal service upon such person. Upon such notice, any such hunting privileges shall be revoked by such notice and such person shall surrender his or her hunting license, if any, to the department within ten days of such notification. For the purposes of this article, notice given by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery with return receipt requested mailed to the person's last known address shall be prima-facie evidence that such person received the required notice.
  4. The person so notified may request an administrative hearing before an administrative law judge appointed by the board within 30 days of receipt of the notice. If no hearing is requested within the 30 day period, the right to a hearing shall have been waived and the hunting privileges of the person shall stand suspended as prescribed by the commissioner's notice. If, following the administrative hearing, there is a determination that such person was negligent and that such negligence was the proximate cause of the death or injury, the hunting privileges of such person may be suspended for a period of up to ten years. The period of time that such privileges are suspended shall be commensurate with the degree of negligence and the severity of the injury. If there is a determination of no negligence or that the negligence was not the proximate cause of the death or injury, the person's hunting privileges shall be restored. The provisions of Code Section 27-2-27 shall not be applicable to a suspension under this Code section.
  5. Any person whose hunting privileges have been suspended under this Code section and who engages in the act of hunting during such period of suspension shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or by imprisonment for not more than 12 months, or both. Any person whose hunting privileges have been suspended under this Code section shall complete a course of instruction in competency and safety in hunting and in the handling of weapons provided for in Code Section 27-2-5 prior to any subsequent exercise of his hunting privileges.
  6. As used in this Code section, the term:
    1. "License" means any and all licenses, permits, or stamps as required by law for hunting in this state.
    2. "Hunting privileges" means the exercise of the privilege of hunting whether such privilege is bestowed by license or otherwise.
    3. "Suspend" means the suspension or revocation of any existing license or hunting privileges and the suspension or revocation of the privilege of obtaining any new license or hunting privileges.
  7. The hearing before an administrative law judge and any judicial review shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50 and applicable rules and regulations of the board.
  8. The proceedings provided for by this Code section shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any civil or criminal action or actions provided for by law and the final decision of this proceeding shall not constitute res judicata as to any such civil or criminal action or actions and shall not be admissible as evidence in any such civil or criminal action or actions.

(Code 1981, §27-2-25.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1984, p. 549, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 149, § 27; Ga. L. 1985, p. 894, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 3, § 27; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1589, § 3; Ga. L. 2002, p. 1179, § 2.)

Cross references.

- Homicide generally, § 16-5-1 et seq.

Wrongful death, § 51-4-1 et seq.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2000, p. 1589, § 16, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that the amendment to subsection (c) is applicable with respect to notices delivered on or after July 1, 2000.

27-2-25.2. Power to suspend licenses.

The commissioner shall have the power to suspend any license required by this title when such license holder is not in compliance with a court order for child support as provided in Code Section 19-6-28.1. The commissioner shall also have the power to deny the application for issuance or renewal of a license required by this title when such applicant is not in compliance with a court order for child support as provided in Code Section 19-6-28.1. Notwithstanding the provisions of Code Section 27-2-25, the hearings and appeal procedures provided for in Code Section 19-6-28.1 shall be the only such procedures required to suspend or deny any license pursuant to this Code section.

(Code 1981, §27-2-25.2, enacted by Ga. L. 1997, p. 1613, § 34.)

Law reviews.

- For article commenting on the 1997 enactment of this Code section, see 14 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 121 (1997).

27-2-26. Rules and regulations regarding revocation or cancellation procedures; surrender of license, stamp, or permit after revocation or cancellation.

  1. The board is authorized to provide by rule or regulation the procedure whereby the department may, pursuant to Code Section 27-2-25, revoke or cancel any license, certificate, stamp, card, or permit upon determination that the holder thereof was not entitled to issuance or obtained the license, certificate, stamp, card, or permit by any fraudulent means. Upon revocation or cancellation, the holder thereof shall surrender the license, certificate, stamp, card, or permit to the department.
  2. Any person who violates any provision of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Code 1933, § 45-302.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1978, p. 2264, § 1.)

27-2-27. Administrative penalties in lieu of revocation, suspension, denial, or nonrenewal.

In addition to the authority granted in Code Sections 27-2-4 and 27-2-25 to revoke, suspend, deny, or refuse to renew any license or permit, or both, the commissioner or board, or the commissioner and board, may impose a reasonable penalty, with the written consent of the affected party or parties, not to exceed $1,000.00 for each and every violation, in lieu of revocation, suspension, denial, or nonrenewal of a license or permit, or both. All penalties recovered by the commissioner as provided in this Code section shall be paid into the general fund of the state treasury.

(Code 1933, § 45-324, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 59 et seq.

27-2-28. Refusing inspection of identification or license; making false statements in obtaining license or permit; counterfeiting or alteration; unlawful collection of funds.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person who is required to have on his person any license, permit, or stamp issued under this title to refuse the inspection of such license, permit, or stamp upon demand by a game warden or deputy game warden. It shall also be unlawful for any such person, upon demand by a game warden or deputy game warden, to refuse to provide a driver's license or equally reliable identification of such person and his current residence.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to make any false statement as to any fact which is required as a prerequisite to the issuance of a license or permit; and any license or permit obtained in violation of this Code section is void. Any license agent may require the applicant for a license or permit to show proof of any statement or facts required for issuance of any license or permit.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person to counterfeit, change, or alter or to attempt to counterfeit, change, or alter any license or permit issued pursuant to this title. It shall be unlawful for any person, other than a license agent authorized by the department or authorized personnel of the department, to collect any funds for any license or permit issued pursuant to this title or to charge a fee to obtain any such license or permit.

(Ga. L. 1924, p. 101, § 36; Ga. L. 1925, p. 302, § 27; Code 1933, §§ 45-203, 45-214; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, §§ 29, 30; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 8; Ga. L. 1975, p. 1290, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-302, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 924, § 2; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 12/HB 208; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, in subsection (c), in the second sentence, inserted "authorized by the department" in the middle and added "or to charge a fee to obtain any such license or permit" at the end. See Editor's note for applicability.

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game warden" for "conservation ranger" in four places in subsection (a).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Licenses obtained in violation of O.C.G.A.

§ 27-2-28 are void. - See Blackwelder v. State, 256 Ga. 283, 347 S.E.2d 600 (1986).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

27-2-29. Free fishing days.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, the commissioner may designate not more than three days, which need not be consecutive, in each calendar year as free fishing days during which residents may, without obtaining a fishing license, exercise the privileges of a holder of a fishing license, subject to all limitations, restrictions, conditions, rules, and regulations applicable to the holder of a fishing license. This Code section shall in no way affect the commercial fishing licenses required under this article.

(Code 1981, §27-2-29, enacted by Ga. L. 1987, p. 536, § 1; Ga. L. 2002, p. 1179, § 3.)

27-2-30. Establishment of the Wildlife Endowment Fund; limitations on expenditures from the fund.

  1. The General Assembly recognizes that lifetime sportsman's license purchasers expect and are entitled to assurance that funds for such licenses will be used throughout their life expectancy to provide quality hunting and fishing experiences. Therefore, the General Assembly declares its intent that lifetime licenses yield annual revenue in perpetuity for the support of wildlife management programs of the department and recognizes that annual income generation is necessary for these licenses to be included in apportionment formulas for federal fish and wildlife funding.
  2. In recognition of its obligations to lifetime sportsman's license purchasers, the General Assembly directs the department to establish a fund known as the Wildlife Endowment Fund for receipt of funds of an amount equal to that generated by the sale of lifetime sportsman's licenses listed in subsection (d) of Code Section 27-2-3.1. Further, the General Assembly declares its intent to appropriate to the Wildlife Endowment Fund each fiscal year an amount equal to that generated by the prior year's sales of lifetime licenses. The fund is also authorized to accept contributions from private individuals and entities. All funds appropriated and those contributed to the Wildlife Endowment Fund shall be deemed expended and contractually obligated and shall not lapse to the general fund.
  3. The commissioner of natural resources shall be the trustee of the Wildlife Endowment Fund with full authority over the administration of the fund. The state treasurer shall be the custodian of the Wildlife Endowment Fund and shall invest its assets in accordance with Georgia laws and shall report to the department the annual income and contributions to the fund. The intent of the General Assembly is that such income from the fund be appropriated annually to the department for the purposes stated in subsection (d) of this Code section.
  4. The Wildlife Endowment Fund constitutes a special trust derived from a contractual relationship between the state and the members of the public whose lifetime license purchases contribute to the fund. In recognition of such special trust, the following limitations and restrictions are placed on expenditures from the fund:
    1. No expenditures or disbursements from appropriations equivalent to the income or proceeds derived from the sales of Types I and Y lifetime sportsman's licenses shall be made for any purpose until the respective holders of such licenses attain the age of 16 years. The state treasurer, as custodian of the fund, shall determine actuarially from time to time the amount of such proceeds which remains encumbered by and the amount of such proceeds which is free of this restriction and shall advise the commissioner of such information. For such purposes, the commissioner shall cause the amount of proceeds from Type I licenses to be identified and proceeds from Type Y licenses to be accompanied by information as to the ages of the license recipients;
    2. No expenditure or disbursement may be made from the principal and interest of the fund except as otherwise provided by law;
    3. The principal and interest of the fund must be spent only for the conservation and management of wildlife and fisheries resources and the acquisition of habitat upon which such resources are dependent;
    4. No such habitat acquired with money from the fund shall be voluntarily transferred to the federal government or any international agency or organization;
    5. The trustee of the Wildlife Endowment Fund may accumulate the income of the fund and may direct expenditures from the income of the fund; and
    6. Expenditure of the income derived from the fund must be made with the approval of the trustee in accordance with the provisions of the General Appropriations Act. The fund is subject to the oversight of the state treasurer.
  5. The fund and income from it do not take the place of other state appropriations or agency receipts but are supplemental to other funds and appropriations made available to the department for carrying out its responsibilities under this title.
  6. If the Department of Natural Resources is dissolved, the chief executive officer of the succeeding agency shall assume the trusteeship of the fund and shall be bound by all the limitations and restrictions placed by this Code section on expenditures from the fund. No repeal or modification of this Code section alters the fundamental purposes to which the fund is applied. No future dissolution of the Department of Natural Resources or substitution of any agency in its stead shall invalidate any lifetime license issued in accordance with this title.

(Code 1981, §27-2-30, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 826, § 3; Ga. L. 2010, p. 863, § 3/SB 296; Ga. L. 2013, p. 141, § 27/HB 79; Ga. L. 2014, p. 859, § 2/HB 786; Ga. L. 2015, p. 5, § 27/HB 90.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1998, in subsection (d), a semicolon was substituted for a period at the end of paragraph (d)(4).

27-2-31. Wildlife control permits.

  1. The department is authorized to issue wildlife control permits authorizing the permittee to trap, transport and release, or kill wildlife and feral hogs where such action is otherwise prohibited by law or regulation:
    1. When the department determines that there is a substantial likelihood the presence of such wildlife will endanger or cause injury to persons or will destroy or damage agricultural crops, domestic animals, buildings, structures, or other personal property;
    2. For the control of white-tailed deer on airport property; provided, however, that permits shall be issued under this paragraph for purposes of public safety, and the control of white-tailed deer for other purposes and the removal of black bear shall be as provided in Code Sections 27-2-18 and 27-3-21, respectively;
    3. For fur-bearing animals, as defined in paragraph (31) of Code Section 27-1-2, to implement a bona fide wildlife management plan that has been approved by the department; and
    4. For feral hogs, provided that:
      1. All permitted activities must comply with all rules and regulations of the Department of Agriculture; and
        1. No person shall transport any live feral hog without carrying on his or her person a feral hog transport permit issued by the Department of Agriculture pursuant to Code Section 2-7-201, and no person shall release any trapped or transported feral hog into any area that is not fenced to prevent the escape of such feral hog onto the land of another.
        2. Any person who violates division (i) of this subparagraph shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and shall be punished as provided by Code Section 17-10-4; provided, however, that if a fine is imposed pursuant to such Code section, such fine shall be not less than $1,500.00.
        3. Any license or permit previously issued under this title to any person convicted of violating division (i) of this subparagraph shall by operation of law be revoked and shall not be reissued for a period of three years after the date of such conviction. The licensee or permit holder shall be notified of the revocation personally or by a letter sent by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the name and address indicated on the application for the license or permit, or both, or to the Secretary of State as provided in Code Section 27-2-24.
    1. In issuing a wildlife control permit, the department shall prescribe the method, means, species, numbers, time limits, location, and any other conditions it deems necessary to ensure the continued viability of the wildlife population involved and to ensure that the public safety and interest are not compromised.
    2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, a wildlife control permit for feral hogs shall authorize the hunting or trapping of such feral hogs:
      1. At night with a light except during the season prescribed for hunting deer;
      2. From within a motor vehicle or while on a motor vehicle; and
      3. By a Georgia resident without a hunting or trapping license if such hunting occurs on premises owned by the permittee or his or her immediate family or leased by him or her or his or her immediate family and used primarily for raising or harvesting crops other than timber or for containing livestock or poultry. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to affect or negate the terms of any lease agreement.
    3. A wildlife control permit for feral hogs shall expire not less than five years from the issuing date; provided, however, that if the permittee is leasing the premises upon which the hunting is to occur, such permit shall expire automatically upon the termination of the lease. The department shall provide for the renewal of permits.
  2. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to authorize the taking of any species which is protected by the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, Public Law 93-205, as amended, or under any state law or regulation which has as its purpose the protection of endangered or threatened species.

(Code 1981, §27-2-31, enacted by Ga. L. 2000, p. 418, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 4, § 27; Ga. L. 2011, p. 468, § 1/HB 485; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 5/HB 475.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 1/HB 475, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'Feral Hog Control Act.'"

Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 2/HB 475, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "The General Assembly finds that feral hogs are an invasive species in Georgia and are detrimental to the natural resources and agricultural production of the state. Feral hogs cause significant damage to crops and wildlife habitat. In addition, as carriers of communicable diseases, feral hogs pose a health risk to humans, livestock, companion animals, pets, and native wildlife."

U.S. Code.

- The federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, referred to in this Code section, is codified at 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq.

Law reviews.

- For note on 2000 enactment of this Code section, see 17 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 202 (2000).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting required.

- Offenses arising from a violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-2-31 are offenses for which fingerprinting is required. 2011 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 11-5.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Construction and application of the consultation requirement under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C.A. § 1536(a) to (d), 1 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 4.

Construction and application of exceptions under § 10 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C.A. § 1539, 2 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 2.

Construction and application of threatened species requirements under Sec. 4(a) and (b) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C.A. § 1533(a) and (b), 6 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 2.

Construction and application of the cooperation with states requirement under Sec. 6 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C.A. § 1535, 8 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 3.

Construction and application of prohibited acts under Sec. 9(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C.A. § 1538(a), 9 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 3.

ARTICLE 2 WILDLIFE VIOLATOR COMPACT

Editor's notes.

- The compact provided by this article has been adopted by the number of states required to make the compact effective according to its terms.

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Wildlife Violator Compact Manual, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Wildlife Violator Compact, § 391-4-15-.03.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 24 et seq.

27-2-40. Wildlife Violator Policy Compact.

The Wildlife Violator Compact is enacted into law and entered into by the State of Georgia with any and all states legally joining therein in accordance with its terms. The compact is substantially as follows:

"WILDLIFE VIOLATOR COMPACT ARTICLE I
FINDINGS, DECLARATION OF POLICY, AND PURPOSE a)The party states find that:
  1. Wildlife resources are managed in trust by the respective states for the benefit of all residents and visitors.
  2. The protection of their respective wildlife resources can be materially affected by the degree of compliance with state statute, law, regulation, ordinance, or administrative rule relating to the management of those resources.
  3. The preservation, protection, management, and restoration of wildlife contributes immeasurably to the aesthetic, recreational, and economic aspects of these natural resources.
  4. Wildlife resources are valuable without regard to political boundaries, therefore, all persons should be required to comply with wildlife preservation, protection, management, and restoration laws, ordinances, and administrative rules and regulations of all party states as a condition precedent to the continuance or issuance of any license to hunt, fish, trap, or possess wildlife.
  5. Violation of wildlife laws interferes with the management of wildlife resources and may endanger the safety of persons and property.
  6. The mobility of many wildlife law violators necessitates the maintenance of channels of communications among the various states.
  7. In most instances, a person who is cited for a wildlife violation in a state other than the person's home state:
    1. Must post collateral or bond to secure appearance for a trial at a later date; or
    2. If unable to post collateral or bond, is taken into custody until the collateral or bond is posted; or
    3. Is taken directly to court for an immediate appearance.
  8. The purpose of the enforcement practices described in paragraph (7) of this subdivision is to ensure compliance with the terms of a wildlife citation by the person who, if permitted to continue on the person's way after receiving the citation, could return to the person's home state and disregard the person's duty under the terms of the citation.
  9. In most instances, a person receiving a wildlife citation in the person's home state is permitted to accept the citation from the officer at the scene of the violation and to immediately continue on the person's way after agreeing or being instructed to comply with the terms of the citation.
  10. The practice described in paragraph (7) of this subdivision causes unnecessary inconvenience and, at times, a hardship for the person who is unable at the time to post collateral, furnish a bond, stand trial, or pay the fine, and thus is compelled to remain in custody until some alternative arrangement can be made.
  11. The enforcement practices described in paragraph (7) of this subdivision consume an undue amount of law enforcement time.

    Unless the context requires otherwise, the definitions in this article apply through this compact and are intended only for the implementation of this compact:

It is the policy of the party states to:

Promote compliance with the statutes, laws, ordinances, regulations, and administrative rules relating to management of wildlife resources in their respective states.

Recognize the suspension of wildlife license privileges or rights of any person whose license privileges or rights have been suspended by a party state and treat this suspension as if it had occurred in their state.

Allow violators to accept a wildlife citation, except as provided in subdivision (b) of Article III, and proceed on the violator's way without delay whether or not the person is a resident in the state in which the citation was issued, provided that the violator's home state is party to this compact.

Report to the appropriate party state, as provided in the compact manual, any conviction recorded against any person whose home state was not the issuing state.

Allow the home state to recognize and treat convictions recorded for their residents which occurred in another party state as if they had occurred in the home state.

Extend cooperation to its fullest extent among the party states for obtaining compliance with the terms of a wildlife citation issued in one party state to a resident of another party state.

Maximize effective use of law enforcement personnel and information.

Assist court systems in the efficient disposition of wildlife violations.

The purpose of this compact is to:

Provide a means through which the party states may participate in a reciprocal program to effectuate policies enumerated in subdivision (b) of this article in a uniform and orderly manner.

Provide for the fair and impartial treatment of wildlife violators operating within party states in recognition of the person's right of due process and the sovereign status of a party state.

ARTICLE II DEFINITIONS
  1. 'Citation' means any summons, complaint, ticket, penalty assessment, or other official document issued by a wildlife officer or other peace officer for a wildlife violation containing an order which requires the person to respond.
  2. 'Collateral' means any cash or other security deposited to secure an appearance for trial, in connection with the issuance by a wildlife officer or other peace officer of a citation for a wildlife violation.
  3. 'Compliance' with respect to a citation means the act of answering the citation through appearance at a court, a tribunal, or payment of fines, costs, and surcharges, if any, or both such appearance and payment.
  4. 'Conviction' means a conviction, including any court conviction, of any offense related to the preservation, protection, management, or restoration of wildlife which is prohibited by state statute, law, regulation, ordinance, or administrative rule, or a forfeiture of bail, bond, or other security deposited to secure appearance by a person charged with having committed any such offense, or payment of a penalty assessment, or a plea of nolo contendere, or the imposition of a deferred or suspended sentence by the court.
  5. 'Court' means a court of law, including Magistrate's Court and the Justice of the Peace Court.
  6. 'Home state' means the state of primary residence of a person.
  7. 'Issuing state' means the party state which issues a wildlife citation to the violator.
  8. 'License' means any license, permit, or other public document which conveys to the person to whom it was issued the privilege of pursuing, possessing, or taking any wildlife regulated by statute, law, regulation, ordinance, or administrative rule of a party state.
  9. 'Licensing authority' means the department within each party state which is authorized by law to issue or approve licenses or permits to hunt, fish, trap, or possess wildlife.
  10. 'Party state' means any state which enacts legislation to become a member of this wildlife compact.
  11. 'Personal recognizance' means an agreement by a person made at the time of issuance of the wildlife citation that the person will comply with the terms of that citation.
  12. 'State' means any state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Provinces of Canada, or other countries.
  13. 'Suspension' means any revocation, denial, or withdrawal of any or all license privileges or rights, including the privilege or right to apply for, purchase, or exercise the benefits conferred by any license.
  14. 'Terms of the citation' means those conditions and options expressly stated upon the citation.
  15. 'Wildlife' means all species of animals, including but not necessarily limited to mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, and crustaceans, which are defined as 'wildlife' and are protected or otherwise regulated by statute, law, regulation, ordinance, or administrative rule in a party state. 'Wildlife' also means food fish and shellfish as defined by statute, law, regulation, ordinance, or administrative rule in a party state. Species included in the definition of 'wildlife' vary from state to state and determination of whether a species is 'wildlife' for the purposes of this compact shall be based on local law.
  16. 'Wildlife law' means any statute, law, regulation, ordinance, or administrative rule developed and enacted to manage wildlife resources and the use thereof.
  17. 'Wildlife officer' means any individual authorized by a party state to issue a citation for a wildlife violation.
  18. 'Wildlife violation' means any cited violation of a statute, law, regulation, ordinance, or administrative rule developed and enacted to manage wildlife resources and the use thereof.
    1. If not prohibited by local law or the compact manual adopted by the Board of Natural Resources as a rule; and
    2. If the violator provides adequate proof of the violator's identification to the wildlife officer.

      All party states shall recognize the suspension of license privileges or rights of any person by any state as if the violation on which the suspension is based had in fact occurred in their state and would have been the basis for suspension of license privileges or rights in their state.

      Except as expressly required by provisions of this compact, nothing herein shall be construed to affect the right of any party state to apply any of its laws relating to license privileges to any person or circumstance, or to invalidate or prevent any agreement or other cooperative arrangements between a party state and a nonparty state concerning wildlife law enforcement.

      1. A citation of the authority by which the state is empowered to become a party to this compact;
      2. Agreement to comply with the terms and provisions of the compact; and
      3. That compact entry is with all states then party to the compact and with any state that legally becomes a party to the compact.
    3. The effective date of entry shall be specified by the applying state, but shall not be less than sixty days after notice has been given by the chairperson of the board of compact administrators or by the secretariat of the board of compact administrators to each party state that the resolution from the applying state has been received.

      This compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes stated herein. The provisions of this compact shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence, or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any party state or of the United States or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, individual, or circumstance is held invalid, the compact shall not be affected thereby. If this compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any party state thereto, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining states and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters.

      This compact shall be known as the 'Wildlife Violator Compact.'"

ARTICLE III PROCEDURES FOR ISSUING STATE

When issuing a citation for a wildlife violation, a wildlife officer shall issue a citation to any person whose primary residence is in a party state in the same manner as if the person were a resident of the home state and shall not require the person to post collateral to secure appearance, subject to the exceptions contained in subdivision (b) of this article, if the officer receives the person's personal recognizance that the person will comply with the terms of the citation.

Personal recognizance is acceptable:

Upon conviction or failure of a person to comply with the terms of a wildlife citation, the appropriate official shall report the conviction or failure to comply to the licensing authority of the party state in which the wildlife citation was issued. The report shall be made in accordance with procedures specified by the issuing state and shall contain the information specified in the compact manual adopted by the Board of Natural Resources as a rule as minimum requirements for effective processing by the home state.

Upon receipt of the report of conviction or noncompliance required by subdivision (c) of this article, the licensing authority of the issuing state shall transmit to the licensing authority in the home state of the violator the information in a form and content as contained in the compact manual adopted by the Board of Natural Resources as a rule.

ARTICLE IV PROCEDURES FOR HOME STATE

Upon receipt of a report of failure to comply with the terms of a citation from the licensing authority of the issuing state, the licensing authority of the home state shall notify the violator, shall initiate a suspension action in accordance with the home state's suspension procedures and shall suspend the violator's license privileges or rights until satisfactory evidence of compliance with the terms of the wildlife citation has been furnished by the issuing state to the home state licensing authority. Due process safeguards will be accorded.

Upon receipt of a report of conviction from the licensing authority of the issuing state, the licensing authority of the home state shall enter such conviction in its records and shall treat such conviction as if it occurred in the home state for the purposes of the suspension of license privileges.

The licensing authority of the home state shall maintain a record of actions taken and make reports to issuing states as provided in the compact manual adopted by the Board of Natural Resources as a rule.

ARTICLE V RECIPROCAL RECOGNITION OF SUSPENSION
ARTICLE VI APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAWS
ARTICLE VII COMPACT ADMINISTRATOR PROCEDURES

For the purpose of administering the provisions of this compact and to serve as a governing body for the resolution of all matters relating to the operation of this compact, a board of compact administrators is established. The board of compact administrators shall be composed of one representative from each of the party states to be known as the compact administrator. The compact administrator shall be appointed by the head of the licensing authority of each party state, or his or her designee, and will serve and be subject to removal in accordance with the laws of the state the administrator represents. A compact administrator may provide for the discharge of the administrator's duties and the performance of the administrator's functions as a board of compact administrators member by an alternate. An alternate may not be entitled to serve unless written notification of the alternate's identity has been given to the board of compact administrators.

Each member of the board of compact administrators shall be entitled to one vote. No action of the board of compact administrators shall be binding unless taken at a meeting at which a majority of the total number of votes on the board of compact administrators are cast in favor thereof. Action by the board of compact administrators shall be only at a meeting at which a majority of the party states are represented.

The board of compact administrators shall elect annually, from its membership, a chairperson and vice-chairperson.

The board of compact administrators shall adopt bylaws, not inconsistent with the provisions of this compact or the laws of a party state, for the conduct of its business and shall have the power to amend and rescind its bylaws.

The board of compact administrators may accept for any of its purposes and functions under this compact all donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services, conditional or otherwise, from any state, the United States, or any governmental agency, and may receive, utilize, and dispose of the same.

The board of compact administrators may contract with or accept services or personnel from any governmental or intergovernmental agency, individual, firm, corporation, or any private nonprofit organization or institution.

The board of compact administrators shall formulate all necessary procedures and develop uniform forms and documents for administering the provisions of this compact. All procedures and forms adopted pursuant to board of contact administrators action shall be contained in the compact manual adopted by the Board of Natural Resources as a rule.

ARTICLE VIII ENTRY INTO COMPACT AND WITHDRAWAL

This compact shall become effective when it has been adopted by at least two states.

(1)Entry into the compact shall be made by resolution of ratification executed by the authorized officials of the applying state and submitted to the chairperson of the board of compact administrators.

The resolution shall be in a form and content as provided in the compact manual adopted by the Board of Natural Resources as a rule and shall include statements that in substance are as follows:

A party state may withdraw from this compact by official written notice to the other party states, but a withdrawal shall not take effect until ninety days after notice of withdrawal is given. The notice shall be directed to the compact administrator of each member state. No withdrawal shall affect the validity of this compact as to the remaining party states.

ARTICLE IX AMENDMENTS TO THE COMPACT

This compact may be amended from time to time. Amendments shall be presented in resolution form to the chairperson of the board of compact administrators and may be initiated by one or more party states.

Adoption of an amendment shall require endorsement by all party states and shall become effective thirty days after the date of the last endorsement.

Failure of a party state to respond to the compact chairperson within one hundred twenty days after receipt of the proposed amendment shall constitute endorsement.

ARTICLE X CONSTRUCTION AND SEVERABILITY
ARTICLE XI TITLE

(Code 1981, §27-2-40, enacted by Ga. L. 2002, p. 1179, § 1.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2002, punctuation and capitalization was revised in Article XI.

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2003, single quotes were substituted for double quotes in subdivision (k) of Article II.

27-2-41. Rules and regulations authorized.

The Board of Natural Resources shall make and publish in print or electronically such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with law, as it deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this article.

(Code 1981, §27-2-41, enacted by Ga. L. 2002, p. 1179, § 1; Ga. L. 2010, p. 838, § 10/SB 388.)

27-2-42. Penalty for violating.

It shall be unlawful for any person whose license, privilege, or right to hunt, fish, trap, possess, or transport wildlife, having been suspended or revoked pursuant to this article, to exercise that right or privilege within this state or to purchase or possess such a license which grants such right or privilege. Any person who hunts, fishes, traps, possesses, or transports wildlife in this state or who purchases or possesses a license to hunt, fish, trap, possess, or transport wildlife in this state in violation of such suspension or revocation pursuant to this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,500.00 nor more than $5,000.00 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months or both.

(Code 1981, §27-2-42, enacted by Ga. L. 2002, p. 1179, § 1.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2002, punctuation was revised in this Code section.

CHAPTER 3 WILDLIFE GENERALLY

Article 1 Hunting.
Part 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS.
Part 2 DEER.
Article 2 Trapping, Trappers, and Fur Dealers.
Article 3 Transportation.
Article 4 Shooting Preserves.
Article 5 Protection of Endangered Wildlife.
Article 6 Interference with Lawful Taking.
Article 7 Feeding of Wild Alligators.
Article 8 Fertility Control on Wildlife.
Cross references.

- Cruelty to animals, § 16-12-4.

Penalty for unlawful taking of wildlife generally, § 27-1-3.

Unlawful acts relating to taking, sale, purchase of wildlife, § 27-1-28 et seq.

Consent of state to acquisition by United States of lands for forest and wildlife purposes, § 50-2-25.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Validity, construction, and effect of statutes or regulations making possession of fish or game, or of specified hunting or fishing equipment, prima facie evidence of violation, 81 A.L.R.2d 1093.

ARTICLE 1 HUNTING

Cross references.

- Prohibition against killing, harming, removing or disturbing wildlife found in a cave, § 12-4-146.

Cruelty to animals, § 16-12-4.

Liability of landowner or hunter for wildlife injured crossing public roadway, § 51-1-52.

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Hunting regulations, Official Compilation of Rules and Regulations of State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Subject 391-4-2.

PART 1 G ENERAL PROVISIONS

Cross references.

- Cruelty to animals, § 16-12-4.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Hunter's civil liability for unintentionally shooting another person, 26 A.L.R.3d 561.

27-3-1. Requirement of permission to hunt on lands of another; written permission; enforcement; immunity of landowner from civil liability.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt upon the lands of another or enter upon the lands of another in pursuit of wildlife, with or without a license, without first obtaining permission from the landowner or lessee of such land or the lessee of the game rights of such land. Such permission shall not be required, however, if the person hunting or a member of the person's family is the owner of the land, the lessee of the land, or the lessee of the game rights of the land. For the purposes of this Code section only, "family" means mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, niece, nephew, grandson, granddaughter, grandmother, grandfather, or spouse.
  2. If the land is posted and if the owner of the land, lessee of the land, or lessee of the game rights of the land has informed a law enforcement agency that permission to hunt upon the land must be in writing, then the permission required by subsection (a) of this Code section must be in writing and must be carried on the hunter's person.
    1. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, any person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500.00.
    2. Any person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section for the second time within a two-year period shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,000.00; and the department shall revoke the right of such person to a hunting license for a period of one year for each such second conviction within a two-year period.
    3. Any person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section for a third or subsequent time within a three-year period shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $2,000.00; and the department shall revoke the right of such person to a hunting license for a period of three years for each such third or subsequent conviction within a three-year period.
    4. The minimum fines and revocation periods specified in this subsection shall not apply, however, to an offender who is 17 years of age or younger.
  3. It shall be the duty of any peace officer whose duty it is to preserve the peace or make arrests or enforce the law to enforce this Code section.
  4. Any owner of land, lessee of land, or lessee of the game or fishing rights to land who gives permission to another person to hunt, fish, or take wildlife upon the land with or without charge shall be entitled to the same protection from civil liability provided by Article 2 of Chapter 3 of Title 51 for landowners who allow the public to use their land for recreational purposes without charge.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 7; Code 1933, § 45-320; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 65; Code 1933, § 45-501, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 38; Ga. L. 1984, p. 546, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1013, § 11; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1076, § 1.)

Law reviews.

- For annual survey on trial practice and procedure, see 70 Mercer L. Rev. 253 (2018).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Permission of landowner.

- One must have permission of landowner as condition precedent to hunting any game or animals. Blassingame v. State, 11 Ga. App. 809, 76 S.E. 392 (1912).

Conviction for hunting without permission.

- In order to convict person of hunting on land of another without permission, it is incumbent upon the state to prove that permission to hunt was not obtained from the landowner, lessee, or lessee of the game rights, and where the state proved only that the defendant did not obtain permission from one of the owners, and there was no showing that the owner was the only person empowered to give permission to hunt on the land, the evidence was insufficient for a rational jury to reasonably find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Townsend v. State, 173 Ga. App. 389, 326 S.E.2d 569 (1985).

Protected status of game being hunted has no effect.

- Former Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 7 (see now O.C.G.A. § 27-3-1) expressly protected lands of another from trespassing by hunters regardless of whether the game being hunted was specifically protected by that section. Blassingame v. State, 11 Ga. App. 809, 76 S.E. 392 (1912).

The state must negate the disjunction that the landowner or the lessee or the lessee of the game rights gave permission to hunt on the land, which requires a showing that the landowner did not give permission, the lessee (if extant) did not give permission, and the lessee of the game rights (if extant) did not give permission. Burkhalter v. State, 256 Ga. 236, 347 S.E.2d 588 (1986).

Evidence sufficient to sustain conviction.

- See Blackwelder v. State, 256 Ga. 283, 347 S.E.2d 600 (1986).

Evidence insufficient to support conviction.

- Where the lessee of the game rights had not given the defendants permission to hunt on the property, there was no evidence that another lessee existed and the only other evidence was one defendant's testimony that they had not intended to hunt on private property because they did not have the appropriate hunting license to hunt on such property, this evidence was insufficient to support a conviction under O.C.G.A. § 27-3-1. Burkhalter v. State, 256 Ga. 236, 347 S.E.2d 588 (1986).

Incorrect date on summons.

- Because the date of the alleged offense is not generally material, except for statute of limitations purposes, and failure to rely on a specific date is not harmful unless the defendant is surprised and prejudiced in the preparation of a defense, defendant was not harmed by the appearance of an incorrect date on the summons. Blackwelder v. State, 256 Ga. 283, 347 S.E.2d 600 (1986).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting.

- Hunting on the land of another without permission is no longer designated as an offense for which those charged with a violation must be fingerprinted, except to the extent mandated by statute. 1987 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 87-21.

The Georgia Crime Information Center is not authorized to collect and file fingerprints of persons charged with a violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-3-1(c). 2001 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2001-11.

Intrusions by dogs.

- O.C.G.A. § 27-3-1 does not apply to persons lawfully engaged in hunting whose dogs enter the lands of another without permission. 1997 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U97-16.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 27.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 4.

27-3-1.1. Acts prohibited on wildlife management areas.

It shall be unlawful for any person on any wildlife management area owned or operated by the department:

  1. To possess a firearm other than a handgun, as such term is defined in Code Section 16-11-125.1, during a closed hunting season for that area unless such firearm is unloaded and stored in a motor vehicle so as not to be readily accessible or to possess a handgun during a closed hunting season for that area unless such person possesses a valid weapons carry license issued pursuant to Code Section 16-11-129;
  2. To possess a loaded firearm other than a handgun, as such term is defined in Code Section 16-11-125.1, in a motor vehicle during a legal open hunting season for that area or to possess a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle during a legal open hunting season for that area unless such person possesses a valid weapons carry license issued pursuant to Code Section 16-11-129;
  3. To be under the influence of drugs, intoxicating liquors, beers, or wines. The determination of whether any person is under the influence of drugs or intoxicating liquors, beers, or wines may be made in accordance with Code Section 27-3-7;
  4. To hunt within 50 yards of any road which receives regular maintenance for the purpose of public vehicular access;
  5. To target practice, except where an authorized shooting range is made available by the department, and then only in a manner consistent with the rules for shooting ranges promulgated by the board;
  6. To drive a vehicle around a closed gate, cable, sign, or other structure or device intended to prevent vehicular access to a road entering onto or within such an area;
  7. To hunt within any posted safety zone;
  8. To camp upon or drive a motor vehicle over any permanent pasture or area planted in crops;
  9. While hunting bears in any such area opened to bear hunting, to kill a female bear with a cub or cubs or to kill a cub weighing less than 75 pounds;
  10. To fail to report if he or she kills a deer, bear, or turkey in the manner specified by the rules of the department for that wildlife management area on the date killed to the state game and fish checking station on the area;
  11. To construct any tree stand or to hunt from any tree stand except a portable or natural tree stand; or
  12. To trap except with a special trapping permit issued by the department.

(Code 1981, §27-3-1.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 8; Ga. L. 1993, p. 91, § 27; Ga. L. 1996, p. 1134, § 1; Ga. L. 2003, p. 140, § 27; Ga. L. 2010, p. 963, § 2-13/SB 308.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2010, p. 963, § 3-1/SB 308, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section shall apply to all offenses committed on and after June 4, 2010, and shall not affect any prosecutions for acts occurring before June 4, 2010, and shall not act as an abatement of any such prosecutions.

Law reviews.

- For article, "Crimes and Offenses," see 27 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 131 (2011).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting not required.

- Offense arising from a violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-3-1.1 does not appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required. 2010 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 10-6.

27-3-2. Hunting at night.

It shall be unlawful to hunt at night any game bird or game animal in this state except for alligators, raccoons, opossums, foxes, and bobcats. Any light used to hunt raccoons, opossums, foxes, or bobcats shall be carried on the person of a hunter, affixed to a helmet or hat worn by a hunter, or be part of a belt system worn by a hunter.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 17; Code 1933, § 45-322; Ga. L. 1949, p. 1005, § 1; Ga. L. 1952, p. 362, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 67; Ga. L. 1962, p. 671, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 19; Code 1933, § 45-502, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 40; Ga. L. 2003, p. 654, § 8; Ga. L. 2009, p. 48, § 1/SB 111.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Hunting "wildlife" at night legal.

- An accusation charging the defendant with the "offense of misdemeanor hunting at night with aid of lights: for that the said accused . . . did unlawfully hunt wildlife at night with aid of lights" was deficient, since one may admit hunting wildlife at night with aid of a light and still be innocent of any criminal activity. Manley v. State, 187 Ga. App. 773, 371 S.E.2d 438, cert. denied, 187 Ga. App. 908, 371 S.E.2d 438 (1988).

Deer hunting at night.

- Hunting deer at night with the aid of lights is a violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-3-2. Manley v. State, 187 Ga. App. 773, 371 S.E.2d 438, cert. denied, 187 Ga. App. 908, 371 S.E.2d 438 (1988).

Conviction for separate offenses.

- Where defendants hunted from a motor vehicle on a public road at night using a light exceeding six volts, it was not error to convict them of the three separate crimes of hunting at night, hunting on a public road and hunting from a motor vehicle. Sanford v. State, 169 Ga. App. 769, 315 S.E.2d 281 (1984).

Cited in Holzmeister v. State, 156 Ga. App. 94, 274 S.E.2d 109 (1980); State v. Towe, 246 Ga. App. 808, 541 S.E.2d 423 (2000).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting not required.

- Offense arising from a violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-3-2 does not appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required. 2010 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 10-6.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 52.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

27-3-3. Hours for hunting migratory game birds.

It shall be unlawful to hunt migratory game birds between sunset and one-half hour before sunrise. It shall also be unlawful to hunt migratory game birds between one-half hour before sunrise and sunset, except that it shall not be unlawful to hunt migratory game birds during those hours as may be designated by the board for a particular migratory game bird. In accordance with the framework of open hunting season dates established by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and as may be appropriate based on sound wildlife management principles, the board is specifically authorized to promulgate rules and regulations establishing the hours, on a state-wide, regional, or local basis, for hunting migratory game birds. The board is specifically authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations without complying with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," and all rules and regulations promulgated by the board pursuant to this Code section shall be effective immediately upon adoption.

(Code 1933, § 45-502, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 41.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 52 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 23 et seq.

ALR.

- Power of Congress to protect migratory birds, 11 A.L.R. 991.

27-3-4. Legal weapons for hunting wildlife generally; use of silencers and suppressors prohibited; penalty for violations.

  1. It shall be unlawful to hunt wildlife with any weapon, except that:
    1. Longbows, recurve bows, crossbows, and compound bows may be used for taking small game, feral hogs, or big game. Arrows for hunting deer, bear, and feral hogs must be broadhead type;
    2. During primitive weapon hunts or primitive weapons seasons:
      1. Longbows, recurve bows, crossbows, compound bows, muzzleloading firearms of .44 caliber or larger, and muzzleloading shotguns of 20 gauge or larger loaded with single shot may be used; and
      2. Youth under 16 years of age may hunt deer with any firearm legal for hunting deer;
    3. Firearms for hunting deer and bear are limited to 20 gauge shotguns or larger shotguns loaded with slugs or buckshot (except that no buckshot is permitted on state wildlife management areas unless otherwise specified), muzzleloading firearms of .44 caliber or larger, and center-fire firearms .22 caliber or larger; provided, however, that firearms for hunting feral hogs, other than those weapons specified in this paragraph, may be authorized by rule or regulation of the board. Bullets used in all center-fire rifles and handguns must be of the expanding type;
    4. Weapons for hunting small game shall be limited to shotguns with shot shell size of no greater than 3 1/2 inches in length with No. 2 lead shot or smaller or federally approved nontoxic shot size of F or smaller shot, .22 caliber or smaller rimfire firearms, air rifles, muzzleloading firearms, longbows, recurve bows, crossbows, and compound bows; provided, however, that in addition to the weapons listed in this paragraph, any center-fire firearm of .17 caliber or larger may be used for hunting fox and bobcat. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall permit the taking of protected species;
    5. It shall be unlawful to hunt turkey with any weapons except shotguns using No. 2 shot or smaller, muzzleloading firearms, longbows, crossbows, recurve bows, or compound bows. Any person taking turkey in violation of this paragraph shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as for a misdemeanor, except that a fine imposed for such violation shall not be less than $250.00;
    6. Weapons for hunting alligators shall be limited to hand-held ropes or snares, snatch hooks, harpoons, gigs, or arrows with restraining lines attached. Lawfully restrained alligators may be killed with any caliber handgun or bangstick and shall be killed immediately before transporting;
    7. There are no firearms restrictions for taking nongame animals, nongame birds, or feral hogs;
    8. The use of silencers or suppressors for hunting within this state is prohibited; provided, however, that a silencer or suppressor may be used for hunting on the private property of the person using such silencer or suppressor, on private property for which the owner of such property has provided verifiable permission to the person using such silencer or suppressor, and on public lands in areas designated by the department; and
    9. For purposes of this subsection, the term "air gun" means any pistol, handgun, or shoulder-held device, each of not less than 0.30 caliber, or air bow that propels a projectile in the form of a slug, shot, or arrow equipped with a broadhead utilizing unignited compressed air or gas. Air guns are legal weapons for hunting big game only during primitive weapon hunts, primitive weapon seasons, and firearm seasons. This paragraph shall stand repealed effective July 1, 2020, unless continued in effect by the General Assembly prior to that date. At its 2020 regular session, the General Assembly shall review this paragraph to determine whether it should be continued in effect.
    1. It shall be illegal to use a silencer or suppressor for hunting in violation of paragraph (9) of subsection (a) of this Code section. A person who violates the provisions of this paragraph shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
    2. The hunting privileges of any person who has been convicted of violating the provisions of this title or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto by hunting without landowner permission, hunting in an area that is closed for hunting, or hunting big game out of season or at night with a firearm equipped with a suppressor shall be suspended for three years.

(Code 1933, § 45-503, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 42; Ga. L. 1979, p. 591, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 25; Ga. L. 1979, p. 828, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 730, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 798, § 6; Ga. L. 1983, p. 664, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1984, p. 22, § 27; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1552, § 2; Ga. L. 1990, p. 8, § 27; Ga. L. 1990, p. 380, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2863, § 5; Ga. L. 1994, p. 496, § 2; Ga. L. 1995, p. 437, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 592, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 11; Ga. L. 1999, p. 81, § 27; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1013, § 12; Ga. L. 2002, p. 1179, § 4; Ga. L. 2003, p. 654, § 9; Ga. L. 2006, p. 226, § 2/HB 338; Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 3/SB 474; Ga. L. 2013, p. 538, § 2/HB 207; Ga. L. 2014, p. 599, § 1-2A/HB 60; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 6/HB 475; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 3/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, deleted former paragraph (a)(5), which read: "For hunting game animals other than deer and bear, shotguns shall be limited to a capacity of not more than three shells in the magazine and chamber combined. If a plug is necessary to so limit the capacity, the plug shall be of one piece, incapable of being removed through the loading end of the magazine;"; redesignated former paragraphs (a)(6) through (a)(9) as present paragraphs (a)(5) through (a)(8), respectively; and added paragraph (a)(9).

Cross references.

- Offenses involving leaving children abandoned or unattended in motor vehicles generally, § 16-11-100 et seq.

Carrying and possessing firearms generally, § 16-11-120 et seq.

Prohibition against taking fish by means of firearms, § 27-4-8.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2019, "and" was deleted at the end of paragraph (a)(7) and "; and" was substituted for the period at the end of paragraph (a)(8).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1983, p. 664, §§ 1 and 2 purported to amend Code Section 27-2-4 but actually amended Code Section 27-3-4.

Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 1/HB 475, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'Feral Hog Control Act.'"

Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 2/HB 475, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "The General Assembly finds that feral hogs are an invasive species in Georgia and are detrimental to the natural resources and agricultural production of the state. Feral hogs cause significant damage to crops and wildlife habitat. In addition, as carriers of communicable diseases, feral hogs pose a health risk to humans, livestock, companion animals, pets, and native wildlife."

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2014 amendment of this Code section, see 31 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 47 (2014).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Sufficiency of evidence.

- For a case in which the evidence was sufficient to support a conviction of hunting with an unplugged pump shotgun, see Beard v. State, 151 Ga. App. 724, 261 S.E.2d 404 (1979).

Seizure of evidence.

- Conservation rangers had authority to seize unlicensed hunter's crossbow and rifle without a warrant. Dowis v. State, 232 Ga. App. 111, 501 S.E.2d 275 (1998).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 53.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

27-3-5. Legal weapons for hunting certain animals.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 1981, p. 798, § 7, effective July 1, 1981.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2013, p. 141, § 27/HB 79, reserved the designation of this Code section, effective April 24, 2013.

27-3-6. Possession of firearm while hunting with bow and arrow.

It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any center-fire or rimfire firearm other than a handgun, as such term is defined in Code Section 16-11-125.1, while hunting with a bow and arrow during archery or primitive weapons season for deer or while hunting with a muzzleloading firearm during a primitive weapons season for deer or to possess a loaded handgun while hunting with a bow and arrow during archery or primitive weapons season for deer or while hunting with a muzzleloading firearm during primitive weapons season for deer unless such person possesses a valid weapons carry license issued pursuant to Code Section 16-11-129.

(Code 1933, § 45-505, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 12; Ga. L. 2010, p. 963, § 2-14/SB 308.)

Cross references.

- Dangerous instrumentalities and practices, § 16-11-100 et seq.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2010, p. 963, § 3-1/SB 308, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section shall apply to all offenses committed on and after June 4, 2010, and shall not affect any prosecutions for acts occurring before June 4, 2010, and shall not act as an abatement of any such prosecutions.

Law reviews.

- For article, "Crimes and Offenses," see 27 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 131 (2011).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting not required.

- Offense arising from a violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-3-6 does not appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required. 2010 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 10-6.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 53.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

27-3-7. Hunting under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  1. As used in this Code section, the term "hunt" or "hunting" means the act of hunting, as such term is defined in Code Section 27-1-2, while in possession of or using a firearm, bow, or any other device which serves to launch a projectile.
  2. A person shall not hunt while:
    1. Under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to hunt;
    2. Under the influence of any drug to the extent that it is less safe for the person to hunt;
    3. Under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug to the extent that it is less safe for the person to hunt;
    4. The person's alcohol concentration is 0.08 grams or more at any time within three hours after such hunting from alcohol consumed before such hunting ended; or
    5. Subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of this Code section, there is any amount of marijuana or a controlled substance, as defined in Code Section 16-13-21, present in the person's blood or urine, or both, including the metabolites and derivatives of each or both without regard to whether or not any alcohol is present in the person's breath or blood.
  3. The fact that any person charged with violating this Code section is or has been legally entitled to use a drug shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this Code section; provided, however, that such person shall not be in violation of this Code section unless such person is rendered incapable of hunting safely as a result of using a drug other than alcohol which such person is legally entitled to use.
  4. Upon the trial of any civil or criminal action or proceeding arising out of acts alleged to have been committed by any person in violation of subsection (b) of this Code section, evidence of the amount of alcohol or drug in a person's blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance at the alleged time, as determined by a chemical analysis of the person's blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance shall be admissible. Where such a chemical test is made, the following provisions shall apply:
    1. Chemical analysis of the person's blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance, to be considered valid under this Code section, shall have been performed according to methods approved by the Division of Forensic Sciences of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on a machine which was operated with all the electronic and operating components prescribed by its manufacturer properly attached and in good working order and by an individual possessing a valid permit issued by the Division of Forensic Sciences for this purpose. The Division of Forensic Sciences of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation shall approve satisfactory techniques or methods to ascertain the qualifications and competence of individuals to conduct analyses and to issue permits, along with requirements for properly operating and maintaining any testing instruments, and to issue certificates certifying that instruments have met those requirements, which certificates and permits shall be subject to termination or revocation at the discretion of the Division of Forensic Sciences;
    2. When a person undergoes a chemical test at the request of a law enforcement officer, only a physician, registered nurse, laboratory technician, emergency medical technician, or other qualified person may withdraw blood for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content therein, provided that this limitation shall not apply to the taking of breath or urine specimens. No physician, registered nurse, or other qualified person or employer thereof shall incur any civil or criminal liability as a result of the medically proper obtaining of such blood specimens when requested in writing by a law enforcement officer;
    3. The person tested may have a physician or a qualified technician, chemist, registered nurse, or other qualified person of his or her own choosing administer a chemical test or tests in addition to any administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer. The justifiable failure or inability to obtain an additional test shall not preclude the admission of evidence relating to the test or tests taken at the direction of a law enforcement officer; and
    4. Upon the request of the person who shall submit to a chemical test or tests at the request of a law enforcement officer, full information concerning the test or tests shall be made available to such person or such person's attorney. The arresting officer at the time of arrest shall advise the person arrested of his or her rights to a chemical test or tests according to this Code section.
  5. In the event of a hunting accident involving a fatality, the investigating coroner or medical examiner having jurisdiction shall direct that a chemical blood test to determine the blood alcohol concentration or the presence of drugs be performed on the dead person and that the results of such test be properly recorded on his or her report.
  6. Upon the trial of any civil or criminal action or proceeding arising out of acts alleged to have been committed by any person hunting in violation of subsection (b) of this Code section, the amount of alcohol in the person's blood at the time alleged, as shown by chemical analysis of the person's blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance, shall give rise to the following presumptions:
    1. If there was at that time a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 grams or less, it shall be presumed that the person was not under the influence of alcohol, as prohibited by paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (b) of this Code section;
    2. If there was at that time a blood alcohol concentration in excess of 0.05 grams but less than 0.08 grams, such fact shall not give rise to any presumption that the person was or was not under the influence of alcohol, as prohibited by paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (b) of this Code section, but such fact may be considered with other competent evidence in determining whether the person was under the influence of alcohol, as prohibited by paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (b) of this Code section; and
    3. If there was at that time or within three hours after hunting, from alcohol consumed before such hunting ended, a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more grams, the person shall be in violation of paragraph (4) of subsection (b) of this Code section.
    1. Any person who exercises the privilege of hunting in this state shall be deemed to have given consent, subject to subsection (d) of this Code section, to a chemical test or tests of his or her blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining the presence of alcohol or any other drug, if arrested for any offense arising out of acts alleged to have been committed while such person was hunting in violation of subsection (b) of this Code section. Subject to subsection (d) of this Code section, the requesting law enforcement officer shall designate which test or tests shall be administered.
    2. At the time a chemical test or tests are requested, the arresting officer shall read to the person the following implied consent warning:

      "The State of Georgia has conditioned your license to hunt in this state upon your submission to state administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse this testing and you are convicted of hunting while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your ability to lawfully hunt in this state will be suspended for a period of two years. Your refusal to submit to blood or urine testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial. If you submit to testing and the results indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more and if you are subsequently convicted of hunting under the influence of alcohol by having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more at any time within three hours after hunting from alcohol consumed before such hunting ended, your ability to lawfully hunt in this state will be suspended for a period of one year. After first submitting to the required state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing. Will you submit to the state administered chemical tests of your (designate which test)?"

  7. Any person who is dead, unconscious, or otherwise in a condition rendering such person incapable of refusal shall be deemed not to have withdrawn the consent provided by subsection (g) of this Code section, and the test or tests may be administered, subject to subsection (d) of this Code section.
    1. If a person refuses, upon the request of a law enforcement officer, to submit to a chemical test designated by the law enforcement officer as provided in subsection (g) of this Code section, no test shall be given; provided, however, that subject to the provisions of paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, such refusal shall be admissible in any legal action; and provided, further, that upon conviction of a violation of subsection (b) of this Code section, in addition to any other punishment imposed, such person's privileges to hunt in this state shall be suspended by operation of law for a period of two years. The fact that such person was not in possession of a valid hunting license at the time of the violation shall have no effect on the suspension of his or her hunting privilege.
    2. If in any legal action a party desires to present evidence of the refusal of a person charged with violating subsection (b) of this Code section to submit to a chemical test designated by a law enforcement officer as provided in subsection (g) of this Code section, the party desiring to present such evidence shall request the judge presiding over such legal proceeding to hold a hearing to determine the admissibility of such evidence after notice to the person alleged to have refused to submit to such testing and to the law enforcement officer.
    3. The scope of the hearing shall be limited to the following issues:
      1. Whether the law enforcement officer had reasonable grounds to believe the person was hunting while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance and was lawfully placed under arrest for violating subsection (b) of this Code section;
      2. Whether at the time of the request for the test or tests the officer informed the person of the person's implied consent rights and the consequence of submitting or refusing to submit to such test; and
      3. Whether the person refused to submit to the test.
    4. It shall be unlawful during any period of a person's hunting privilege suspension for such person to:
      1. Hunt without a license in violation of Code Section 27-2-1;
      2. Possess a current Georgia hunting license; or
      3. Hunt in any situation where a hunting license is not required.
    5. Any person convicted of hunting while intoxicated while his or her hunting privileges are suspended pursuant to this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
  8. Nothing in this Code section shall be deemed to preclude the acquisition or admission of evidence of a violation of this Code section if the evidence was obtained by voluntary consent or a search warrant as authorized by the Constitution or the laws of this state or the United States.
  9. Upon the request of a law enforcement officer, if a person consents to submit to a chemical test designated by such officer as provided in subsection (g) of this Code section, and the results of such test indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more, upon a conviction of a violation of paragraph (4) of subsection (b) of this Code section, in addition to any other punishment imposed, such person's privileges to hunt in this state shall be suspended by operation of law for a period of one year. Even if such person did not possess a valid hunting license at the time of the violation, such person's hunting privileges shall be suspended for one year.
  10. Following the period of suspension set forth in subsection (i) or (k) of this Code section, such person may apply to the department for reinstatement of his or her hunting privileges. Any suspension pursuant to this Code section shall remain in effect until such person submits proof of completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program certified by the Department of Driver Services and pays a restoration fee of $200.00, unless such conviction was a recidivist conviction, in which case the restoration fee shall be $500.00.

(Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 327, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 56; Code 1933, § 45-506, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 1134, § 2; Ga. L. 2013, p. 92, § 3/SB 136; Ga. L. 2014, p. 344, § 2/HB 783; Ga. L. 2019, p. 295, § 1/HB 471.)

The 2019 amendment, effective April 28, 2019, substituted the present provisions of paragraph (g)(2) for the former provisions, which read: "At the time a chemical test or tests are requested, the arresting officer shall read to the person the following implied consent warning:

"'Georgia law requires you to submit to state administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse this testing and you are convicted of hunting while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your privilege to hunt in this state will be suspended for a period of two years. Your refusal to submit to the required testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial. If you submit to testing and the results indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more and if you are subsequently convicted of hunting under the influence of alcohol by having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more at any time within three hours after hunting from alcohol consumed before such hunting ended, your privilege to hunt in this state will be suspended for a period of one year. After first submitting to the required state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing. Will you submit to the state administered chemical tests of your (designate which tests) under the implied consent law?'"

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1996, "designate which tests" was underlined near the end of paragraph (g)(2).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2013, p. 92, § 14/SB 136, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act "shall apply to all offenses occurring on and after May 15, 2013; provided, however, that for purposes of determining the number of prior convictions or pleas of nolo contendere pursuant to the felony provisions of paragraph (4) of subsection (m) of Code Section 52-7-12, only those offenses for which a conviction or a plea of nolo contendere is obtained on or after May 15, 2013, shall be considered."

Ga. L. 2014, p. 344, § 5/HB 783, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective on May 1, 2014, and shall apply to offenses occurring on or after such date."

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting of offenders.

- Offenses under O.C.G.A. § 27-3-7 are ones for which those charged with a violation are to be fingerprinted. 1996 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 96-17.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 53.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Admissibility of breath test results.

- Officers' testimony that blood alcohol breath test machines were functioning properly, had been inspected, that no pieces or components were missing, that the officers performed all required tests, and that they prepared the instruments in accordance with their training showed substantial compliance with the required procedures, and admission of the test results was proper; defendants' arguments that the breath test results should have been inadmissible because the machines registered increasing blood alcohol concentration readings as a person continued to blow into them went to the weight of the evidence, which was for the trial court to determine. Whittaker v. State, 279 Ga. App. 148, 630 S.E.2d 560 (2006).

27-3-8. Unlawful devices.

It shall be unlawful for any person to make use of any pitfall, deadfall, catch, snare, trap, net, salt lick, blind pig, baited hook, or other device for the purpose of taking any game animal or game bird or any other wildlife, except as otherwise provided in this title or by rule or regulation of the board.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 17; Code 1933, § 45-322; Ga. L. 1949, p. 1005, § 1; Ga. L. 1952, p. 362, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 62; Ga. L. 1972, p. 925, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-507, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 798, § 8.)

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Hunting regulations, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Subject 391-4-2.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 53.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

27-3-9. Unlawful enticement of game.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to place, expose, deposit, distribute, or scatter any corn, wheat, or other grains, salts, apples, or other feeds or bait so as to constitute a lure or attraction or enticement for any game bird or game animal on or over any area where hunters are or will be hunting.
    1. Except as otherwise provided by law or regulation, it shall be unlawful for any person to hunt any game bird or game animal upon, over, around, or near any place where any corn, wheat, or other grains, salts, apples, or other feed or bait has been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered so as to constitute a lure, attraction, or enticement to such birds or animals. It shall also be unlawful to hunt any game animal or game bird upon, over, around, or near any such place for a period of ten days following the complete removal of all such feed or bait.
    2. The prohibitions of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to the hunting of deer, other than on lands under the ownership or control and management of the state or federal government, if the hunter has written permission of the landowner to hunt upon, over, around, or near such feed or bait, except as otherwise provided by paragraph (3) of this subsection.
      1. The board may by rule or regulation restrict the feeding, baiting, or hunting of deer upon, over, around, or near such feed or bait in any county wherein there is a documented occurrence of a communicable disease in deer and in any county adjoining such county. Such restriction may be imposed in such county and any adjoining county for a period of up to and including one year and may be extended for additional periods of up to and including two years each upon documentation that the communicable disease is still present in deer in such county. No person shall feed, bait, or hunt deer in violation of any restriction imposed pursuant to this paragraph.
      2. The department shall give notice of such restriction by mail or electronic means to each person holding a current license to hunt whose last known address is within a restricted county. The department may place or designate the placement of signs and markers so as to give notice of such restriction.
    3. Any person who takes any big game animal, other than deer, within 200 yards of any place where any corn, wheat, or other grains, salts, apples, or other feed or bait has been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered so as to constitute a lure, attraction, or enticement for any game bird or game animal shall, upon conviction of thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and shall be punished as provided by Code Section 17-10-4.
  2. When a game warden is aware or becomes aware that a clearly identifiable area of land or field is baited for doves in such a manner that hunting thereon would be a violation of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this Code section, it shall be the duty of the game warden to require the owner or other person having lawful possession or control of the baited area of land or field to remove such bait. The game warden shall require such owner or other person to erect on the area of land or field signs having printed thereon the words: "No Hunting, Baited Field." Such signs shall remain for ten days after bait is removed. The printing on such signs shall be clearly visible to a person with normal eyesight from a distance of at least 50 yards. A sufficient number of such signs shall be erected to provide reasonable notice to hunters that the field or area is baited for doves. If the game warden cannot locate the owner or other person having lawful possession or control of the area of land or field baited for doves, it shall be the duty of such game warden to erect such signs. The owner or other person having lawful possession or control of an area or field baited for doves who fails to comply with an order of a game warden requiring the removal of bait or the erection of signs, or both, as required by this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. When a game warden is aware that a clearly identifiable area of land or field is baited for doves in such a manner that hunting thereon would be a violation of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this Code section prior to any such violation, no charge may be brought against any person under paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this Code section unless the provisions of this subsection have been followed. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preclude the owner or other person having lawful possession or control of a baited area or field from being charged with and convicted of a violation of subsection (a.1) of this Code section. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to preclude a person's being charged with and convicted of a violation of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this Code section when such violation is on an area of land or field baited for doves which was not previously identified by a game warden as provided in this subsection prior to such violation.

(a.1)Nothing in subsection (a) of this Code section shall prohibit any person from placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering any corn, wheat, or other grains, salts, apples, or other feeds or bait so as to constitute a lure or attraction or enticement for deer on lands that are not under the ownership or control and management of the state or federal government; provided, however, that any such lure or attraction or enticement shall not be placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered so as to cause hunting any species of wildlife on any adjoining property to be prohibited under subsection (b) of this Code section.

(Ga. L. 1925, p. 302, § 6; Code 1933, § 45-317; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 64; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 18; Code 1933, § 45-508, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 469, § 1; Ga. L. 2002, p. 1179, § 5; Ga. L. 2007, p. 47, § 27/SB 103; Ga. L. 2011, p. 249, § 1/HB 277; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, §§ 4, 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, deleted former subsection (a), which read: "As used in this Code section, the term:

"(1) 'Northern zone' means the northern zone for hunting deer with firearms as established pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 27-3-15.

"(2) 'Southern zone' means the southern zone for hunting deer with firearms as established pursuant to subsection (c) of Code Section 27-3-15.";

redesignated former subsections (a.1) and (a.2) as present subsections (a) and (a.1), respectively; in subsection (a.1), substituted "subsection (a)" for "subsection (a.1)" near the beginning and inserted "be placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered so as to" and "any species of wildlife" near the end; rewrote paragraph (b)(2), which formerly read: "The prohibitions of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to:

"(A) The hunting of deer in the northern zone, other than on lands under the ownership or control and management of the state or federal government, if the hunter is at least 200 yards away from and not within sight of such feed or bait; and

"(B) The hunting of deer in the southern zone, other than on lands under the ownership or control and management of the state or federal government, if the hunter has written permission of the landowner to hunt upon, over, around, or near such feed or bait, except as otherwise provided by paragraph (3) of this subsection.";

and substituted "game warden" for "conservation ranger" throughout subsection (c).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1989, in subsection (c), "ten" was substituted for "10" in the third sentence, "(c)" was deleted following "this subsection" in the eighth sentence, and "person's" was substituted for "person" in the tenth sentence.

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2011 amendment of this Code section, see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 181 (2011). For article, "Game and Fish: Wildlife Generally," see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 181 (2011).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Due process satisfied.

- O.C.G.A. § 27-3-9, when read as a whole, gives sufficient notice of the acts it prohibits so as to comply with the requirements of due process. Price v. State, 253 Ga. 250, 319 S.E.2d 849 (1984).

Activities constituting "hunting."

- In a prosecution for hunting over a baited field, evidence was sufficient to show defendant was "hunting" where defendant's activities constituted placing, setting, drawing, or using a device to take wildlife, whether or not defendant was actually in the act of pursuing, shooting, killing, or taking deer at the time of apprehension. Redding v. State, 217 Ga. App. 529, 458 S.E.2d 168 (1995).

Evidence of violation.

- Private land under surveillance for illegal hunting was not a "private place" within the meaning of O.C.G.A. § 16-11-62, prohibiting the filming of activities of persons in a private place; thus, in a prosecution for hunting over bait, a videotape showing defendant in possession of a bow and arrows on a hunting stand in that area was admissible. Quintrell v. State, 231 Ga. App. 268, 499 S.E.2d 117 (1998).

Punishment for violation.

- Suspension of defendant's hunting and fishing "privileges" during the probation period imposed upon conviction of a violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-3-9 was not an abuse of discretion. Quintrell v. State, 231 Ga. App. 268, 499 S.E.2d 117 (1998).

State's compliance with O.C.G.A. § 27-3-9(c) was not a condition precedent to defendants' prosecution for hunting over a baited field as the legislature did not intend for the provision to apply to any game animal or bird, or the legislature would have so specified. Bennett v. State, 252 Ga. App. 451, 557 S.E.2d 29 (2001).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting required for violating paragraph (b)(4).

- Offenses arising from a violation of paragraph (b)(4) of O.C.G.A. § 27-3-9 are offenses for which fingerprinting is required, while those offenses arising from a violation of subsection (c) are not offenses for which fingerprinting is required. 2011 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 11-5.

Fingerprinting not required for violating subsection (c).

- Offenses arising from a violation of subsection (c) of O.C.G.A. § 27-3-9 are not offenses for which fingerprinting is required. 2011 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 11-5.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 53.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

27-3-10. Hunting upon or discharging weapons across a public road.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt, with or without dogs, any wildlife upon any public road in this state. It shall also be unlawful for any person while hunting to discharge any weapon from or across any public road in this state.
  2. Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $50.00 and not more than $1,000.00 and, in the discretion of the sentencing court, imprisonment for not more than 12 months; provided, however, that such fine shall not be subject to suspension, stay, or probation except that if the court finds that payment of such fine would impose great economic hardship upon the defendant, the court may order such fine paid in installments.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 60; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 17; Code 1933, § 45-509, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 43; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2391, § 2.)

Cross references.

- Discharge of gun or pistol near public highway or street, § 16-11-103.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Sufficient evidence.

- When defendants turned their truck around and went back to shoot a deer in a field, they were "pursuing" the deer upon a public highway from a motor vehicle; therefore, the evidence was sufficient to support their guilty verdict. Passmore v. State, 253 Ga. App. 901, 561 S.E.2d 123 (2001).

Conviction for separate offenses.

- Where defendants hunted from a motor vehicle on a public road at night using a light exceeding six volts, it was not error to convict them of the three separate crimes of hunting at night, hunting on a public road and hunting from a motor vehicle. Sanford v. State, 169 Ga. App. 769, 315 S.E.2d 281 (1984).

Cited in Manley v. State, 187 Ga. App. 773, 371 S.E.2d 438 (1988).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 53.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

27-3-11. Confiscation of vehicles and firearms used in hunting big game on public roads; state not required to negate exemptions in prosecutions.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 1992, p. 2391, § 3, effective July 1, 1992.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2013, p. 141, § 27/HB 79, reserved the designation of this Code section, effective April 24, 2013.

27-3-12. Unlawful substances and equipment; computer assisted remote hunting prohibited.

  1. It shall be unlawful to hunt any wild animal, game animal, or game bird by means of drugs, poisons, chemicals, smoke, gas, explosives, recorded calls or sounds, or recorded and electronically imitated or amplified sounds or calls. It shall also be unlawful to use electronic communications equipment for the purpose of facilitating pursuit of any wild animal, game bird, or game animal.
    1. As used in this subsection, the term "computer assisted remote hunting" means the use of a computer or other device, equipment, hardware, or software to control remotely the aiming and discharge of a firearm or other weapon so as to allow a person not holding that firearm or other weapon to hunt or shoot a wild animal or any wildlife.
    2. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, partnership, or association to engage in computer assisted remote hunting or provide or operate a facility that allows others to engage in computer assisted remote hunting if the wild animal or wildlife being hunted or shot is located in this state.
      1. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,000.00 and not more than $5,000.00, imprisonment for a term not to exceed 12 months, or both such fine and imprisonment.
      2. Any equipment used or intended for use in a violation of this Code section, excluding motor vehicles, is declared to be contraband and shall be forfeited in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 16 of Title 9.
      3. The hunting and fishing privileges of any person convicted of violating this subsection shall be suspended for three years.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 17; Code 1933, § 45-322; Ga. L. 1949, p. 1005, § 1; Ga. L. 1952, p. 362, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 62; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 20; Code 1933, § 45-510, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 44; Ga. L. 2006, p. 226, § 3/HB 338; Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 3-18/HB 233.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 4-1/HB 233, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015, and shall apply to seizures of property for forfeiture that occur on or after that date. Any such seizure that occurs before July 1, 2015, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such seizure."

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 1 (2015).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 53.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

27-3-13. Hunting of wildlife or feral hog from boats, aircraft, or motor vehicles.

  1. It shall be unlawful to hunt any wildlife or feral hog from an electric, gas, or diesel boat, a steamboat, a sailboat, an aircraft, a hydroplane, a hovercraft, or a motor vehicle; except that alligators may be hunted from any boat or watercraft under power and feral hogs may be hunted from motor vehicles in accordance with an applicable wildlife control permit issued by the department.
  2. Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $250.00 and, in the discretion of the sentencing court, imprisonment for not more than 12 months; provided, however, that such fine shall not be subject to suspension, stay, or probation except that if the court finds that payment of such fine would impose great economic hardship upon the defendant, the court may order such fine paid in installments.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 61; Code 1933, § 45-511, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 45; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2391, § 4; Ga. L. 1993, p. 91, § 27; Ga. L. 2003, p. 654, § 10; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 7/HB 475.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 1/HB 475, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'Feral Hog Control Act.'"

Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 2/HB 475, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "The General Assembly finds that feral hogs are an invasive species in Georgia and are detrimental to the natural resources and agricultural production of the state. Feral hogs cause significant damage to crops and wildlife habitat. In addition, as carriers of communicable diseases, feral hogs pose a health risk to humans, livestock, companion animals, pets, and native wildlife."

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Hunting "wildlife" from motor vehicle.

- An accusation alleging that the defendants "did with force of arms unlawfully hunt, chase, or kill wildlife from a motor vehicle" was deficient, since one may admit to hunting wildlife from a motor vehicle and still be innocent of criminal activity. Manley v. State, 187 Ga. App. 773, 371 S.E.2d 438, cert. denied, 187 Ga. App. 908, 371 S.E.2d 438 (1988) (decided prior to the 1992 amendment, which substituted "wildlife or feral hog" for "game bird, game animal, or fur-bearing animal" in subsection (a)).

When defendants turned their truck around and went back to shoot a deer in a field, they were "pursuing" the deer upon a public highway from a motor vehicle; therefore, the evidence was sufficient to support their guilty verdict. Passmore v. State, 253 Ga. App. 901, 561 S.E.2d 123 (2001).

Conviction for separate offenses.

- Where defendants hunted from a motor vehicle on a public road at night using a light exceeding six volts, it was not error to convict them of the three separate crimes of hunting at night, hunting on a public road, and hunting from a motor vehicle. Sanford v. State, 169 Ga. App. 769, 315 S.E.2d 281 (1984).

Cited in Holzmeister v. State, 156 Ga. App. 94, 274 S.E.2d 109 (1980).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 53.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

27-3-14. Killing or crippling of game bird or game animal without reasonable effort to retrieve.

It shall be unlawful for any person to kill or cripple any game bird or game animal without making a reasonable effort to retrieve the same.

(Code 1933, § 45-512, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 53.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

27-3-15. Seasons and bag limits; promulgation of rules and regulations by board; possession of more than bag limit; reporting number of deer killed.

  1. It shall be unlawful to hunt the following game species at any time during the periods set forth below:
  2. It shall be unlawful to hunt the following game species at any time during the period set forth below, except that it shall not be unlawful to hunt the following game species during such periods or portions thereof, and in such number not to exceed the following numbers, as may be designated by the board as open seasons and bag limits for such species:
  3. In accordance with subsection (b) of this Code section and as may be appropriate, based on sound wildlife management principles, the board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations establishing open seasons on a state-wide, regional, or local basis and establishing daily and season bag limits.
  4. In accordance with subsection (b) of this Code section and in accordance with the framework of open hunting season dates for migratory game birds established by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and as may be appropriate based on sound wildlife management principles, the board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations establishing methods of taking, daily and season bag limits, and open seasons for migratory game birds on a state-wide, regional, or local basis. The board is specifically authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations without complying with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act"; and all rules and regulations promulgated by the board pursuant to this subsection shall be effective immediately upon adoption by the board.
  5. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess more than the daily bag limit or more than the aggregate of the daily bag limits while in the field or while returning from the field to one's automobile or principal means of land transportation or to one's permanent abode or temporary or transient place of lodging or to a commercial storage facility or to a post office or to a common carrier facility.

Game Species Closed Season ------------ ------------- (1) Quail March 16 - Oct. 31 (2) Grouse March 1 - Oct. 14 (3) Turkey (A) Gobblers May 22 - March 14 (B) Hens All year (4) Deer Jan. 16 - Sept. 7; except that as may be appropriate, and based solely on sound wildlife management principles, the department may by rule extend the season by region, by county, or locale to Jan. 31 for archery only. (5) Bobcat March 1 - Oct. 14 (6) Opossum March 1 - Oct. 14 (7) Rabbit March 1 - Oct. 31 (8) Raccoon March 1 - Oct. 14 (9) Squirrel March 1 - August 14 (10) Bear Jan. 16 - Sept. 7 (11) Sea turtles and their eggs All year (12) Cougar (Puma concolor) All year (13) Alligators Nov. 1 - March 31 (14) Migratory game birds March 11 - August 31

Game Species Maximum Open Season Maximum Bag Limits Daily Season ------------ ------------------- ------- ------ (1) Quail Nov. 1 - March 15 12 No limit (2) Grouse Oct. 15 - Feb. 29 3 No limit (3) Turkey gobblers March 15 - May 21 3 3 (4) Deer Sept. 8 - Jan. 15; 12 12 except that as may be The department may appropriate and based by rule exempt deer solely on sound wildlife taken on department management principles, managed lands from the department may by the state-wide bag rules extend the season limit. by region, by county, or locale to Jan. 31 for archery only (5) Bobcat Oct. 15 - Feb. 29 No limit No limit (6) Opossum Oct. 15 - Feb. 29 No limit No limit (7) Rabbit Nov. 1 - Feb. 29 12 No limit (8) Raccoon Oct. 15 - Feb. 29 No limit No limit (9) Squirrel Aug. 15 - Feb. 29 12 No limit (10) Fox Jan. 1 - Dec. 31 No limit No limit (11) Migratory game birds Sept. 1 - March 10 Subject to limits set by the federal government and adopted by the board (12) Bear Sept. 8 - Jan. 15 2 2 The department may by rule exempt bear taken on department managed lands from the state-wide bag limit. (13) Alligators April 1 - Oct. 31 Subject to limits adopted by the board

(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section, it shall be unlawful to take the species designated below, except squirrels, by means of falconry at any time during the period March 16 through September 30; but it shall not be unlawful to take the species designated below, except squirrels, by means of falconry during the period October 1 through March 15. It shall be unlawful to take squirrels by means of falconry at any time during the period March 16 through August 14, but it shall not be unlawful to take squirrels by means of falconry at any time during the period August 15 through March 15 in such number not exceeding the bag limits for each such species as follows:

Game Species Maximum Bag Limits Daily Season (1) Quail 12 No limit (2) Grouse 3 No limit (3) Rabbit 12 No limit (4) Squirrel 12 No limit

(1)The department shall report to the General Assembly on or before the fifth day of February of each year the estimated number of deer killed, by sex, in the immediately preceding season.

Upon completion of its annual analysis of data from the immediately preceding season, the department shall report to the General Assembly on the same day that it reports to the Board of Natural Resources each year the actual number of deer killed, by sex, in the immediately preceding season.

(Code 1933, § 45-513, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 46; Ga. L. 1979, p. 394, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, §§ 26, 27; Ga. L. 1980, p. 95, § 2; Ga. L. 1980, p. 323, § 3; Ga. L. 1981, p. 798, §§ 9-12; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 27; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1263, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 20; Ga. L. 1987, p. 3, § 27; Ga. L. 1988, p. 323, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 835, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 848, §§ 4, 5; Ga. L. 1989, p. 253, § 2; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1552, § 3; Ga. L. 1992, p. 6, § 27; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2863, § 6; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1472, § 1; Ga. L. 2002, p. 1179, § 6; Ga. L. 2005, p. 1218, §§ 1, 2/HB 292; Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 4/SB 474; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 5/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, in subsection (a), in the table, modified the Closed Season entries for items (4), (6), and (8), by substituting "except that as may be appropriate, and based solely on sound wildlife management principles, the department may by rule extend the season by region, by county, or locale to Jan. 31 for archery only" for "except that the closed season may be Feb. 1 - Sept. 7 in those counties specified as having an extended archery-only open season in paragraph (4) of subsection (b) of this Code section" in item (4), deleting ", for that area north of and including Haralson, Paulding, Bartow, Cherokee, Forsyth, Hall, Banks, Franklin, and Hart counties" in item (6), and by deleting ", for that area north of and including Carroll, Fulton, Gwinnett, Barrow, Clarke, Oglethorpe, Taliaferro, Wilkes, and Lincoln counties" in item (8); and substituted "Puma concolor" for "Felis concolor" in item (12); and, in subsection (b), in the table, rewrote the entries for items (4), (6), (8), and (12).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1987, "August" was substituted for "Aug." in paragraph (a)(14).

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1989, a period was deleted at the end of paragraph (b)(13).

Law reviews.

- For article, "Game and Fish: Wildlife Generally," see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 181 (2011).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 52 et seq.

ALR.

- Construction and application of statute or ordinance making possession of carcass of game, fish, or bird, or parts thereof, a criminal offense, 125 A.L.R. 1200.

Applicability, to domesticated or captive game, of game laws relating to closed season and the like, 74 A.L.R.2d 974.

Validity, construction, and application of state wildlife possession laws, 50 A.L.R.5th 703.

27-3-16. Hunting with dogs generally; training of hunting dogs.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to have in his or her possession any firearms, axes, climbers, or other equipment for taking game while training hunting dogs, provided that handguns with blank ammunition or shot cartridges may be used for training hunting dogs, and shotguns with number six shot or smaller shot may be used while training pointing, flushing, and retrieving dogs using pen raised quail and pigeons.
  2. There is no closed season for training hunting dogs, except as otherwise provided.
  3. It shall be unlawful to run deer with dogs, except during the lawful open season for hunting deer with dogs.
  4. It shall be unlawful to take game by any means while training hunting dogs, except during the lawful open seasons for such game; provided, however, that pen raised quail may be taken at any time for training hunting dogs if the dog trainer maintains proof of purchase of pen raised quail.
  5. It shall be unlawful for any person to train hunting dogs on property other than that owned by such person or his immediate family unless such person has a hunting license in his immediate possession.

(Code 1933, § 45-514, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 47; Ga. L. 1984, p. 537, § 3; Ga. L. 2002, p. 807, § 2.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 25, 51 et seq., 59 et seq.

Hunting Accident Litigation, 27 Am. Jur. Trials 261.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 55.

27-3-17. Hunting deer with dogs; seasons; permit required.

  1. It shall be unlawful to hunt deer with dogs except during such special open seasons for the hunting of deer with dogs as may be designated by the board on a state-wide, regional, or local basis.
  2. In accordance with subsection (a) of this Code section, the board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations establishing an open season for the hunting of deer with dogs as may be appropriate based on sound wildlife management principles.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt deer with dogs on any tract of real property unless a permit for hunting deer with dogs has been issued by the department for such tract to the owner or owners of such tract or the lessee of deer hunting rights for such tract. A permit for hunting deer with dogs shall not be issued to a lessee of deer hunting rights for any tract of real property that is less than 1,000 contiguous acres or to the property owner or owners for any tract of real property that is less than 250 contiguous acres. Any application for a permit for hunting deer with dogs shall be on such form as prescribed by the department and shall include a written description of the tract boundaries and a map showing key features such as public roads or streams on or bordering the tract and occupied dwellings on adjacent properties. The application must be signed by all persons owning any portion of the tract of real property or an authorized agent thereof.
  4. The owner of any dog that is used for hunting deer must cause such dog to be identified at all times during the hunt with the permit number for the tract being hunted.
  5. Any person operating a motor vehicle used in conducting a deer hunt with dogs shall during such hunt clearly display in the front or rear windshield of such motor vehicle a decal or card showing the tract permit number in numerals not less than two inches high.
  6. The department shall thoroughly investigate for validity any complaints from adjacent property owners regarding hunting deer with dogs in violation of this title or rules and regulations issued pursuant to this title. The commissioner may take action against a permit as provided by Code Section 27-2-25 for violations of the provisions of this title or rules and regulations issued pursuant to this title occurring on the tract of real property for which the permit was issued.
  7. In addition to the provisions of subsection (f) of this Code section, the commissioner may suspend deer-dog hunting privileges for a specified period of time not to exceed two years for any hunter who, within a single hunting season, commits two or more violations of dogs off of permitted property. The hunter shall be notified of the proposed suspension personally or by a letter sent by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to the hunter's address indicated on the application for a hunting license. The proposed suspension shall become final 30 days after issuance if not appealed as provided in this Code section. The hunter shall, upon petition within 30 days of issuance of notice given as stated in this Code section, have a right to a hearing before an administrative law judge appointed by the board. The hearing before the administrative law judge shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," and the rules and regulations adopted by the board pursuant thereto. The decision of the administrative law judge shall constitute the final decision of the board, and any party to the hearing, including the commissioner, shall have the right of judicial review thereof in accordance with such chapter.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 58; Code 1933, § 45-515, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 2003, p. 654, § 11; Ga. L. 2005, p. 655, § 2/SB 206; Ga. L. 2006, p. 502, § 1/HB 1424; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 13/HB 208.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, deleted former subsection (g), which read: "Any person 16 years of age or older, including without limitation any person hunting on his or her own property, who hunts deer with dogs must obtain and possess a deer-dog hunting license in addition to all other required hunting licenses and permits. The license fee for such deer-dog license shall be $5.00 for a one-year period, except that there shall be no charge for any holder of a valid honorary hunting license, sportsman's license, or lifetime sportsman's license issued pursuant to this title."; redesignated former subsection (h) as present subsection (g); and rewrote subsection (g). See Editor's notes for applicability.

Cross references.

- Killing of dogs pursuing or killing deer, § 27-3-49.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Hunting regulations, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Subject 391-4-2.

Permit requirements for hunting deer with dogs, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Hunting Regulations, § 391-4-2-.29.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Cited in Cumbess v. State, 241 Ga. 421, 246 S.E.2d 186 (1978).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 52 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 55.

27-3-18. Hunting foxes with dogs.

It shall be lawful to hunt foxes with dogs; provided, however, that no hunter shall go upon the land of another without the permission of the owner or the lessee of such land or the lessee of the game rights of such land.

(Ga. L. 1931, p. 172, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-333; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 57; Code 1933, § 45-516, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 25, 51 et seq., 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 55.

27-3-19. Hunting alligators; possessing alligator products; gathering alligator eggs.

  1. Except as provided in Code Section 27-3-15, it shall be unlawful for any person to hunt alligators within this state. The display or use of a light in any area closed to alligator hunting by any person not otherwise authorized to do so by regulations of the board in a place which alligators might be known to inhabit and in a manner capable of disclosing the presence of alligators, together with the possession of firearms, spear guns, gigs, harpoons, or other such equipment customarily used for the taking of alligators, during the period between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise shall be considered prima-facie evidence of an intent to violate this subsection.
  2. Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500.00 and, in the discretion of the sentencing court, imprisonment for not more than 12 months; provided, however, that such fine shall not be subject to suspension, stay, or probation except that if the court finds that payment of such fine would impose great economic hardship upon the defendant, the court may order such fine paid in installments.
    1. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess, buy, or sell in this state the untanned hide or skin or alligator products from an alligator not lawfully taken under the authority of Code Section 27-3-15. All such hides, skins, and alligators not lawfully taken are declared to be contraband and shall be seized and disposed of as directed by the commissioner. Possession in a store, warehouse, or retail place of business of such untanned hides or skins or alligator products not lawfully taken shall be prima-facie evidence of violation of this subsection. This subsection shall not apply to alligator products made from hides or skins of alligators produced on farms licensed under this title or from hides or skins of alligators lawfully possessed, taken, or acquired outside or inside this state, nor shall any provision of this subsection be construed so as to prohibit the preparation, processing, or manufacturing of such commercially grown or lawfully possessed, taken, or acquired alligator hides or the storage or sale of products made therefrom, subject to rules and regulations promulgated by the board.
    2. It shall be unlawful for any person to gather alligator eggs from the wild or possess alligator eggs gathered from the wild in this state except pursuant to permit issued by the department for such purpose. The board shall establish the conditions of such permits by such rules or regulations as are reasonable and necessary under sound game management practices, which shall include without limitation specification of when and where such eggs may be gathered, limits on the number of eggs that may be gathered, the placement of gathered eggs in incubators, return of a minimum percentage and size of hatchlings from gathered eggs to the wild, and permit fees in such amounts as are necessary to cover the cost of administration. This paragraph shall not apply to the collection of alligator eggs from an alligator farm licensed under this title.
    1. It shall be unlawful to possess or transport into this state any untanned alligator hide, skin, or alligator product from any place in which the taking of alligators is prohibited.
    2. It shall be unlawful to possess or transport into this state any alligator eggs gathered from the wild from any place where such gathering of alligator eggs from the wild is prohibited.
    3. All such hides, skins, alligator products, and alligator eggs are declared to be contraband and shall be seized and disposed of in accordance with Code Section 27-1-21.
    4. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, it shall be lawful to possess and transport into this state any untanned alligator hide, skin, alligator product, or alligator egg which was lawfully taken and transported and which is accompanied by a bill of sale, bill of lading, invoice, or permit.
  3. Any person who possesses any untanned alligator hide, skin, alligator product, or alligator egg from any place in which the taking of alligators is lawful, the gathering of alligator eggs from the wild is lawful, or from an alligator farm licensed under this title shall retain such receipts, invoices, bills of lading, permits, or other indicia of lawful possession, taking, or acquisition as are necessary to indicate clearly at all times the place of origin of the specific untanned alligator hides, skins, alligator products, or alligator eggs possessed.
  4. The hunting privileges of a person found guilty of hunting alligators at night in violation of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be suspended by the court of jurisdiction for a period not less than two years.

(Ga. L. 1956, p. 590, § 8; Ga. L. 1968, p. 479, § 1; Ga. L. 1971, p. 236, § 3; Code 1933, § 45-527, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 27; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1619, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1988, p. 848, § 6; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2391, § 5; Ga. L. 2003, p. 654, § 12.)

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Nuisance alligator harvest, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Subject 391-4-2.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 48, 52 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 41 et seq.

27-3-19.1. Regulation of the exporting, farming, and selling of fresh-water turtles.

  1. It shall be unlawful to export, farm, or sell any fresh-water turtle or part thereof except in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the board.
  2. As the board deems appropriate for purposes of this Code section, it may promulgate such rules and regulations as are reasonable and necessary under sound wildlife management practices.

(Code 1981, §27-3-19.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 5/SB 474.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting not required.

- Offense arising from a violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-3-19.1 does not appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required. 2010 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 10-6.

27-3-20. Taking rabbits and hares out of season.

It shall be unlawful for any person to take rabbits or hares in this state except during the lawful hunting season as prescribed by law or rules and regulations. Persons under 16 years of age may trap or capture rabbits or hares by use of rabbit boxes or similar traps and sell them under the conditions set forth in Code Section 27-3-67.

(Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 3, §§ 1-3A; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 63; Ga. L. 1956, p. 590, § 23; Ga. L. 1972, p. 925, § 3; Code 1933, § 45-528, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 48, 52 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 41, 55, 56.

27-3-21. Killing of bears by property owners.

Any property owner or his or her agent shall have the right to petition the department to remove any bear which shall constitute a clear and immediate threat to his or her property.The property owner shall petition the department for such removal on a form containing such information as may be necessary for the proper evaluation and consideration of the application. Removal shall occur only in cases where the department has determined that the removal of the bear is justified.Representatives of the department are authorized to investigate claims of damage and the necessity of removal of the bear prior to taking action on the petition.

(Code 1933, § 45-529, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1755, § 1; Ga. L. 1993, p. 392, § 2.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 25, 45, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 4.

27-3-22. Hunting, possessing, or transporting birds generally.

It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt, trap, take, possess, sell, purchase, ship, or transport any hawk, eagle, owl, or any other bird or any part, nest, or egg thereof, except for the English or European house sparrow, the European starling, feral pigeons, and domestic fowl, and except as otherwise permitted by the game and fish laws of this state; provided, however, that any person may transport into this state feathers of birds, other than migratory game birds, for millinery purposes.

(Ga. L. 1963, p. 476, §§ 1, 2; Code 1933, § 45-530, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 55 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 41, 54, 57.

27-3-23. Sale of tails of squirrels.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this title to the contrary, it shall be lawful to sell the tails of legally taken squirrels.

(Code 1933, § 45-526, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 56 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 54.

27-3-24. Restrictions on hunting feral hogs.

  1. It shall be unlawful to hunt, or engage in the hunting of, feral hogs:
    1. Upon the lands of another or enter upon the lands of another in pursuit of feral hogs without first obtaining permission from the landowner or lessee of such land or the lessee of the game rights of such land;
    2. Upon any land which is posted without having the permission required by paragraph (1) of this subsection in writing and carried upon the person; or
    3. During the firearms deer season unless the hunter and each person accompanying the hunter are wearing a total of at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange material as an outer garment and such material or garment is worn above the waistline, and may include a head covering.
  2. It shall be unlawful to transport any live feral hog without carrying on his or her person a feral hog transport permit issued by the Department of Agriculture pursuant to Code Section 2-7-201. Any person who captures live feral hogs without such permit shall kill such feral hogs prior to transport from the point of capture.
  3. The Board of Natural Resources is authorized by rules or regulations to control and regulate the hunting or taking of feral hogs on wildlife management areas.

(a.1) (1)The board may by rule or regulation restrict the feeding, baiting, or hunting of feral hogs upon, over, around, or near feed or bait in any county wherein there is a documented occurrence of a communicable disease in deer and in any county adjoining such county. Such restriction may be imposed in such county and any adjoining county for a period of up to and including one year and may be extended for additional periods of up to and including two years each upon documentation that the communicable disease is still present in deer in such county. No person shall feed, bait, or hunt feral hogs in violation of any restriction imposed pursuant to this paragraph.

The department shall give notice of such restriction by mail or electronic means to each person holding a current license to hunt whose last known address is within a restricted county. The department may place or designate the placement of signs and markers so as to give notice of such restriction.

(a.2)Nothing in this Code section shall prohibit any person from placing, exposing, depositing, distributing, or scattering any corn, wheat, or other grains, salts, apples, or other feed or bait so as to constitute a lure, attraction, or enticement for feral hogs; provided, however, that any such lure, attraction, or enticement shall not be placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered so as to cause hunting any species of wildlife on any adjoining property to be prohibited under this Code section.

(Code 1981, §27-3-24, enacted by Ga. L. 1984, p. 568, § 3; Ga. L. 2009, p. 48, § 2/SB 111; Ga. L. 2011, p. 249, § 2/HB 277; Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 8/HB 475; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 6/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, rewrote subsection (a.2), which read: "It shall be unlawful for any person to place, expose, deposit, distribute, or scatter any corn, wheat, or other grains, salts, apples, or other feed or bait so as to constitute a lure, attraction, or enticement for feral hogs within 50 yards of any property ownership boundary."

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1986, "subsection" was substituted for "Code section" in paragraph (a)(2).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 1/HB 475, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'Feral Hog Control Act.'"

Ga. L. 2015, p. 1352, § 2/HB 475, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "The General Assembly finds that feral hogs are an invasive species in Georgia and are detrimental to the natural resources and agricultural production of the state. Feral hogs cause significant damage to crops and wildlife habitat. In addition, as carriers of communicable diseases, feral hogs pose a health risk to humans, livestock, companion animals, pets, and native wildlife."

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2011 amendment of this Code section, see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 181 (2011). For article, "Game and Fish: Wildlife Generally," see 28 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 181 (2011).

27-3-25. Hunting bears; required outer garments.

It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt bears or for any person to accompany another person hunting bears unless each person shall wear a total of at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange material as an outer garment during firearms and primitive weapons seasons. Such clothing must be worn above the waistline and may include a head covering.

(Code 1981, §27-3-25, enacted by Ga. L. 1988, p. 842, § 5; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1013, § 13.)

27-3-26. Hunting bears; restrictions; penalties.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to:
    1. Hunt, take, or attempt to take a bear except during the open season for hunting and taking bears or under authority of a permit by the Department of Natural Resources to kill or take a bear;
    2. Buy, sell, barter, or exchange a bear or bear part; or
    3. Possess or transport a freshly killed bear or bear part except during the open season for hunting and taking bears and except as provided in Code Section 27-3-28.
  2. Each act constituting a violation of this Code section is a separate offense.
  3. Any person violating the provisions of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature, and, upon conviction, may be punished by a fine of not less than $500.00 nor more than $5,000.00, by confinement for a term not to exceed 12 months, or both. The court may order that restitution be paid to the department of not less than $1,500.00 for each bear or bear part which is the subject of a violation of this Code section. Any equipment which is used or intended for use in a violation of this Code section, excluding motor vehicles, is declared to be contraband and is forfeited in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 16 of Title 9. The hunting and fishing privileges of any person convicted of violating the provisions of this Code section shall be suspended for three years.

(Code 1981, §27-3-26, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 1157, § 2; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2391, § 6; Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 6/SB 474; Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 3-19/HB 233.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1992, "$500.00" was substituted for "$500" in subsection (c).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 4-1/HB 233, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015, and shall apply to seizures of property for forfeiture that occur on or after that date. Any such seizure that occurs before July 1, 2015, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such seizure."

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 1 (2015).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

27-3-27. Unlawful use of bear bait.

  1. It is unlawful to use any type of bait to concentrate the bear population in any area or to lure them to any location which gives or might give a hunter an unnatural advantage when hunting bear.
  2. Any person violating the provisions of this Code section is guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and, upon conviction, may be punished by a fine of not less than $500.00 and not to exceed $5,000.00 or by confinement for a term not to exceed 12 months, or both.

(Code 1981, §27-3-27, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 1157, § 2; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2391, § 7; Ga. L. 1993, p. 91, § 27.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

27-3-28. Person may take possession of native wildlife which has been killed by a motor vehicle.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, any person may lawfully possess native wildlife which has been accidentally killed by a motor vehicle. The following exceptions and conditions to this general rule shall apply:
    1. Any person taking possession of a bear accidentally killed by a motor vehicle shall notify the department or a law enforcement officer of the fact and location of the taking of possession and his or her name and address within 48 hours after taking possession of the bear; and
    2. This Code section shall not authorize any person to take possession of any animal of a species designated as a protected species under Article 5 of this chapter or under federal law.
  2. A law enforcement officer receiving a report of a person taking possession of a bear under paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall in turn transmit the reported information to the department within 48 hours after receipt of such information.

(Code 1981, §27-3-28, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 7/SB 474.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting not required.

- Offense arising from a violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-3-28 does not appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required. 2010 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 10-6.

27-3-29. Recording and reporting requirements for game animals and birds; penalty for violations.

  1. The board shall promulgate rules and regulations establishing harvest recording and reporting requirements for game animals and game birds. Such rules and regulations shall describe the type of information that is required, the requirements for transportation of the carcass of a game animal or game bird killed by another person, and the requirements for possession of the carcass of a game animal or game bird by any private or commercial cold storage or processing facility.
  2. Except in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations of the board regarding required harvest recording and reporting, it shall be unlawful for:
    1. Any person killing a game animal or game bird to remove the carcass from the place of killing or for any person to transport the carcass of a game animal or game bird killed by another person; or
    2. Any private or commercial cold storage or processing facility to possess the carcass of a game animal or game bird.
  3. It shall be unlawful to obtain, possess, or otherwise use multiple sets of licenses or harvest records for the purpose of circumventing the bag limit for any game animal or game bird for which a harvest record is required by the rules and regulations of the board.
  4. Any person violating the provisions of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200.00 or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both.

(Code 1981, §27-3-29, enacted by Ga. L. 2015, p. 1056, § 1/SB 112.)

PART 2 D EER

Cross references.

- Permits to kill deer causing damage to crops, § 27-2-18.

27-3-40. Required clothing.

It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt deer or for any person to accompany another person hunting deer during the firearms deer season unless each person shall wear a total of at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange material as an outer garment. Such clothing must be worn above the waistline and may include a head covering.

(Ga. L. 1973, p. 711, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-517, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Cited in Cumbess v. State, 241 Ga. 421, 246 S.E.2d 186 (1978).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

27-3-41. Unsupervised hunting by persons under 12 years of age.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person who is under 12 years of age to hunt any wildlife in this state unless such person is under the direct supervision of an adult during the period in which such person is hunting.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to cause or knowingly permit such person's child or ward who is less than 12 years of age to hunt any wildlife with a weapon in this state unless such child or ward is under adult supervision.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 16A; Code 1933, § 45-518, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1993, p. 779, § 3.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

27-3-42. Taking of deer in lake, stream, or pond.

It shall be unlawful to take any deer by any means while the deer is in any lake, stream, or pond.

(Code 1933, § 45-519, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

27-3-43. Removal of head of deer.

It shall be unlawful to remove the head of any deer until the carcass is processed or surrendered to a storage facility for processing or storage.

(Code 1933, § 45-520, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 56 et seq.

27-3-44. Killing of deer which have no antlers visible.

It shall be unlawful to kill any deer in this state unless the deer has antlers (bone) visible above the hair, provided that the board may by regulation authorize an antlerless or either-sex season or hunt in accordance with sound wildlife management practices.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 20; Code 1933, § 45-521, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 530, §§ 1, 4; Ga. L. 1988, p. 835, §§ 2, 5.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1987, p. 530, § 3, not codified by the General Assembly, provided that prosecutions of offenses under this Code section which are pending on April 1, 1987, shall not be abated as a result of the amendment of this Code section by that Act.

Ga. L. 1988, p. 835, § 4, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "It is the intention of the General Assembly that prosecutions of offenses under Code Section 27-3-44 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated which are pending on the date this Act becomes effective shall not be abated as a result of the amendment to that Code section accomplished by this Act." This Act became effective April 1, 1988.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 52 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

27-3-45. Information required before removal of carcass from place of killing; exception for certain managed hunts; using multiple sets of licenses or license card carriers.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 2015, p. 1056, § 3/SB 112, effective July 1, 2015.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Code 1933, § 45-523, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2863, § 7; Ga. L. 1995, p. 946, § 8.

27-3-46. Failure to affix deer tag to carcass before storage or processing.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 2015, p. 1056, § 4/SB 112, effective July 1, 2015.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1925, p. 302, § 4; Ga. L. 1931, p. 173, §§ 1-3; Code 1933, § 45-313; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 68; Code 1933, § 45-522, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 946, § 9.

27-3-47. Collision with deer by motor vehicle.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 8, effective June 3, 2010.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 20; Code 1933, § 45-525, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.

27-3-48. Hunting deer at night.

  1. Any person who hunts deer at night shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500.00 and, in the discretion of the sentencing court, imprisonment for not more than 12 months.
  2. If, after July 1, 1978, a person commits and is convicted of two or more violations of hunting deer at night, such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,500.00 nor more than $5,000.00, and, in the discretion of the sentencing court, by imprisonment for not more than 12 months.
  3. The fines imposed by this Code section shall not be subject to suspension, stay, or probation except that if the court finds that payment of such fine would impose great economic hardship upon the defendant, the court may order such fine paid in installments.
  4. The hunting privileges of a person found guilty of hunting deer at night shall be suspended by the court of jurisdiction for a period of not less than two years.

(Ga. L. 1962, p. 671, § 1; Ga. L. 1963, p. 215, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 19; Ga. L. 1973, p. 795, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-502, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 41; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1629, §§ 2, 3; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 9; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1782, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2391, § 8.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1992, "economic" was substituted for "ecomonic" in subsection (c).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 52, 55 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 23 et seq., 56, 57.

27-3-49. Killing of dogs running deer.

  1. It shall be the duty of every game warden to kill any dog pursuing or killing any deer in any locality other than that prescribed by law or rules and regulations permitting such hunting, and no action for damages shall be maintained against the person for such killing.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person other than a game warden, sheriff, or deputy sheriff to kill a dog wearing a collar, which dog is or has been pursuing or killing a deer.
  3. It shall not be unlawful for any person to kill a dog which does not have a collar and which is pursuing or killing deer in any locality other than that prescribed by law or rules and regulations permitting such hunting, and no action for damages shall be maintained against the person for such killing.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 59; Code 1933, § 45-524, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 49; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game warden" for "conservation ranger" in subsections (a) and (b).

Cross references.

- Hunting deer with dogs generally, § 27-3-17.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 59 et seq.

27-3-50. Sale of antlers, hides, and tails of deer.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this title to the contrary, it shall be lawful to sell the antlers, hides, and tails of legally taken deer.

(Code 1933, § 45-526, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 56 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 54.

ARTICLE 2 TRAPPING, TRAPPERS, AND FUR DEALERS

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Hunting regulations, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Subject 391-4-2.

27-3-60. Required commercial trapping license.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in business as a trapper unless that person or his agent has a current valid commercial trapping license issued by the department, as provided in Code Section 27-2-23.
  2. A landowner or a member of his immediate family desiring to trap on the landowner's private property may obtain a license for such purpose annually from the department at no charge.
  3. Any person violating any provision of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Ga. L. 1977, p. 1270, § 4.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions under Ga. L. 1956, p. 590, as it read prior to revision by Ga. L. 1977, p. 1270, § 4, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Disabled veteran's license exemption is from business and occupational taxes and is not applicable to regulatory licenses such as hunting or fishing. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 248 (decided under Ga. L. 1956, p. 590).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 42, 43, 51, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

27-3-61. Nonresident commercial trapping license.

  1. Upon application for a nonresident commercial trapping license, the person making such application must do one of the following:
    1. Post a cash forfeiture bond in the form prescribed by the board in favor of the State of Georgia in the amount of $2,500.00, conditioned upon faithful compliance with the laws of this state and regulations of the board governing trappers and trapping; or
    2. File with the commissioner a forfeiture bond in the form prescribed by the board executed by a bonding, surety, or insurance company licensed to do business in this state in favor of the state in the amount of $2,500.00, conditioned upon faithful compliance with the laws of this state and regulations of the board governing trappers and trapping.
  2. The term of the bond provided for in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be for one year and shall correspond to the period of the license. The commissioner shall have the right to recover on the bond for the breach of its conditions whenever the trapper violates the laws of this state governing trappers or trapping or any rule or regulation promulgated by the board pursuant thereto, as follows:
    1. For the first violation, $500.00;
    2. For the second violation within a two-year period of time of any prior violation, $1,000.00;
    3. For the third violation within a two-year period of time of any prior violation, $2,500.00;
    4. For each subsequent violation within a two-year period of time of any prior violation, $2,500.00.
  3. Every breach or violation shall carry over to all succeeding bonds filed under this Code section. The aggregate liability shall not exceed the amount of the bond; however, in the event that the total amount of any bond is forfeited, the nonresident commercial trapping license shall be suspended until a new bond is filed covering the remainder of the period of the license; and it shall be unlawful and punishable under Code Section 27-3-60 for such trapper to trap at any time during the suspension of such license.

(Ga. L. 1977, p. 1270, § 5.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 51, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

ALR.

- Validity, construction, and application of state statutes prohibiting, limiting, or regulating fishing or hunting in state by nonresidents, 31 A.L.R.6th 523.

27-3-62. Open seasons.

  1. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Code section, it shall be unlawful to trap any wildlife in this state between March 1 and November 19.
  2. It shall be unlawful to trap any wildlife during the period between November 20 and February 29, except as otherwise provided in this Code section and except that it shall not be unlawful to trap a fur-bearing animal during that period or a portion thereof if that period or portion thereof is designated by the board as an open trapping season for such fur-bearing animal.
  3. In accordance with subsection (b) of this Code section and as may be appropriate in accordance with sound wildlife management principles, the board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations establishing open seasons for the trapping of fur-bearing animals on a state-wide, regional, or local basis.
  4. Notwithstanding subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section, it shall be lawful to trap beaver, rats, and mice at any time during the year. It shall also be lawful for any person to set steel traps within 200 yards of the residence or dwelling of any such person for the protection of livestock, ratites, poultry, or other fowl or domestic animals from any predatory bird or animal.
  5. Any person who violates any provision of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Code 1933, § 45-601, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1270, § 3; Ga. L. 1979, p. 800, § 4; Ga. L. 1980, p. 323, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 244, § 31; Ga. L. 2015, p. 107, § 1/HB 160.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 52 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 54 et seq.

27-3-63. General offenses and penalties.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to:
    1. Trap any wildlife upon the right of way of any public road or highway of this state; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not apply to any person licensed as required by Code Section 27-3-60 who traps beaver upon the right of way of any state highway, county road, or municipal street as an authorized agent, employee, or contractor of the state, county, or municipality for the purpose of preventing, reducing, or stopping damage to such highway, road, or street resulting from beaver activity;
    2. Set, place, or bait any trap for the purpose of taking any wildlife upon the land or in the waters adjoining the land of any other person, except during the open trapping season for such wildlife, and then only after obtaining the written consent of the owner of the land, which written consent shall be carried upon the trapper's person while engaged in trapping;
    3. Trap any wildlife without inspecting the traps used for such purpose at least once during each 24 hour period and removing from the traps any wildlife caught therein;
    4. Trap any wildlife by the use of any trap or other device which is not legibly etched, stamped, or tagged by affixing a stamped metal tag showing the owner's permanent trapper's identification number as provided by the department or the owner's name.In the event that a trap or other device etched or stamped with the owner's permanent trapper's identification number or name is being used in the field by another, such trap or device must have attached to it a stamped metal tag with the user's permanent trapper's identification number or name.Any trap or other device found in use in the field which is not etched, stamped, or tagged as required by this paragraph may be confiscated and destroyed by the department through its officers and game wardens;
    5. Ship or otherwise remove or cause to be removed from this state any raw or undressed hide, fur, pelt, or skin of any fur-bearing animal without first making a report to the department of the removal on forms to be furnished by the department for such purpose;
    6. Fail to carry a weapon of .22 caliber rimfire while tending traps and to fail to use such weapon to dispatch any fur-bearing animal found in a trap, which animal is to be taken by the person;
    7. Fail to carry a choke stick or similar device while tending traps, which device shall be used for releasing domestic animals;
    8. Set on land any trap with a jaw opening larger than 5 3/4 inches, provided that nothing in this Code section shall be construed to restrict the type of trap which may be used in water;
    9. Sell the fur, hide, or pelt of any domestic dog or cat caught by a trap;
    10. Sell the raw, undressed fur, hide, skin, or pelt of any fur-bearing animal unless the person has a current valid commercial trapping license or fur dealer license; or
    11. Set any body-gripping trap (as opposed to a leg-hold trap) of a size in excess of 9 1/2 inches square except in water or on land within ten feet of water, including swamps, marshes, and tidal areas.
  2. Any person who violates subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished as for a misdemeanor, subject to a minimum punishment as follows:
    1. For the first offense, the offender shall be fined not less than $100.00, except that this minimum fine shall not apply to the offender if he is 17 years of age or younger;
    2. For a second offense within a two-year period after the first offense, the offender shall be fined not less than $300.00; or
    3. For a third offense and for each subsequent offense within a two-year period after the first offense, the offender shall be fined not less than $750.00.

(Code 1933, § 45-603, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1270, § 2; Ga. L. 1979, p. 800, §§ 2, 3; Ga. L. 1982, p. 988, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 20; Ga. L. 1984, p. 802, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2863, § 8; Ga. L. 2009, p. 47, § 1/SB 110; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game wardens" for "conservation rangers" at the end of paragraph (a)(4).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting not required.

- Offense arising from a violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-3-63 does not appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required. 2010 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 10-6.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 25, 49, 52 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 67 et seq.

ALR.

- Constitutionality of statute to prevent cruelty in trapping animals, 79 A.L.R. 1308.

27-3-64. Killing or injuring mink or otter with firearm; possession or sale of mink or otter, or pelt thereof, killed by firearm.

It shall be unlawful to use any kind of firearm to kill or injure mink or otter or to possess or sell any mink or otter, or the pelt thereof, which was killed by any kind of firearm, provided that nothing in this Code section shall prevent a person from dispatching a mink or otter found in a trap or from killing any mink or otter while it is destroying or damaging, or about to destroy or damage, the person's crops, domestic fowl, or other personal property.

(Code 1933, § 45-606, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 802, § 2.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 45, 53, 56 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 54 et seq.

27-3-65. Removal of trap or of wildlife from trap owned by another person; possession of wildlife removed from trap of another person.

It shall be unlawful for any person to remove a legally set trap, except for the owner of the land on which the trap is set, or to remove any lawfully trapped wildlife from any legally set trap or to possess any wildlife so removed from such a trap without the permission of the owner of the trap.

(Code 1933, § 45-608, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 802, § 3.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 55, 56.

27-3-66. Trapping of rabbits on one's own premises or on premises of family member or landlord.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this title to the contrary, it shall be permissible for any person, his family, and his tenants to trap rabbits upon the premises of such person by employing a device commonly called a rabbit box. No permit or license shall be required before engaging in such activity. Nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed to authorize a person to trap a rabbit out of the season provided by law or rule or regulation for hunting rabbits in this state.

(Code 1933, § 45-607, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Cruelty to animals, § 16-12-4.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 52, 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 4, 55, 56.

27-3-67. Taking of rabbits or hares out of season; special permit to trap or sell rabbits or hares.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this Code section, it shall be unlawful for any person to take rabbits or hares in this state except during the lawful hunting season as prescribed by law or rules and regulations of the board.
  2. The director of the Game and Fish Division of the department may issue a special permit to any person, including any minor under 16 years of age, for the purpose of trapping or capturing rabbits or hares by means of rabbit boxes or other similar devices. Such person shall be authorized to sell such rabbits or hares for use at time trials licensed or sanctioned by the American Kennel Club. When issuing such special permits, the director shall consider principles of sound wildlife management as well as the demand for rabbits or hares in a given locality of the state. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to repeal the provisions of Code Sections 27-3-20 and 27-3-66.
  3. The prohibitions of this Code section shall not apply to domestic rabbits.
  4. Any person who violates this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Ga. L. 1977, p. 1270, § 12; Ga. L. 1981, p. 1006, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 48, 52 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 54 et seq.

27-3-68. Confiscation and disposal of unlawful devices.

It shall be the duty of game wardens to confiscate any trap, pitfall, deadfall, scaffold, catch, snare, net, salt lick, blind pig, baited hook, or other similar device used in violation of the wildlife laws, rules, and regulations and to dispose of same as directed by the commissioner.

(Code 1933, § 45-604, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game wardens" for "conservation rangers" near the beginning of this Code section.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 63.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 60 et seq.

27-3-69. Required licenses for fur dealers and fur dealers' agents.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in business as a fur dealer or in business as a fur dealer's agent unless such person has a current valid license to engage in such business.
  2. For purposes of obtaining a fur dealer license, a person who is a legal resident of Georgia at the time of application for such license, a partnership in which all partners are residents of this state, and a corporation which is incorporated under the laws of this state or qualified to do business within this state and having a regularly maintained and established place of business within this state shall be deemed eligible for a resident license. All other fur dealer license applicants shall be required to obtain a nonresident license. Fur dealer licenses shall include the name of the licensee if the holder is an individual, the names of the partners if the holder is a partnership, and the names of the president and the manager if the holder is a corporation.
  3. Any employee or officer of a fur dealer may apply for a fur dealer's agent license if the employee or officer is authorized to purchase, sell, or otherwise acquire title to or possession of furs, hides, skins, and pelts for and on behalf of a licensed fur dealer and if the fur dealer approves any such application, provided that no employee may be a licensed fur dealer's agent for more than one licensed fur dealer at the same time. No such license shall be transferable, and there shall be no rebate, refund, or reduction in the license fee for any reason whatsoever.
  4. Any person who violates this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 11; Code 1933, § 45-309, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 51, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

ALR.

- Right to enjoin business competitor from unlicensed or otherwise illegal acts or practices, 90 A.L.R.2d 7.

27-3-70. Posting of bond by applicants for fur dealer license; effect of breach of conditions of bond.

  1. Upon application for a fur dealer license, the person making the application must do one of the following:
    1. Post a cash forfeiture bond in the form prescribed by the board in favor of the State of Georgia in the amount of $5,000.00, conditioned upon faithful compliance with the laws of this state and regulations of the board governing fur dealers; or
    2. File with the commissioner a forfeiture bond in the form prescribed by the board executed by a bonding, surety, or insurance company licensed to do business in this state in favor of the state in the amount of $5,000.00, conditioned upon faithful compliance with the laws of this state and regulations of the board governing fur dealers.
  2. The term of the bond provided for in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be for one year and shall correspond to the period of the license. The commissioner shall have the right to recover on the bond for the breach of its conditions whenever the fur dealer violates the laws of this state governing fur dealers or any rule or regulation promulgated by the board pursuant thereto, as follows:
    1. For the first violation, $500.00;
    2. For the second violation within a two-year period of time of any prior violation, $1,000.00;
    3. For the third violation within a two-year period of time of any prior violation, $5,000.00;
    4. For each subsequent violation within a two-year period of time of any prior violation, $5,000.00.
  3. Every breach or violation shall carry over to all succeeding bonds filed under this Code section. The aggregate liability shall not exceed the amount of the bond; however, in the event that the total amount of any bond is forfeited, the fur dealer's license shall be suspended until a new bond is filed covering the remainder of the period of the license; and it shall be unlawful and punishable under Code Section 27-3-69 for the fur dealer to engage in business as such at any time during the suspension of the license.

(Ga. L. 1977, p. 1270, § 7.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 51, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 52, 60 et seq.

27-3-71. Reports and records of fur dealers; inspection of premises.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in business as a fur dealer unless the person files an annual report with the department not later than 60 days after the close of the trapping season. The report shall list the number of each type of hide, fur, skin, or pelt purchased during the preceding year, the date of purchase, the name of the person from whom purchased, and the person's trapping or raccoon fur seller's license number. The report shall be submitted on forms provided by the department. In addition, each fur dealer shall maintain in a legible manner on his business premises a listing of furs purchased during the license year showing each type of hide, fur, skin, or pelt purchased, the date of purchase, and the name of the person from whom purchased.
  2. Game wardens and other authorized representatives of the department shall be authorized to enter the premises of a fur dealer, during normal working hours and at any other time when the licensed activity is being conducted, for the purpose of inspecting the premises and the records maintained by the fur dealer pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section.
  3. Any person who violates subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Ga. L. 1977, p. 1270, § 8; Ga. L. 1984, p. 802, § 4; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "Game wardens" for "Conservation rangers" at the beginning of subsection (b).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 59 et seq.

27-3-72. Information as to service of process in application; filing as an admission of doing business in Georgia.

All applications to the department for any license or permit required by this article shall designate an address in Georgia where the applicant can be personally served with legal process, or shall contain an appointment of an agent in Georgia for acceptance of service of legal process together with the agent's Georgia address, or shall contain a designation of the Secretary of State of Georgia for acceptance of service of legal process. A copy of any application so designating the Secretary of State shall be forwarded by the department to the Secretary of State. The filing of an application with the department for a license or permit shall constitute an admission by the applicant that the applicant is doing business in Georgia.

(Ga. L. 1977, p. 1270, § 9.)

27-3-73. Disposal of carcasses of fur-bearing animals or alligators.

It shall be unlawful for any fur dealer to dispose of any carcasses or parts of carcasses of any fur-bearing animals or alligators except pursuant to a written plan of disposal submitted to and approved by the department in writing. Such a plan of disposal shall be designed to minimize vermin infestation, odors, and disease hazards. Any person who violates this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to the administrative license revocation, suspension, denial, and refusal provisions of Code Section 27-2-25.

(Code 1981, §27-3-73, enacted by Ga. L. 1984, p. 802, § 5; Ga. L. 1985, p. 149, § 27; Ga. L. 1988, p. 848, § 7.)

ARTICLE 3 TRANSPORTATION

27-3-90. Requirements for lawful transportation.

It shall be unlawful for any person to remove, ship, or transport from any point within this state to another point within this state or from any point within this state to any point beyond the borders of this state, except as otherwise provided, any wildlife taken in this state unless the wildlife is in the personal possession of or is carried openly by the person who took such wildlife and unless the person has in his possession a proper license or permit as prescribed by the wildlife laws, rules, and regulations.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 13; Ga. L. 1916, p. 114, § 3; Code 1933, § 45-305; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 45; Code 1933, § 45-401, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, opinions under former Code 1933, Ch. 45-3, as it read prior to revision by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Transportation of pet birds.

- The game and fish laws do not prohibit the transportation of two pet birds within this state. 1952-53 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 102 (decided under former Code 1933, Ch. 45-3).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 51, 55.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 35, 39. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 51 et seq.

27-3-91. Transportation by carrier within state.

It shall be unlawful for any person to take any wildlife and have such wildlife transported to his home or any other place within this state by a carrier unless the person files with the carrier a written statement giving his name and address and the number of wildlife to be so transported and specifying that he lawfully took the wildlife and that it is to be disposed of lawfully. A copy of the statement shall be attached to the wildlife or to its packaging.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 46; Code 1933, § 45-402, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Carriers generally, § 46-9-1 et seq.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 55.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 39. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 57.

27-3-92. Transportation out of state.

It shall be unlawful for any person, other than a carrier who has complied with Code Section 27-3-94, to remove, ship, or transport wildlife out of this state except under the following conditions:

  1. The person must have in his possession at the time of such removing, shipping, or transporting the proper wildlife license or permit duly issued to such person by the department;
  2. The person cannot remove from the state more than the bag or possession limits established by law or regulation;
  3. The person shall make a sworn statement, duly attested to by an authorized officer of this state, which statement shall show that the person has lawfully taken such wildlife and that they are not for sale, except as otherwise permitted by the wildlife laws, rules, and regulations, and shall show the number of wildlife being shipped, transported, or removed from the state. One copy of the statement shall be given the carrier, if such wildlife is being transported by carrier, and one shall be attached to the wildlife being shipped, transported, or removed from the state; and
  4. The person shall submit his license or permit and sworn statement to any sheriff, deputy sheriff, or game warden for inspection when requested to do so.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 47; Code 1933, § 45-403, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game warden" for "conservation ranger" in paragraph (4).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 49, 51, 54, 55.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 35, 36, 39. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 57.

27-3-93. Transportation for propagation and scientific purposes.

It shall be unlawful for any person to ship or transport from any point within this state to any other point within this state, or to points beyond this state, any wildlife or parts thereof for propagation or scientific purposes unless the person has been issued and is holding a valid scientific collecting permit. Both the person shipping or transporting the wildlife and any carrier accepting such shipment shall, on the same day the shipment is made, report to the department the number and the species of wildlife shipped, to whom shipped, and by whom shipped.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 48; Code 1933, § 45-404, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 49, 51, 55.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 39. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 52, 57.

27-3-94. Acceptance by carriers of wildlife for shipment; reports required.

It shall be unlawful for any carrier to ship, transport, or receive for shipment or transportation any wildlife, except as otherwise provided by the wildlife laws, rules, or regulations, without having ascertained that the person offering the wildlife for shipment or transportation was then and there in possession of a proper license or permit duly issued for the period when the shipment was offered, or without receiving from the person a sworn statement as provided in paragraph (3) of Code Section 27-3-92. Any carrier who shall ship or transport the skins, hides, or pelts of fur-bearing animals shall be required to make reports of such shipments or transportation as may be required by the rules and regulations of the board.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 19; Ga. L. 1916, p. 114, § 8; Code 1933, § 45-306; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 49; Code 1933, § 45-405, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 49, 51, 55.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 38. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 52, 53, 58.

ARTICLE 4 SHOOTING PRESERVES

27-3-110. Shooting preserve license required; effective dates; contents of application; conditions for issuance.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to release pen raised game birds, except as provided in Code Section 27-2-14, unless the person has first obtained a commercial or private shooting preserve license as provided in Code Section 27-2-23. Such license shall be effective from April 1 through March 31 of the following year.
  2. An application for a shooting preserve license shall be submitted on a form furnished by the department and shall contain the following:
    1. The applicant's name and address;
    2. A detailed description of the proposed activities and operations on the shooting preserve;
    3. The location and description of the premises of the preserve; and
    4. Such other information as may be necessary in order for the department to evaluate the application properly.
  3. No shooting preserve license shall be issued unless the following conditions are met:
    1. The land to comprise the preserve must consist of not more than 1,000 acres and not less than 100 contiguous acres and must be owned or leased by the applicant. If the land is under lease to the applicant, the lease shall be for a term of not less than one year from the date of application, and such lease shall be subject to inspection and approval by the department;
    2. The boundary lines of the premises must be marked by signs indicating that they are the boundary line signs and that the premises are posted as against trespassing; and
    3. As a condition of holding a shooting preserve license issued pursuant to this Code section, the owner of the shooting preserve, or his or her lessee or agent, shall, prior to allowing any person to hunt on such shooting preserve:
      1. Confirm that such person has either completed a hunter education course as prescribed in Code Section 27-2-5; or
      2. Provide such person with hunter education instruction that, at minimum, demonstrates techniques for proper firearm handling, unloading, and safety.

(Ga. L. 1957, p. 295, §§ 3, 4, 9; Code 1933, § 45-1001, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 386, § 3; Ga. L. 2002, p. 807, § 3; Ga. L. 2007, p. 47, § 27/SB 103; Ga. L. 2013, p. 771, § 1/HB 155.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 48, 51, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

27-3-111. Removal of pen raised game bird; release of mallards or black ducks; failure to maintain or furnish records; failure to notify department of diseases.

  1. It shall be unlawful to remove any pen raised game bird from a shooting preserve unless accompanied by the contact information of the preserve from which it was taken.
  2. It shall be unlawful to release on a shooting preserve any mallard or black duck unless such duck is a pen raised mallard or black duck.
  3. It shall be unlawful for a licensee under this article to fail to maintain a complete record of all pen raised game birds propagated, released, or taken on the preserve or to fail to allow the department access to such records during all regular business hours.
  4. It shall be unlawful for any such licensee to fail to notify the department within 24 hours of the diagnosis of any epizootic disease of any pen raised game bird on the preserve, including unreleased stock.

(Code 1933, § 45-1002, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 2013, p. 771, § 1/HB 155.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 48, 59 et seq.

27-3-112. Legal hunting dates and hours; bag limits.

  1. It shall be unlawful to hunt pen raised game birds, other than ring-necked pheasants, on a shooting preserve except between October 1 and March 31 of the following year, and except from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
  2. It shall be unlawful to exceed the daily or season bag limits prescribed by law or regulation for any game bird or game animal, provided that there shall be no bag limits for pen raised game birds.
  3. It shall be unlawful to hunt on a shooting preserve any game bird or game animal except during the open season for such game bird or game animal as prescribed by law or regulation; provided, however, that it shall be lawful to hunt bobwhite quail between October 1 and March 31 of the following year; provided, further, that it shall be lawful to hunt any other pen raised game bird between October 1 and March 31 of the following year when prior approval has been obtained from the department.

(Code 1933, § 45-1003, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 798, § 16; Ga. L. 2002, p. 807, § 4; Ga. L. 2013, p. 771, § 1/HB 155.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 48, 52, 54, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 51 et seq.

27-3-113. Propagation, possession, or release of wildlife or wild animals on shooting preserves; importation of wildlife or wild animals for propagation, possession, or release.

It shall be unlawful for any person to propagate, possess, or release on any shooting preserve any wildlife or wild animal except pen raised game birds unless the person has received prior written approval from the department. Importation of any wildlife or wild animal for purposes of propagation, possession, or release on a shooting preserve shall be in conformance with the requirements of Article 3 of this chapter regarding transportation of wildlife, the requirements of Code Section 27-2-11 regarding game species, and the requirements of Chapter 5 of this title regarding wild animals.

(Code 1933, § 45-1004, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 52; Ga. L. 2013, p. 771, § 1/HB 155.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 48 et seq., 56 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 51 et seq.

27-3-114. Laws and regulations applicable to shooting preserves; requirements as to hunting licenses.

  1. Except as otherwise specifically provided, all wildlife laws and regulations shall be in full force and effect on shooting preserves licensed pursuant to this article. Specifically, hunting licenses shall be required of all persons hunting on such preserves; provided, however, that it shall be lawful for any resident or nonresident to hunt pen raised game birds or fish in any private or state waters within the boundaries of such a preserve with a shooting preserve hunting license as provided in Code Section 27-2-23.
  2. The requirements of subsection (b) of Code Section 27-2-5 shall not apply to any person hunting pen raised game birds on a properly licensed shooting preserve, provided such person has received hunter education instruction that, at minimum, demonstrates techniques for proper firearm handling, unloading, and safety.

(Code 1933, § 45-1005, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 420, § 13; Ga. L. 1990, p. 386, § 4; Ga. L. 2002, p. 807, § 5; Ga. L. 2009, p. 787, § 9/HB 326; Ga. L. 2013, p. 771, § 1/HB 155.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 51.

C.J.S.

- 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

27-3-115. Department authorized to contract with shooting preserves for issuance and sale of shooting preserve hunting licenses; requirements; nondisclosure of records.

  1. The department is authorized to make and enter into agreements with properly licensed shooting preserves for the purpose of issuance and sale of shooting preserve hunting licenses.
  2. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of Code Section 27-2-5, a shooting preserve authorized by the department pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section may sell shooting preserve hunting licenses so long as such shooting preserve meets the requirements of subsection (c) of Code Section 27-3-110. The department may authorize a shooting preserve to issue temporary paper copies of shooting preserve hunting licenses to be used on such shooting preserve for one hunting season. Such paper copy shall satisfy the requirements of Code Section 27-2-1.
  3. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the department shall not disclose any shooting preserve hunting license record which was lawfully purchased from a properly licensed shooting preserve and which reveals the name, home address, home telephone number, or social security number of the license holder unless written consent from the owner or lessee of such shooting preserve is obtained.

(Code 1981, §27-3-115, enacted by Ga. L. 2013, p. 771, § 1/HB 155.)

ARTICLE 5 PROTECTION OF ENDANGERED WILDLIFE

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Protection of endangered, threatened, rare, or unusual species, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Subject 391-4-10.

Law reviews.

- For article, "Hazardous Waste Issues in Real Estate Transactions," see 38 Mercer L. Rev. 581 (1987). For note, “Feeling the Heat: The Endangered Species Act and Climate Change,” see 36 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 437 (2020).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Criminal prosecution under Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 USCS §§ 1531-1543), 128 A.L.R. Fed. 271.

27-3-130. Short title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Endangered Wildlife Act of 1973."

(Ga. L. 1973, p. 932, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Construction and application of state endangered species acts, 44 A.L.R.6th 325.

Construction and application of the consultation requirement under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C.A. § 1536(a) to (d), 1 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 4.

Construction and application of threatened species requirements under Sec. 4(a) and (b) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C.A. § 1533(a) and (b), 6 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 2.

Construction and application of the cooperation with states requirement under Sec. 6 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C.A. § 1535, 8 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 3.

Construction and application of prohibited acts under Sec. 9(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C.A. § 1538(a), 9 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 3.

27-3-131. "Protected species" defined.

As used in this article, the term "protected species" means a species of animal life which the department shall have designated as a protected species and shall have made subject to the protection of this article.

(Ga. L. 1973, p. 932, § 2.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Validity and construction of statute prohibiting sale within state of skin or body of specified wild animals or of the animal itself, 44 A.L.R.3d 1008.

Construction and application of state endangered species acts, 44 A.L.R.6th 325.

27-3-132. Powers and duties of department and board.

  1. The department shall identify and inventory any species of animal life within this state which it determines from time to time to be rare, unusual, or in danger of extinction; and, upon such determination, such species shall be designated protected species and shall become subject to the protection of this article.
  2. The board shall issue such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary for the protection of protected species and for the enforcement of this article. Such rules and regulations shall not affect rights in private property or in public or private streams, nor shall such rules and regulations impede construction of any nature. Such rules and regulations shall be limited to the regulation of the capture, killing, or selling of protected species and the protection of the habitat of the species on public lands.
  3. The department may delegate the powers and duties which this article grants to it to any official or officials of the department.

(Ga. L. 1973, p. 932, § 3.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Construed with Environmental Policy Act.

- The factors enumerated in the Georgia Environmental Policy Act, O.C.G.A. § 12-16-1 et seq., must be considered when evaluating environmental concerns under O.C.G.A. § 32-2-3; the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 27-3-132 are not repealed by implication by the Georgia Environmental Policy Act. 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-29.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Construction and application of state endangered species acts, 44 A.L.R.6th 325.

27-3-133. Penalty for violation of rules and regulations of board.

Any person who violates any rule or regulation promulgated by the board pursuant to this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Ga. L. 1973, p. 932, § 4.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Construction and application of state endangered species acts, 44 A.L.R.6th 325.

ARTICLE 6 INTERFERENCE WITH LAWFUL TAKING

Cross references.

- Removal of traps or trapped wildlife, § 27-3-65.

27-3-150. "Lawful taking" defined.

As used in this article, the term "lawful taking" means taking wildlife when such taking is authorized by the provisions of this title or by rules or regulations of the board adopted pursuant to the authority of this title.

(Code 1981, §27-3-150, enacted by Ga. L. 1986, p. 1460, § 1.)

Law reviews.

- For comment on hunter harassment statutes, see 48 Emory L.J. 1023 (1999).

27-3-151. Activity prohibited.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to:
    1. Interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife by another person by intentionally preventing or attempting to prevent such person from such lawful taking of wildlife;
    2. Disturb or engage in activity tending to disturb wildlife for the purpose of intentionally preventing or attempting to prevent the lawful taking of such wildlife; or
    3. Fail to obey an order of a law enforcement officer to desist from conduct violating paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection if the law enforcement officer observes such conduct or if the law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for believing that the person has engaged in such conduct that day or that the person plans or intends to engage in such conduct that day at a specific location.
  2. Nothing in subsection (a) of this Code section shall be construed to apply to the activities of law enforcement officers or employees of the department in the performance of their duties.

(Code 1981, §27-3-151, enacted by Ga. L. 1986, p. 1460, § 1.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1986, "subsection" was substituted for "Code section" in paragraph (a)(3).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Validity and construction of statutes prohibiting harassment of hunters, fishermen, or trappers, 17 A.L.R.5th 837.

27-3-152. Injunctions; damages for violations.

  1. The superior court of a county may enjoin conduct which would be in violation of Code Section 27-3-151 upon the petition of a person who is affected or who reasonably may be affected by such conduct upon a showing that such conduct is threatened or that such conduct has occurred at a particular location in the past and that it is not unreasonable to expect that under similar circumstances such conduct will be repeated.
  2. A person who engages in conduct in violation of Code Section 27-3-151 shall be civilly liable to any other person who is adversely affected by such conduct, and any award for damages may include punitive damages. In addition to any other items of special damage, the measure of damages may include expenditures of the affected person for license and permit fees, travel, guides, and special equipment and supplies to the extent that such expenditures were rendered futile by preventing the lawful taking of wildlife.

(Code 1981, §27-3-152, enacted by Ga. L. 1986, p. 1460, § 1; Ga. L. 1987, p. 3, § 27.)

ARTICLE 7 FEEDING OF WILD ALLIGATORS

27-3-170. Feeding of wild alligators prohibited; criminal penalty.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully feed or bait any wild alligator not in captivity. For purposes of this Code section, willfully tossing any food item edible by alligators to or in the vicinity of a live alligator or willfully leaving any such item in or near the water where an alligator is known to frequent shall constitute willfully feeding or baiting a live alligator.
  2. Violation of this Code section shall constitute a misdemeanor and upon conviction a violator shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $200.00 or confinement for not over 30 days, or both.

(Code 1981, §27-3-170, enacted by Ga. L. 1995, p. 467, § 1.)

ARTICLE 8 FERTILITY CONTROL ON WILDLIFE

27-3-180. Findings and declarations.

The General Assembly recognizes that the hunting and taking of wildlife pursuant to this title are a valued cultural heritage consistent with the sound scientific principles of wildlife management and play an essential and effective role in the management of wildlife populations. The General Assembly further recognizes that the State of Georgia and its citizens derive substantial economic, recreational, and esthetic benefits from such activities. Therefore, the General Assembly finds and declares that it is in the public interest to ensure public health, safety, welfare, and conservation of the state's wildlife resources by strictly regulating in this state the use of fertility control on any wildlife.

(Code 1981, §27-3-180, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 9/SB 474.)

27-3-181. Use of fertility control of wildlife.

  1. As used in this article, the term "fertility control" means any action that results in contraception, contragestation, or sterilization or produces a temporary or permanent state of infertility.
  2. It shall be unlawful to apply any fertility control to any wildlife, except in accordance with a wildlife fertility control permit issued under the provisions of this article and any rules or regulations adopted by the board.
  3. Nothing in this article shall prohibit or apply to the medically necessary treatment of sick or injured wildlife by properly licensed veterinarians. This article shall not limit employees of the department in the performance of their official duties.

(Code 1981, §27-3-181, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 9/SB 474.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting not required.

- Offense arising from a violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-3-181 does not appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required. 2010 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 10-6.

27-3-182. Permit application for applying fertility control to wildlife.

  1. Application for a wildlife fertility control permit shall be made on forms obtained from the department.
  2. The department may issue such a permit only if it has determined that the proposed activity is in the best interest of the wildlife resources. In making such a determination, the department may consider the following:
    1. Whether the proposed activity may preclude the use of hunting as the primary management tool;
    2. Whether the drug has been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration;
    3. Whether there is a need for the information and data or a need to manage the target wildlife population to achieve the objectives sought by the applicant;
    4. Whether the proposed activity would duplicate sound scientific research previously accomplished;
    5. Whether the proposed activity is of reasonably sound design;
    6. Whether the proposed activity poses health or safety risks to humans and wildlife, including, but not limited to, wildlife species that may consume the target wildlife;
    7. Whether the proposed activity includes all necessary approvals, including, but not limited to, any federal or state agency approvals for specific or extra label use and any agency or institutional endorsement of the application; and
    8. Whether the applicant or the sponsor has documented that he or she has adequate funds available to implement the proposed activity.
  3. In the event that a determination has been made to revoke, suspend, deny, or refuse to renew any wildlife fertility control permit issued pursuant to this article, the applicant for such permit may appeal the determination according to the provisions stated in Code Section 27-2-25.

(Code 1981, §27-3-182, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 9/SB 474.)

27-3-183. Rules and regulations.

The board is authorized to promulgate and adopt any rules and regulations, consistent with sound wildlife management practices and not inconsistent with law, as it deems necessary and appropriate to carry out the purposes of this article.

(Code 1981, §27-3-183, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 9/SB 474.)

27-3-184. Wildlife fertility control permits; cease and desist orders; possession of wildlife.

  1. The department shall have the authority to prescribe the form, contents, and conditions for a wildlife fertility control permit and application as it deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this article.
  2. The department shall have the authority to issue, revoke, or deny any permit required by this article and pursuant to any rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this article.
  3. The department may, prior to a hearing and in accordance with Code Section 27-1-37, issue a cease and desist order or other appropriate order to any person who is violating any provision of this article or any regulation, permit, or license issued pursuant to this article.
  4. The department shall have the authority in accordance with Code Sections 27-1-21 and 27-1-37 to take possession of and dispose of any wildlife if it has reason to believe that fertility control has been administered to such wildlife in violation of this article.

(Code 1981, §27-3-184, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 9/SB 474.)

27-3-185. Penalties.

  1. Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,500.00 nor more than $5,000.00, imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months, or both such fine and imprisonment.
  2. Any licenses or permits issued under this title to any person convicted of violating any provision of this article shall by operation of law be revoked and shall not be reissued for a period of three years. The department shall notify the person in writing of the revocation.

(Code 1981, §27-3-185, enacted by Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 9/SB 474.)

CHAPTER 4 FISH

Article 1 General Provisions.
Article 2 Noncommercial Fishing.
Part 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS.
Part 2 TROUT FISHING.
Article 3 Commercial Fishing and Fish Dealing Generally.
Part 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS.
Part 2 FRESH-WATER FISHING.
Part 3 SALT-WATER FISHING.
Article 4 Seafood.
Part 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS.
Part 2 CRABS.
Part 3 TAKING SHRIMP FOR BAIT.
Part 4 SHELLFISH.
Part 5 COMMERCIAL SHRIMP CAST NETTING LICENSES.
Article 5 Interstate Agreements.
Part 1 ATLANTIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMPACT.
Part 2 FISHING LICENSE RECIPROCITY.
Article 6 Aquaculture Development.
Article 7 Limited Liability of Owners and Operators of Sport Fishing Locations.
Cross references.

- Penalty for unlawful taking of fish generally, § 27-1-3.

Rights to shellfish in nonnavigable tidewaters, § 44-8-6.

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Fishing regulations, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Subject 391-4-3.

ARTICLE 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS

27-4-1. Salt-water and fresh-water demarcation line.

  1. The line established in this state as the separation point between salt waters and fresh waters for commercial fishing and sport fishing is as follows:
    1. The point at which U.S. Highway 17 crosses the following bodies of water and their tributaries shall be the line of demarcation for them: St. Marys River, Satilla River, South Altamaha River, Champney River, Butler River, Darien River, Little Ogeechee System (except Salt Creek), North Newport River, Medway River, Big Ogeechee River, and the point at which Georgia Highway 25/South Carolina 170 crosses the Savannah River and its tributaries. All water seaward of these points shall be considered salt water; and
    2. The following streams and their tributaries are designated as salt water for their entire length: Crooked River, Little Satilla River, South Brunswick River, Turtle River, Sapelo River, South Newport River, Salt Creek (Little Ogeechee System), and all other rivers, streams, and tributaries in the six coastal counties which are not enumerated in this subsection.
  2. This Code section shall not apply to fresh-water ponds on the seaward side of the demarcation line.

(Code 1933, § 45-811, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1629, § 4; Ga. L. 1984, p. 537, § 4; Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 13; Ga. L. 2008, p. 163, § 1/HB 1016.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1997, "St. Marys River" was substituted for "St. Mary's River" in paragraph (a)(1).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 51.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28.

27-4-2. Fishing in waters or from lands of another without permission; obstruction or interference with rights of others.

It shall be unlawful for any person to fish in the waters or from upon the lands of another without first having obtained permission from the landowner or person in charge of such lands, provided that nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed to apply to the fishing or taking of fish, other than oysters, clams, and other shellfish, in any of the salt-water creeks, streams, or estuaries leading from the Atlantic Ocean or from the sounds, rivers, or bays surrounding the several islands of this state. It shall also be unlawful for any person to obstruct or interfere with the right of any other person to fish in these salt-water creeks, streams, or estuaries leading from the Atlantic Ocean or from the sounds, rivers, or bays surrounding the several islands of this state. Game wardens, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, and all other peace officers of this state or of any county or municipality thereof shall enforce this Code section.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 7; Code 1933, § 45-513; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 81; Ga. L. 1972, p. 200, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-701, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "Game wardens" for "Conservation rangers" at the beginning of the last sentence.

Cross references.

- Criminal trespass generally, § 16-7-21.

Limitation of liability of owners of property used for recreational purposes, § 51-3-20 et seq.

Law reviews.

- For article, "Public Rights in Georgia's Tidelands," see 9 Ga. L. Rev. 79 (1974).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Owner of both sides of nonnavigable stream.

- Owner of nonnavigable stream who owns the land on both sides of stream is entitled to exclusive fishing rights in that stream. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 249.

Owner of land adjacent to navigable stream owns to low-water mark of stream, and may prevent fishing from upon owner's lands and could well have exclusive fishing rights to low-water mark thereof. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 249.

Where a river is navigable at point where a lake comes into the river, and the same person owns the land on both sides of the lake and the land on both sides of the mouth of the lake, the owner would have the exclusive fishing rights to the low-water mark of a navigable stream; and the lake and the lands could be posted by the owner notwithstanding fact that the lake and lands might be posted by operation of law. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 249.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 14, 23, 25.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 5, 6.

ALR.

- Right of public to fish in stream notwithstanding objection by riparian owner, 47 A.L.R.2d 381.

Rights of fishing, boating, bathing, or the like in inland lakes, 57 A.L.R.2d 569.

27-4-3. Right to take shellfish from stream or estuary.

Reserved.Repealed by Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 2, effective July 1, 1991.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1952, p. 247, §§ 1-6; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 90; Code 1933, § 45-704, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, Ex. Sess., p. 8.

27-4-4. Unlawful dumping; recovery of damages.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to throw, dump, drain, or allow to pass into any waters of this state which belong to the department or which are being utilized by the department for fish propagation any sawdust, dyestuff, oil, chemicals, or other deleterious substances that will or may tend to injure, destroy, or drive away from such waters any fish or aquatic organisms which may inhabit such waters.
  2. The state, through the department, may recover damages in a civil action against any person who unlawfully or negligently injures or destroys any fish or aquatic organism in any waters which belong to the department or which are being utilized by the department for fish propagation. The measure of damages in such action shall be the amount which will compensate for all the detriment proximately caused by the destruction or injury of such fish or aquatic organism.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 22; Code 1933, § 45-702, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 32, 50, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 38, 43, 48.

27-4-5. Methods for taking fish generally.

  1. It shall be unlawful to fish for game fish, except American shad, hickory shad, flathead catfish, and channel catfish, by any means other than a pole and line. Except as otherwise provided, it shall be unlawful to take any fish in the fresh waters of this state by any method other than a pole and line, sport trotlines in accordance with Code Section 27-4-32, set hooks, jugs, bow and arrow in accordance with Code Section 27-4-34, spears in accordance with Code Section 27-4-33, seines in accordance with Code Section 27-4-6, by hand in accordance with Code Section 27-4-37, and as authorized in Code Section 27-4-91 with regard to commercial fresh-water fishing.
  2. Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this Code section, dip nets and cast nets may be used to take for bait threadfin shad, blueback herring, gizzard shad, and other nongame fish as authorized by the board; and landing nets may be used to land fish legally caught.
  3. Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this Code section, it shall be lawful to use seines, nets, and chemicals in a pond if all the owners of a pond desire that such be done and if a local game warden is notified at least two hours in advance of the use, provided that it shall not be lawful to use such seines, nets, and chemicals in an oxbow lake. For purposes of this Code section, an "oxbow lake" means a lake formed in an abandoned river channel which has become separated from the main stream by a natural change in the river.

(Code 1933, § 45-705, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 49; Ga. L. 1986, p. 169, § 1; Ga. L. 2005, p. 1487, § 1/HB 301; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 3/HB 869; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game warden" for "conservation ranger" in the first sentence of subsection (c).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 35.

27-4-6. Use of minnow seines.

It shall be unlawful to take any game fish or American eels by minnow seines from the fresh waters of this state. It shall also be unlawful to take any nongame fish by minnow seines from any of the fresh waters of this state, except where such fish are five inches in length or less and are not to be sold or otherwise used for commercial purposes and except where such waters are not trout waters as designated pursuant to Code Section 27-4-51. It shall also be unlawful to use a seine which is longer than 20 feet or which has a mesh larger than three-eighths of an inch square, or in diameter if the mesh is not square. All game fish and American eels taken in such seines shall be immediately released unharmed into the waters from which they were taken.

(Ga. L. 1956, p. 231, § 1; Ga. L. 1962, p. 120, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 25; Code 1933, § 45-708, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1999, p. 81, § 27.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 36.

27-4-7. Use of gill nets; seizure of illegal nets.

  1. Except as otherwise provided by law or rule and regulation, it shall be unlawful for any person to use a gill net in any of the fresh waters or salt waters of this state at any time, provided that it shall be lawful for properly licensed fishermen to use such nets in the taking of shad in accordance with Code Section 27-4-71 and all other laws and rules and regulations applicable to the taking of shad. All nets violative of this Code section found in the fresh waters or salt waters of this state or in the possession of any person on or around fresh water or salt water shall be seized by game wardens or other peace officers of this state. Nets so seized shall be confiscated and shall become the property of the department and shall be disposed of as the commissioner shall direct.
  2. Except for shad taken in accordance with Code Section 27-4-71, it shall be unlawful to land in this state any of the species of fish enumerated in Code Section 27-4-10 which were taken by means of a gill net. For purposes of this subsection, "to land" fish means to bring the fish to shore in this state in the boat or vessel utilized in taking the fish by means of a gill net, regardless of the jurisdiction from which the fish were taken.

(Ga. L. 1957, p. 93, §§ 1, 2; Code 1933, § 45-712, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1290, § 1; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 4/HB 869; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game wardens" for "conservation rangers" near the end of the second sentence of subsection (a).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 46, 47.

Law reviews.

- For note on 2000 amendment of this Code section, see 17 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 195 (2000).

27-4-8. Unlawful devices or substances.

It shall be unlawful for any person to use any firearm, battery, generator or other similar device or any dynamite, explosives, or destructive substances, including poisons, walnut hulls, and lime, for the purpose of catching, killing, taking, or harming fish. The possession of any of the foregoing devices or substances, except firearms, in any boat on the fresh waters of this state shall be deemed prima-facie evidence of guilt under this Code section; provided, however, this provision shall not apply to batteries used to operate motors or lights.

(Ga. L. 1862-63, p. 46, § 1; Code 1868, § 4533; Code 1873, § 4624; Code 1882, § 4624; Penal Code 1895, § 723; Ga. L. 1899, p. 68, § 1; Ga. L. 1903, p. 100, §§ 5, 8; Penal Code 1910, §§ 611, 774; Ga. L. 1925, p. 306, §§ 16, 17; Code 1933, §§ 45-507, 45-508, 45-509; Ga. L. 1952, p. 236, § 1; Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 181, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, §§ 83, 84; Code 1933, § 45-711, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

Law reviews.

- For article, "Public Rights in Georgia's Tidelands," see 9 Ga. L. Rev. 79 (1974).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 36.

27-4-9. Possession of nets or other devices for taking shad during closed season deemed evidence of violation.

The possession, in any boat upon the waters of this state, of nets or other devices capable of taking shad during such time as laws or regulations prohibit the taking of such fish shall be prima-facie evidence that the person having such nets or equipment in his possession is guilty of taking shad in violation of the wildlife laws, rules, and regulations.

(Code 1933, § 45-710, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 36.

27-4-10. Creel and possession limits; size restrictions.

  1. It shall be unlawful to take in one day or to possess at any one time, except at a commercial storage facility or at one's place of abode, more than the creel and possession limits established by the board for that fish species; provided, however, that it shall be illegal to possess more than a total of 50 individuals of all fresh water species named in this Code section. It shall be unlawful to take from the waters of this state or to possess any fish species larger or smaller or in numbers greater than the limits established by the board in accordance with this Code section. The board shall establish creel and possession limits which shall be no greater than the following limits and shall establish sizes of fish species within the following ranges which may not be taken:
  2. In accordance with sound principles of wildlife research and management, the board shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations establishing size limits, open seasons, creel and possession limits, and possession and landing specifications on a state-wide, regional, or local basis in accordance with this Code section. The board is further authorized to designate certain areas as catch and release fishing areas and to promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the management of such areas for catch and release fishing.

Species Ranges of Sizes Maximum Within Which Fish Daily May Not Be Taken Creel And Possessio n Limit (1) Largemouth bass 0 - 24 inches 10 (2) Smallmouth bass 0 - 18 inches 10 (3) Shoal bass 0 - 18 inches 10 (4) Suwannee bass 0 - 18 inches 10 (5) Spotted bass or Kentucky bass 0 - 18 inches 10 (6) Redeye bass or Coosa bass 0 - 12 inches 10 (7) Mountain trout 0 - 24 inches 8 (8) White bass 0 - 36 inches 15 (9) Striped bass 0 - 36 inches 15 (10) Striped white bass hybrids 0 - 36 inches 15 (11) Any one or combination of the species of bream or sunfish 0 - 10 inches 50 (12) Walleye 0 - 24 inches 15 (13) Sauger 0 - 24 inches 15 (14) Chain pickerel 0 - 24 inches 15 (15) Grass pickerel 0 - 12 inches 15 (16) Redfin pickerel 0 - 12 inches 15 (17) Black crappie 0 - 14 inches 30 (18) White crappie 0 - 14 inches 30 (19) American shad 0 - 30 inches 8 (20) Hickory shad 0 - 24 inches 8 (21) Amberjack 0 - 50 inches 5 (22) Atlantic croaker 0 - 10 inches 25 (23) Atlantic sturgeon 0 - 86 inches 1 (24) Black drum 0 - 36 inches 15 (25) Black sea bass 0 - 15 inches 15 (26) Blue marlin 3 (27) Bluefish 0 - 20 inches 15 (28) Cobia 0 - 40 inches 5 (29) Dolphin 0 - 24 inches 15 (30) Flounder (Paralicthys spp.) 0 - 15 inches 15 (31) Gag grouper 0 - 25 inches 5 (32) King mackerel 0 - 36 inches 5 (33) Red drum 0 - 36 inches 5 (34) Red porgy 0 - 20 inches 10 (35) Red snapper 0 - 25 inches 5 (36) Sailfish 3 (37) Sand tiger shark 0 - 140 inches 1 (38) Sharks 0 - 120 inches 2 (39) Sheepshead 0 - 20 inches 15 (40) Small sharks composite (Atlantic sharpnose, bonnethead, and spiny dogfish) 0 - 54 inches 4 (41) Spanish mackerel 0 - 20 inches 20 (42) Spot 0 - 10 inches 25 (43) Spotted sea trout 0 - 25 inches 15 (44) Tarpon 0 - 90 inches 1 (45) Tripletail 0 - 25 inches 5 (46) Weakfish 0 - 15 inches 15 (47) White marlin 3

(Code 1933, § 45-713, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 50; Ga. L. 1986, p. 504, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 552, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1552, § 4; Ga. L. 1990, p. 762, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 94, § 27; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1636, § 2; Ga. L. 1995, p. 543, § 3; Ga. L. 1996, p. 980, § 4; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 5/HB 869.)

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Creel and possession limits, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Fishing Regulations, § 391-4-3-.05.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Cited in Plough Broadcasting Co. v. Dobbs, 163 Ga. App. 264, 293 S.E.2d 526 (1982).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 54 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 31 et seq.

27-4-11. Fishing in department fish hatcheries.

It shall be unlawful to fish in ponds or other waters of fish hatcheries owned or operated by the department, except for those waters which the department opens for fishing. The department may set special creel limits, hours, open dates, age limitations, and other conditions for fishing in the ponds or other waters at each facility.

(Code 1933, § 45-714, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 2004, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1981, p. 798, § 13; Ga. L. 1986, p. 504, § 2; Ga. L. 1988, p. 541, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1552, § 5; Ga. L. 1990, p. 762, § 2; Ga. L. 1996, p. 980, § 5.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 54, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 31 et seq.

27-4-11.1. Possession of firearms and intoxication on public fishing areas; fishing in closed fishing areas; other restrictions in public fishing areas.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person on any public fishing area owned or operated by the department:
    1. To possess a firearm other than a handgun, as such term is defined in Code Section 16-11-125.1, during a closed hunting season for that area unless such firearm is unloaded and stored in a motor vehicle so as not to be readily accessible or to possess a handgun during a closed hunting season for that area unless such person possesses a valid weapons carry license issued pursuant to Code Section 16-11-129;
    2. To possess a loaded firearm other than a handgun, as such term is defined in Code Section 16-11-125.1, in a motor vehicle during a legal open hunting season for that area or to possess a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle during a legal open hunting season for that area unless such person possesses a valid weapons carry license issued pursuant to Code Section 16-11-129; or
    3. To be under the influence of drugs, intoxicating liquors, beers, or wines. The determination of whether any person is under the influence of drugs or intoxicating liquors, beers, or wines may be made in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 3 of this title relating to hunting while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to fish at any time in any pond or lake on a public fishing area owned or operated by the department which has been posted "closed" by the department for purposes of fisheries management or to take or possess any species or any size of any species or to exceed the creel limit of any species at any time from any pond or lake on a public fishing area which has been posted with a sign which states that that species or size may not be taken or that creel limit exceeded. Creel and size limits posted as permissible must be within the limits set forth in Code Section 27-4-10 and, if applicable, the limits set by the board pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person to take in one day or to possess at any one time any number of fish caught from public fishing areas except in compliance with limits set by rule and regulation of the board, which limits shall not be more than the maximum limit for that species set forth in Code Section 27-4-10.
  4. It shall be unlawful for any person to fish or to be present on any public fishing area except in accordance with rules and regulations established by the board for the use of such area. The board shall have the authority to adopt rules and regulations governing methods of fishing; to regulate the operation and use of vessels; to close the area or certain ponds or lakes of the area to vessels; and to regulate other matters that the board deems necessary for the safe operation and sound management of the area.
  5. It shall be unlawful on any public fishing area for any person to drive or otherwise operate a vehicle on any road posted "closed" to vehicular access, to drive around a closed gate or cable blocking a road, or to drive on any road that is not improved in that it is not receiving maintenance for the purpose of vehicular access. It shall be unlawful for any person to park a vehicle at any place within a public fishing area, including upon the right of way of any county, state, or federal highway which traverses the public fishing area, where signs placed at the direction of the commissioner or his or her designee prohibit parking.
  6. It shall be unlawful for any person to camp anywhere on any public fishing area except in those areas designated by appropriate signs as camping areas.
  7. It shall be unlawful for persons under 14 years of age to enter or remain upon any public fishing area unless such person is under adult supervision. It shall be unlawful for any person to cause or knowingly to permit his or her ward who is under 14 years of age to enter or remain upon any public fishing area unless such child or ward is under adult supervision.
  8. It shall be unlawful for any person who has fished at a public fishing area to refuse to allow department personnel to count, measure, and weigh his or her catch.

(Ga. L. 1981, p. 1380, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 10; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1552, § 6; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1636, §§ 3-5; Ga. L. 1993, p. 91, § 27; Ga. L. 1996, p. 980, § 6; Ga. L. 2010, p. 963, § 2-15/SB 308.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1997, "right of way" was substituted for "right-of-way" in the second sentence of subsection (e).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2010, p. 963, § 3-1/SB 308, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section shall apply to all offenses committed on and after June 4, 2010, and shall not affect any prosecutions for acts occurring before June 4, 2010, and shall not act as an abatement of any such prosecutions.

Law reviews.

- For article, "Crimes and Offenses," see 27 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 131 (2011).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting not required.

- Offense arising from a violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-4-11.1 does not appear to be an offense for which fingerprinting is required. 2010 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 10-6.

27-4-12. Adoption of rules and regulations by board; reporting; legislative overruling of rules and regulations.

  1. In accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management, the board shall have the authority to adopt rules and regulations establishing seasons; methods of fishing and disposition; size, possession, and creel limits; and gear and landing specifications for the taking of fish from the fresh waters and salt waters of this state, except to the extent that such matters are specifically provided for by this title.
  2. Within the first ten days of a subsequent legislative session, the board shall report to the appropriate standing committees of each house and to all members whose districts are included within current boundaries of the First Congressional District the following information for the previous year:
    1. A listing and description of rules promulgated by the board for salt-water species listed in Code Section 27-4-10; and
    2. A listing and description of any findings made by the department in making a determination pursuant to Code Section 27-4-130.
  3. The General Assembly may override any rule or regulation promulgated by the board affecting salt-water finfish fisheries after January 1, 2013, by adopting a joint resolution of the General Assembly so stating, the provisions of Code Section 50-13-4 notwithstanding.

(Code 1933, § 45-732, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-733, as redesignated by Ga. L. 1981, p. 1380, § 1; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 6/HB 869.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 37, 40, 46, 51, 54 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 24 et seq., 31 et seq.

27-4-13. Size and construction requirements of cast nets.

Repealed by Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, § 3, effective July 1, 2007.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 4.

ARTICLE 2 NONCOMMERCIAL FISHING

PART 1 G ENERAL PROVISIONS

27-4-30. Fishing in private ponds.

The owner of a private pond, the owner's immediate family, or tenants with the owner's consent shall be permitted to fish within the bounds of the pond at any time and in any manner without a fishing license. All other persons shall be required to obtain fishing licenses to fish within the bounds of a private pond as provided in this title unless the fish in the private pond are "domestic fish" as defined in paragraph (23) of Code Section 27-1-2. For the purposes of this Code section, the term "private pond" shall not include ponds owned by city or county governments, the State of Georgia, the United States, or authorities or political subdivisions of such governments.

(Ga. L. 1931, p. 169, § 5; Code 1933, § 45-505; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 82; Code 1933, § 45-703, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 3; Ga. L. 1994, p. 600, § 3; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 14/HB 208.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, inserted "immediate" near the beginning of the first sentence. See Editor's note for applicability.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, decisions under Ga. L. 1937, p. 675, § 7, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

License required for invitees of owner of private pond.

- While owner of private pond may fish therein without personally procuring license, and may take fish therefrom in any manner whatever, other residents of state over 16 years of age, even though fishing in such private pond as invitees of owner, would be required to obtain license. Vickers v. Jones, 200 Ga. 338, 37 S.E.2d 205 (1946) (decided under Ga. L. 1937, p. 675, § 7).

Cited in Maddox v. State, 252 Ga. 198, 312 S.E.2d 325 (1984).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 22, 47, 51.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 4, 5, 28.

ALR.

- Applicability of state fishing license laws or other public regulations to fishing in private lake or pond, 15 A.L.R.2d 754.

Rights of fishing, boating, bathing, or the like in inland lakes, 57 A.L.R.2d 569.

27-4-31. Catch-out pond licenses.

The owner or operator of a catch-out pond operated as one contiguous unit and under single ownership, including ownership by a partnership, firm, association, or corporation, may purchase a catch-out pond license as provided in Code Section 27-2-23. Such license shall not be transferable to another owner or operator or to any other site. Persons, both residents and nonresidents, may fish in a properly licensed catch-out pond without obtaining a fishing license or trout license and without complying with the creel limits, possession limits, size limits, and seasons set forth in this title. It shall be unlawful for the owner or operator of a catch-out pond not properly licensed to represent to any person that such person may fish in the pond as if the pond were a licensed catch-out pond.

(Ga. L. 1973, p. 274, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-307, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 28; Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 14.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 6, 27, 51.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 13, 14.

ALR.

- Right to enjoin business competitor from unlicensed or otherwise illegal acts or practices, 90 A.L.R.2d 7.

27-4-32. Sport trotlines.

Sport trotlines must be marked with the owner's name and address and with visible buoys and must be submerged at least three feet below the surface of the water. Such trotlines must be attended regularly and removed after the completed fishing trip. Unmarked or unattended lines will be confiscated by personnel of the department. As used in this Code section, "sport trotlines" means one line or a combination of lines using less than 51 hooks. It shall be unlawful to use any sport trotline within one-half mile below any lock or dam on any of the fresh waters of this state.

(Code 1933, § 45-706, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 306, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 53.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 36.

27-4-33. Spearing of fish.

  1. It shall be unlawful to spear game fish and all species of catfish in the fresh waters of this state except as provided in this Code section; provided, however, other species of nongame fish may be speared solely for the purpose of sport, provided the person engaged in the act of spearing is completely submerged.
  2. "Spearing" as used in this Code section shall be limited to the use of a spear or similar instrument that is held in the hand of the person using the same and the use of a weapon other than a firearm which propels or forces a projectile or similar device therefrom, to which a wire, rope, line, cord, or other means of recovering the projectile or similar device is attached, which wire, rope, line, cord, or other means is secured to the weapon or the person using the weapon.
  3. It shall also be unlawful for any person to engage in the spearing of fish in the fresh waters of this state without a resident or nonresident fishing license as provided in Code Section 27-2-23.
  4. It shall be unlawful to use spears with poisonous or exploding heads.
  5. It shall be unlawful to discharge spears into waters nearer than 150 feet to anyone engaged in any other means of recreation.
  6. Any game fish, except channel catfish and flathead catfish taken under the provisions of subsection (g) of this Code section, with an open wound and in the possession of a person fishing with a spear shall be prima-facie evidence of taking and possessing fish illegally.
  7. It shall be unlawful to take channel catfish and flathead catfish anywhere in the Savannah River, including its tributaries and impoundments within the Savannah River Basin, by means of spearing, except under the following conditions:
    1. The taking of channel catfish and flathead catfish in the Savannah River, including its tributaries and impoundments within the Savannah River Basin, by spear shall be legal at any time of the day and at night by the use of a light; and
    2. All spears used pursuant to this subsection must be equipped with barbs or contain devices on the point to act as a harpoon for recovering fish and must be attached to the person using the spear or to the weapon by a rope, line, or cord sufficient for recovering the spear and channel catfish or flathead catfish.

(Ga. L. 1959, p. 181, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 23; Code 1933, § 45-707, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 420, § 9; Ga. L. 1984, p. 537, § 5; Ga. L. 2005, p. 1487, § 2/HB 301.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 51, 53.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 36.

27-4-34. Fishing with bow and arrow.

  1. It shall be unlawful to take nongame fish from the waters of this state by means of bow and arrow except under the following conditions:
    1. Each person using a bow and arrow shall have on his or her person a valid state resident or nonresident fishing license;
    2. All arrows used pursuant to this Code section must be equipped with barbs or contain devices on the point to act as a harpoon for recovering fish and must be attached to the person or bow by a rope, line, or cord sufficient for recovering the arrow and nongame fish;
    3. Arrows with poisonous or exploding heads are illegal;
    4. It shall be unlawful to discharge arrows into waters nearer than 150 feet to anyone engaged in any other means of recreation; and
    5. Legal hours for the taking of fish by bow and arrow shall be from sunrise to sunset, except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) in this Code section.
  2. Any game fish, except channel catfish and flathead catfish taken under the provisions of subsection (d) of this Code section, with an open wound and in the possession of a person fishing with a bow and arrow shall be prima-facie evidence of taking and possessing fish illegally.
  3. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of this Code section, if all other requirements of said subsection (a) are met, nongame fish may be taken in impounded waters of reservoirs over 500 acres in size by bow and arrow at any time during the day and may be taken at night by the use of a light.
  4. It shall be unlawful to take channel catfish and flathead catfish anywhere in the Savannah River, including its tributaries and impoundments within the Savannah River Basin, by means of bow and arrow, except under the following conditions:
    1. Each person using a bow and arrow shall have on his or her person a valid state resident or nonresident fishing license;
    2. All arrows used pursuant to this subsection must be equipped with barbs or contain devices on the point to act as a harpoon for recovering fish and must be attached to the person or bow by a rope, line, or cord sufficient for recovering the arrow and channel catfish or flathead catfish;
    3. Arrows with poisonous or exploding heads are illegal;
    4. It shall be unlawful to discharge arrows into waters nearer than 150 feet to anyone engaged in any other means of recreation; and
    5. The taking of channel catfish and flathead catfish in the Savannah River, including its tributaries and impoundments within the Savannah River Basin, by bow and arrow shall be legal at any time of the day and at night by the use of a light.
  5. Subject to the provisions of this Code section, and in accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management, the board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations regarding the taking of any fish from the salt waters of this state by means of bow and arrow.

(Code 1933, § 45-709, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 366, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1636, § 6; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1393, § 1; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 7/HB 869.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 51 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 31 et seq.

27-4-35. Sport shad fishing.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 8/HB 869, effective January 1, 2013.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Code 1933, § 45-720, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.

27-4-36. Artificial-lure streams or lakes.

  1. It shall be unlawful to fish in any artificial-lure stream or lake except with an artificial lure or to have any bait or lure other than artificial in possession at such stream or lake. The board shall have the authority to designate streams, lakes, or parts of streams or lakes as artificial-lure streams or lakes and to promulgate rules regarding fishing methods, gear, and size or type of artificial lures that may be used on such streams or lakes.
  2. It shall be unlawful to have in possession while fishing such streams or lakes any bait, lure, landing net, or other gear which may not be lawfully used on such streams or lakes.

(Code 1933, § 45-719, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 2004, § 3; Ga. L. 1981, p. 798, §§ 14, 15; Ga. L. 1995, p. 543, § 4; Ga. L. 1996, p. 980, § 7.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 36.

27-4-37. Taking of fish by grabbling, noodling, or hand grabbing.

  1. It shall be unlawful to fish for game fish, catfish, and all other species of fish in the freshwaters of the state by grabbling, noodling, or hand grabbing except as provided in this Code section. Flathead, channel, and blue catfish may be taken by hand without the aid of any device, hook, snare, net, or other artificial instrument and without the aid of any scuba equipment, air hose, or other artificial breathing apparatus between March 1 and July 15 of each year.
  2. It shall be unlawful to alter any natural or manmade feature by placing boards, wire, barrels, buckets, or any device or obstruction in any stream or other body of water or to modify any log, hole, or other feature in an attempt to attract or capture fish by grabbling, noodling, or hand grabbing or to take fish by grabbling, noodling, or hand grabbing from such altered devices. It shall also be unlawful to raise any part of a natural or artificial device out of the water to aid in the hand capture of enclosed fish.
  3. Any game fish, except channel and flathead catfish, taken in violation of the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this Code section that are in the possession of a person grabbling, noodling, or hand grabbing fish shall be prima-facie evidence of taking and possessing fish illegally.
  4. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the grabbling, noodling, or hand grabbing of flathead, channel, or blue catfish in the fresh waters of this state without a resident or nonresident fishing license as provided in Code Section 27-2-23.

(Code 1981, §27-4-37, enacted by Ga. L. 2005, p. 1487, § 3/HB 301; Ga. L. 2006, p. 72, § 27/SB 465.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 53.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 36.

PART 2 T ROUT FISHING

27-4-50. Manner of fishing; moving of trout.

  1. It shall be unlawful to fish for trout in any waters designated as trout waters pursuant to Code Section 27-4-51 by any means other than using one pole and line held in hand.
  2. It shall be unlawful to use live fish for bait in any waters designated as trout waters pursuant to Code Section 27-4-51, except as authorized by the board.
  3. It shall be unlawful to move trout from any of the fresh waters of this state to any other fresh waters of this state, except that authorized agents of the department may move trout as necessary for purposes of fisheries management, conservation, and restoration.

(Code 1933, § 45-715, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 543, § 5; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1550, § 3; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 9/HB 869.)

Cross references.

- Trout stamps, §§ 27-2-4(c),27-2-6.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 55, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 36, 39.

27-4-51. Designation of certain waters as trout waters; establishment of seasons and methods of fishing.

  1. The board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations as may be appropriate based on sound wildlife management principles designating all or any portion of any watershed, stream, or lake as trout waters and establishing seasons, times, and methods of fishing in such waters.
  2. It shall be unlawful to fish in any waters which the board designates as trout waters except during such times and in such methods as the board establishes by rule or regulation.

(Code 1933, § 45-716, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 537, § 6; Ga. L. 1995, p. 543, § 6; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1550, § 4.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 52, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 31 et seq.

27-4-52. Trout waters without seasons.

Repealed by Ga. L. 1998, p. 1550, § 5, effective October 1, 1998.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Code 1933, § 45-717, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 51; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 28; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1771, § 1; Ga. L. 1984, p. 537, § 7; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1552, § 7; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1466, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 543, § 7.

27-4-53. Trout waters with seasons.

Repealed by Ga. L. 1998, p. 1550, § 6, effective October 1, 1998.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Code 1933, § 45-718, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 52; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 29; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1771, § 2; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 20; Ga. L. 1995, p. 543, § 8.

ARTICLE 3 COMMERCIAL FISHING AND FISH DEALING GENERALLY

Cross references.

- Regulation of business of wholesale dealers in fish or seafood, § 26-2-310 et seq.

PART 1 G ENERAL PROVISIONS

27-4-70. Fishing in waters not opened for commercial fishing.

It shall be unlawful to fish commercially except in waters opened for commercial fishing by regulation of the board.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 91; Code 1933, § 45-801, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 59 et seq.

ALR.

- Liability for damage by vessel to nets or other articles used in fishing, 7 A.L.R. 52.

27-4-71. Commercial fishing for shad, American eels, catfish, and horseshoe crabs.

  1. It shall be unlawful to fish commercially for shad, American eels, catfish in salt water, or horseshoe crabs except with a valid commercial fishing license as prescribed in Code Section 27-2-23 and a valid commercial fishing boat license as prescribed in Code Section 27-2-8. In accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management, the commissioner may authorize any person so licensed to fish for shad, American eels, catfish in salt water, or horseshoe crabs.
  2. In accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management, the board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations establishing the seasons, days, and places; methods of fishing and disposition; and size, creel, and possession limits for fishing commercially for shad, American eels, catfish in salt water, and horseshoe crabs.
  3. It shall be unlawful to fish commercially for shad, American eels, catfish in salt water, or horseshoe crabs except in compliance with the rules and regulations of the board pertaining to the seasons, days, and places; methods of fishing and disposition; and size, creel, and possession limits for fishing commercially for such species.

(Code 1933, § 45-805, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, §§ 54, 55; Ga. L. 1979, p. 420, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 31; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 10/HB 869.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 51 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 31 et seq. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, § 52.

27-4-72. Commercial eel fishing.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 11/HB 869, effective January 1, 2013.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Code 1933, § 45-815, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 63; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 33; Ga. L. 1979, p. 893, § 5; Ga. L. 1981, p. 823, § 4; Ga. L. 1992, p. 470, § 2.

27-4-73. Confiscation and disposition of illegally used commercial fishing gear.

Should any law enforcement officer of this state or employee of the department discover any commercial fishing gear or any trap, net, seine, basket, or similar device for taking fish, which gear or device is being used in violation of this title, such officer or employee shall seize and hold the same. In the event no one within a reasonable time claims the seized commercial fishing gear and the owner thereof is unknown to such officer or employee, the gear shall be confiscated and shall become the property of the department and disposed of as ordered by the commissioner.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 91; Code 1933, § 45-807, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 63.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 46, 47.

27-4-74. Sale, purchase, or transportation of game fish generally.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in this Code section and in Code Section 27-4-75, it shall be unlawful for any person to sell or purchase any game fish.
  2. Game fish shipped into this state and accompanied by a bona fide bill of sale or lading giving the date of the transaction, the details of the source of the fish, and the species, number, and pounds thereof may be lawfully transported, sold, and resold, provided each person in possession thereof has the bill of sale or lading and has otherwise complied with this Code section and any regulations promulgated pursuant to this Code section.
  3. It shall be lawful for any person to sell or purchase game fish from a pond when the owner of the pond has obtained a valid permit from the department and the permit is displayed in a prominent place at the pond and the person shall have complied with all the requirements of this Code section and any regulations promulgated pursuant to this Code section. The permit may be issued to the owner only once annually and shall limit the time for taking fish from the pond to 15 days unless an extension is granted by the department. However, no person shall sell, purchase, or possess any game fish taken from such a pond unless the fish are packaged and labeled with the pond permit number and the number and pounds of each species of fish contained therein. The fish shall remain so packaged until processed for consumption or released into another body of water.
  4. Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this title to the contrary, American shad, hickory shad, flathead catfish, and channel catfish harvested from Georgia waters other than private ponds in the course of commercial fishing as that term is defined in Code Section 27-1-2 shall not be subject to the prohibitions set forth in this Code section.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 85; Ga. L. 1957, p. 340, § 1; Ga. L. 1958, p. 221, § 1; Ga. L. 1973, p. 897, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-808, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 56; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 4; Ga. L. 1994, p. 600, § 4.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1994, "fish, and" was substituted for "fish and" in subsection (b).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

There is no exception made for sale of crappie cultivated in private ponds. Maddox v. State, 252 Ga. 198, 312 S.E.2d 325, cert. denied, 469 U.S. 820, 105 S. Ct. 93, 83 L. Ed. 2d 39 (1984).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 49 et seq., 56 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 31 et seq.

27-4-74.1. Food fish dealers.

Repealed by Ga. L. 1987, p. 908, § 2, effective July 1, 1987.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1986, p. 172, § 1.

27-4-75. Sale of fish by commercial fish hatcheries; sale of game fish; bill of sale or lading for possession of certain game fish and domestic fish; sale of diseased fish.

  1. It shall be unlawful to sell any fish from a commercial fish hatchery as defined in Code Section 27-1-2 unless the hatchery is licensed under Code Section 27-2-23 or except as follows:
    1. Fish may be sold as provided in Code Section 27-4-74 or 27-4-76; and
    2. Domestic fish as defined in paragraph (23) of Code Section 27-1-2 and that are produced by an aquaculturist registered under Code Section 27-4-255.
  2. Except as provided in Code Section 27-4-74 and except for persons licensed as wholesale or retail fish dealers as provided in Code Section 27-4-76, it shall be unlawful for anyone other than a commercial fish hatchery licensed under Code Section 27-2-23 to sell any species of game fish.It shall also be unlawful for any person to have in his or her possession any such game fish obtained from a commercial fish hatchery, wholesale fish dealer, or retail fish dealer or domestic fish from an aquaculturist registered under Code Section 27-4-255 without a bona fide bill of sale or lading which provides the date of transaction, identifies the seller, and details at least two of the following three criteria for each species of fish contained therein:number, weight, or average length.
  3. It shall also be unlawful to sell fish from a commercial fish hatchery which the department has determined to have diseases or parasites which would be harmful to native fish populations.

(Ga. L. 1973, p. 897, § 3; Code 1933, § 45-809, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1207, § 2; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1579, § 3; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 5; Ga. L. 1994, p. 600, § 5; Ga. L. 2004, p. 948, § 2-4.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 919, § 1-1, repealed the provisions of the Georgia Pacific White Shrimp Development Aquaculture Act, effective July 1, 2019. As a result, the amendment by Ga. L. 2004, p. 948, § 2-4, which was never funded and therefore remained dormant, is now moot.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Cited in Blue Ridge Mt. Fisheries, Inc. v. Department of Natural Resources, 217 Ga. App. 89, 456 S.E.2d 651 (1995).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 56 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 35.

27-4-76. Licensing of wholesale and retail fish dealers; sale, transportation into state, or possession of live fish and fish eggs.

  1. It shall be unlawful to engage in the business of a wholesale or retail fish dealer, as defined in Code Section 27-1-2, without first obtaining an annual license from the department as provided in Code Section 27-2-23. Properly licensed wholesale fish dealers or retail fish dealers may sell game fish obtained from a licensed fish hatchery or domestic fish obtained from a registered aquaculturist or as otherwise provided in Code Section 27-4-74. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, a licensed commercial fish hatchery shall not be required to obtain a license as a wholesale fish dealer or a retail fish dealer.
  2. Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this Code section, nonresident persons may sell and transport fish and fish eggs into the state without being required to procure a wholesale fish dealer license where the sale and shipment are made to a wholesale fish dealer duly licensed under Code Section 27-2-23.
  3. The board may by regulation prohibit or limit the importation, possession, or sale in this state of live fish or fish eggs where the same are found to be harmful to endemic fish populations or where the importation, possession, or sale might introduce or spread disease or parasites.
  4. The game wardens or other agents or officials of the department shall confiscate any fish imported, purchased, or acquired by any person in violation of this Code section or any regulation promulgated by the board pursuant to this Code section.

(Ga. L. 1937-38, Ex. Sess., p. 332, § 5; Ga. L. 1945, p. 315, § 1; Ga. L. 1956, p. 231, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-810, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, §§ 58, 59; Ga. L. 1979, p. 420, § 12; Ga. L. 1979, p. 893, § 4; Ga. L. 1986, p. 1460, § 2; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1207, § 3; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1579, § 4; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 6; Ga. L. 2004, p. 948, § 2-5; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game wardens" for "conservation rangers" near the beginning of subsection (d).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1992, "aquaculturist" was substituted for "acquaculturalist" in subsection (a).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 919, § 1-1, repealed the provisions of the Georgia Pacific White Shrimp Development Aquaculture Act, effective July 1, 2019. As a result, the amendment by Ga. L. 2004, p. 948, § 2-5, which was never funded and therefore remained dormant, is now moot.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 49 et seq., 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 35, 39, 46, 47.

27-4-77. Suspension of license for violation of article.

Upon a conviction of any person for the violation of any of the provisions of this article, all licenses held by any such person to fish commercially or operate or use commercial fishing gear in the public impounded waters or navigable streams of this state may, at the option of the court, be forfeited for a period of six months from the date of conviction.

(Code 1933, § 45-817, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 51.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28.

27-4-78. Governance of food fish processing plants.

Any food fish processing plant shall be governed by the provisions of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 26 as such provisions apply to meat and poultry processing plants.

(Code 1981, §27-4-78, enacted by Ga. L. 1989, p. 1207, § 4; Code 1981, §27-4-78, enacted by Ga. L. 1989, p. 1579, § 5; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 7.)

PART 2 F RESH-WATER FISHING

27-4-90. Commercial fishing license required; effective dates.

It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in commercial fresh-water fishing in this state without having a valid commercial fishing license as provided in Code Section 27-2-23. The license shall be a personal license required of each individual engaging in the activities covered by this Code section and shall be effective from April 1 to March 31 of the following year.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 91; Code 1933, § 45-802, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 420, § 10; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 7; Ga. L. 2003, p. 140, § 27.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 51, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 10.

ALR.

- Right to enjoin business competitor from unlicensed or otherwise illegal acts or practices, 90 A.L.R.2d 7.

27-4-91. Lawful devices generally.

  1. Except as otherwise provided by law or regulation, it shall be unlawful for any person engaged in commercial fresh-water fishing in this state to use any gear other than trotlines, baskets in accordance with Code Section 27-4-92, turtle traps, or shad nets in accordance with Code Section 27-4-71, to which have been attached a tag bearing the name, address, and commercial fishing license number of the person using any such gear.
  2. For purposes of subsection (a) of this Code section, "trotlines" means one line which has more than 50 hooks in any combination or a combination of lines with more than 50 hooks in use by one person. The lines must be marked with visible buoys and must be attended regularly and removed after the completed fishing trip. The lines must be submerged at least three feet below the surface of the water. It shall be unlawful to keep any game fish, except flathead catfish, channel catfish, American shad, and hickory shad, taken with such lines.
  3. For purposes of subsection (a) of this Code section, turtle traps must be constructed of netting and shaped as hoop nets. The traps must also have one open muzzle or throat at least 32 inches wide with a ring ten inches in diameter made into the rear of the trap to permit fish to escape. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, it shall be unlawful to use such traps in the Chattahoochee River and its impoundments lying between Georgia and Alabama. It shall also be unlawful to retain any game fish taken in such traps in any of the waters of this state.

(Ga. L. 1931, p. 169, § 5; Code 1933, § 45-505; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 91; Code 1933, § 45-803, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1980, p. 2004, § 5; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 7; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 12/HB 869.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 36.

27-4-92. Lawful baskets.

  1. Except as otherwise provided by law or regulation, it shall be unlawful to fish with any basket unless such basket is constructed of one-inch mesh wire and is not more than 72 inches in length and 60 inches in circumference. One throat shall be located at the extreme front of the basket, and the second throat shall be located 17 inches behind the first. The second throat shall have a trap door 7 1/2 inches square.
  2. It shall be unlawful to fish with baskets in fresh-water flowing streams. It shall also be unlawful to fish with a basket without notifying the game warden in the area of the time and place such basket is to be used.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any basket or trap made of metal, wire, wood, fabric, or other material suitable for use or capable of use in taking fish from the waters of this state unless the person has a commercial fishing license and unless an identification tag as required in Code Section 27-4-91 is attached to the basket or trap; provided, however, that the owner of a private pond may possess and use a basket or trap for taking fish therefrom without the necessity of obtaining a commercial fishing license; provided, further, that baskets meeting the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section may be possessed for the purpose of sale and may be sold at a regularly established place for sale without the owner or operator of the place obtaining a commercial fishing license.
  4. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, it shall be unlawful to take any game fish, except flathead catfish and channel catfish, with baskets.
  5. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for any person to fish with more than five baskets in the waters of Lake Sinclair and Lake Oconee. No person shall fish with the baskets of other persons unless accompanied by such other persons at the time of such fishing.

(Ga. L. 1925, p. 302, § 19; Code 1933, § 45-506; Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 85, §§ 1-5; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 87; Ga. L. 1962, p. 477, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1972, p. 925, § 4; Code 1933, § 45-804, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 253, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1552, § 8; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game warden" for "conservation ranger" in the second sentence of subsection (b).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 36.

27-4-93. Use of commercial fishing gear within one-half mile below lock or dam.

It shall be unlawful to use any commercial fishing gear, as designated in this title, within one-half mile below any lock or dam on any of the fresh waters of this state.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 91; Code 1933, § 45-806, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 53.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 36.

PART 3 S ALT-WATER FISHING

27-4-110. Commercial fishing license required.

It shall be unlawful for any person other than the crew of a trawler licensed as provided in Code Section 27-2-8 with a trawler crew license, for purposes of such license, or a person in possession of a valid commercial crabbing license as provided for in Code Section 27-4-150, for purposes of such license, or a person in possession of a commercial food shrimp cast netting license as provided in Code Section 27-4-205, for purposes of such license, to engage in commercial fishing in any of the salt waters of this state without first obtaining a commercial fishing license, which shall be carried on his or her person while engaging in such activities. Each license shall be separate and distinct from each other and separate from and in addition to the commercial fishing boat license required by Code Section 27-2-8.

(Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 37; Ga. L. 1956, p. 590, § 3; Ga. L. 1967, p. 634, § 3; Ga. L. 1975, p. 424, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-306, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 27; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 7; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1012, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 156, § 2; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 5; Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, § 4/HB 100; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 15/HB 208.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, inserted "the crew of a trawler licensed as provided in Code Section 27-2-8 with a trawler crew license, for purposes of such license, or" near the beginning of the first sentence. See Editor's notes for applicability.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 14, 51.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28. 38 C.J.S., Game; Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife, §§ 13, 14.

ALR.

- Right to enjoin business competitor from unlicensed or otherwise illegal acts or practices, 90 A.L.R.2d 7.

27-4-111. Filing of bond or affidavit as condition for validity of commercial fishing boat license.

A commercial fishing boat license issued under Code Section 27-2-8 shall not be valid unless there is in effect in the name of the owner of the boat one of the following:

  1. A cash forfeiture bond meeting the requirements of Code Section 27-4-134 sufficient to cover the forfeiture prescribed by law for the next offense; or
  2. A forfeiture bond executed by a bonding, surety, or insurance company meeting the requirements of Code Section 27-4-134 sufficient to cover the forfeiture prescribed by law for the next offense; or
  3. An affidavit meeting the requirements of Code Section 27-4-134.

(Code 1933, § 45-906, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 51, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 46, 47.

27-4-112 through 27-4-115.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, §§ 13-16/HB 869, effective January 1, 2013.

Editor's notes.

- These Code sections were based on Code 1933, §§ 45-812, 45-813, 45-814, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-818, enacted by Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 34; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, §§ 60, 61, 62; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 32; Ga. L. 1981, p. 1003, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 7; Ga. L. 1984, p. 801, § 1; Ga. L. 1985, p. 1047, § 4; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 6; Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, §§ 5, 6/HB 100.

27-4-116. Diamondback terrapins.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 2003, p. 654, § 13, effective July 1, 2003.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1967, p. 634, §§ 1-4; Code 1933, § 45-816, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 7.

27-4-117. Identification tags, numbers, and letters for boats or vessels.

It shall be unlawful for any boat or vessel licensed by the department pursuant to Code Section 27-2-8 to fail to have fixed securely on each side of the bow or pilothouse thereof, and displayed conspicuously in order that it may be read from a reasonable distance, a tag furnished by the department. It shall also be unlawful for any boat or vessel so licensed to fail to have painted upon the boat or vessel, in a size and upon such part as may be prescribed by the department, such numbers and letters to identify the boat or vessel. The paint used for such purpose shall be different from and in clear contrast in color to the boat or vessel on which applied. The numbers and letters so painted on the boat or vessel shall not be covered at any time while the boat or vessel is trawling, fishing, or taking any seafood.

(Ga. L. 1925, p. 339, § 1; Ga. L. 1931, p. 7, § 25; Code 1933, § 45-212; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 35; Ga. L. 1967, p. 634, § 5; Ga. L. 1968, p. 202, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-311, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

Cross references.

- Numbering requirements for watercraft generally, § 52-7-5 et seq.

Attachment of capacity plates to watercraft, § 52-7-40 et seq.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 51.

27-4-118. Required records.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person landing seafood in this state to fail to maintain at all times a record book showing the amount of seafood landed per trip; the name and address of the person or persons to whom sold; the date of sale and the time and place of delivery; and such other information as may be required by the department.
  2. Each person required to maintain records pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section shall report such information to the department, whose address for the purpose of reporting shall be the Coastal Resource Division headquarters, at such times and in such manner as the board provides by rule or regulation.

(Ga. L. 1925, p. 339, § 2; Ga. L. 1931, p. 7, § 25; Code 1933, § 45-215; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 36; Code 1933, § 45-910, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 7; Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, § 7/HB 100; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 17/HB 869.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 56 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 35.

27-4-119. Lawful commercial shrimping devices.

Repealed by Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, § 8, effective July 1, 2007.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 8.

ARTICLE 4 SEAFOOD

PART 1 G ENERAL PROVISIONS

27-4-130. Authority to close salt waters; notice; regulations prohibiting sale of seafood.

  1. The commissioner shall have the power to close all or any portion of the salt waters of this state to commercial and noncommercial fishing by species for a period not to exceed six months within a calendar year. Any determination to close the salt waters pursuant to this subsection or to reopen such waters shall be made in accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management.
  2. Nothing in this Code section shall prohibit a person from landing in this state any fish or seafood taken in federal waters pursuant to a valid commercial federal permit.
  3. For the purposes of enforcing this article, the department is authorized to zone the salt waters of this state.
  4. Public notice of the opening or closing of salt waters as provided in this article shall be given by posting a notice of such opening or closing at the courthouse in each coastal county and by such other means as may appear feasible to inform interested persons of the opening or closing. Such notices shall be posted at least 24 hours prior to any enforcement action taken pursuant to this Code section.
  5. In accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management, the board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to prohibit the sale of any or all seafood in this state.

(Code 1981, §27-4-130, enacted by Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 18/HB 869.)

Editor's notes.

- This Code section formerly pertained to factors governing the decision to open or close salt waters and public notice thereof. The former Code section was based on Code 1933, § 45-900, enacted by Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 35; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 27.

27-4-130.1. Open seasons, creel and possession limits, and minimum size limits for certain finfish species.

Repealed by Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 19/HB 869, effective January 1, 2013.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Code 1981, § 27-4-130.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1989, p. 1406, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 1651, § 1; Ga. L. 1994, p. 605, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 570, § 1; Ga. L. 2001, p. 4, § 27; Ga. L. 2001, p. 325, § 1; Ga. L. 2002, p. 809, § 1; Ga. L. 2002, p. 1232, § 3; Ga. L. 2006, p. 219, § 1/HB 1085; Ga. L. 2007, p. 47, § 27/SB 103; Ga. L. 2010, p. 952, § 10/SB 474.

27-4-130.2. Taking or possession of Atlantic billfish prohibited; catch and release exception.

Repealed by Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 19/HB 869, effective January 1, 2013.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Code 1981, § 27-4-130.2, enacted by Ga. L. 2001, p. 325, § 2.

27-4-131. Zoning of salt waters.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 20/HB 869, effective January 1, 2013.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1968, p. 202, § 4; Code 1933, § 45-903, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.

27-4-132. Fishing for shrimp for noncommercial purposes generally.

  1. In accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management, the board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations establishing the seasons, days, and places; methods of fishing and disposition; and size, creel, and possession limits for noncommercial fishing for shrimp. Except as otherwise provided by law, it shall be unlawful to fish for shrimp for noncommercial purposes in the salt waters of the State of Georgia except by means established by the board. The determination of whether to open or close a river or creek or a portion thereof for fishing for shrimp shall be made by the commissioner in accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management.
  2. Reserved.
  3. It shall be unlawful to fish for shrimp except at such times and places as the commissioner may establish. The commissioner is authorized to open or close any or a portion of the salt waters of this state to fishing for food shrimp at any time between May 15 and the last day of February if the commissioner has determined that such action in opening or closing such waters is in accordance with current sound principles of wildlife research and management.

(Code 1933, § 45-902.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1980, p. 2004, § 6; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 9; Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, § 9/HB 100; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 21/HB 869.)

27-4-132.1. Limit on amount of shrimp fished by cast net; penalty for violation.

    1. No person or group of persons occupying the same boat fishing for shrimp for noncommercial purposes by means of a food shrimp cast net may take more than 48 quarts of shrimp with heads or 30 quarts of shrimp tails in any day. No such person or group of persons occupying the same vessel may possess at any time more than 48 quarts of shrimp with heads or 30 quarts of shrimp tails.
    2. Reserved.
      1. No group of persons occupying the same boat, one or more of whom is in possession of a commercial food shrimp cast netting license and who are fishing for shrimp by means of a food shrimp cast net, may take more than 150 quarts of shrimp with heads or 95 quarts of shrimp tails taken by such cast net or a combination of a cast net and a seine in any day; provided, however, that beginning December 1 and until the close of each food shrimp season, possession shall be limited to 75 quarts of shrimp with heads or 48 quarts of shrimp tails in any day.
      2. No such group of persons occupying the same vessel may possess at any time more than 150 quarts of shrimp with heads or 95 quarts of shrimp tails; provided, however, that beginning December 1 and until the close of each food shrimp season, no such group of persons occupying the same vessel may possess at any time more than 75 quarts of shrimp with heads or 48 quarts of shrimp tails.
    3. No one person fishing for shrimp solely by means of a seine, whether such person is acting alone or in a group of persons, may take more than 24 quarts of shrimp with heads or 15 quarts of shrimp tails in any day. No such person may possess at any time more than 24 quarts of shrimp with heads or 15 quarts of shrimp tails. If any person or group of persons are in possession of a food shrimp cast net and a seine, such person or group of persons shall be subject to the limits imposed upon taking shrimp by food shrimp cast net.
    4. No person or group of persons fishing for food shrimp for commercial purposes shall have on board a vessel any cast net other than a food shrimp cast net.
    5. Reserved.
    6. No vessel owner shall allow the vessel to be used by any person or persons to take more than the legal quantity allowable in any day regardless of the number of trips made or the duration of any trip by such vessel. It shall be unlawful for any vessel owner or operator to allow a vessel to be left anchored and unoccupied for the purpose of receiving shrimp taken by the occupant of any other vessel.
    1. Violation of subsection (a) of this Code section shall constitute a misdemeanor.
    2. In addition to any criminal penalties assessed, any person violating the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section shall pay a civil penalty in the amount of $50.00 for each quart of shrimp taken or possessed in excess of the allowable limit.
  1. Whenever the commissioner or his or her designee has reason to believe that any person has violated subsection (a) of this Code section or any rule or regulation promulgated to implement such subsection, he or she may request and shall receive a hearing before an administrative law judge of the Office of State Administrative Hearings acting in place of the Board of Natural Resources, as provided by Code Section 50-13-41. Upon finding that such person has violated subsection (a) of this Code section, the administrative law judge shall impose a civil penalty in the amount of $50.00 for each quart of shrimp taken or possessed in excess of the allowable limit. The decision of the administrative law judge shall constitute a final decision in the matter, and any party to the hearing, including the commissioner, shall have the right of judicial review thereof in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."

(Code 1981, §27-4-132.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1996, p. 4, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 10; Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, § 10/HB 100.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting of offenders not required.

- Offenses under O.C.G.A. § 27-4-132.1 are not ones for which those charged with a violation are to be fingerprinted. 1996 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 96-17.

27-4-133. Lawful nets; opening and closing waters; identification on boats fishing for shrimp.

  1. Except as otherwise specifically provided, it shall be unlawful for any person to use a power-drawn net in any of the salt waters of this state for commercial shrimping for human consumption. All sounds shall be closed to such fishing, except that the commissioner may open Cumberland, St. Simons, Sapelo, St. Andrew, Wassaw, or Ossabaw sounds or any combination of such sounds at any time between September 1 and December 31, provided that he or she has determined that the shrimp in the waters of each sound to be opened are 45 or fewer shrimp with heads on to the pound; and the commissioner shall close each sound so opened when he or she has determined that the shrimp in the waters of the sound exceed 45 shrimp with heads on to the pound. The commissioner may open any waters outside, on the seaward side, of the sounds between May 15 and December 31, provided that he or she has determined that the shrimp in such outside waters are 45 or fewer shrimp with heads on to the pound; and the commissioner shall close the waters so opened when he or she has determined that the shrimp in such outside waters exceed 45 shrimp with heads on to the pound. The commissioner may open any waters outside the sounds during the months of January and February, provided that he or she has determined that the shrimp in such outside waters are 50 or fewer shrimp with heads on to the pound; and the commissioner shall close such outside waters so opened when he or she has determined that the shrimp in such outside waters exceed 50 shrimp with heads on to the pound. The department shall conduct inspections for such shrimp count, and a determination by the commissioner shall be conclusive as to the count. The commissioner shall provide public notice of the opening and closing of such waters, as provided in this Code section, by posting a notice of all openings and closings at the courthouse and on all shrimp docks and by such other means as may appear feasible. The notices shall be posted at least 24 hours prior to any change in the opening and closing of any such waters, provided that such notice is required only when waters are opened or closed by action of the commissioner.
  2. Reserved.
  3. Except as otherwise specifically provided, it shall be unlawful to fish with nets other than cast nets in any of the tidal rivers or creeks, except to fish for shad, provided that nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed so as to prohibit any person from using a beach seine along any public beach.
  4. The department shall have the power to close all or any portion of the salt waters of this state to commercial and recreational fishing in the event of a disaster likely to cause seafood to be unfit for human consumption or in the event of any other emergency situation.
  5. Nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed to prohibit any person from fishing in the salt waters of this state for shrimp to be used or sold for live bait pursuant to Code Section 27-4-171, provided that it shall be unlawful to fish for shrimp for bait with any trawl equipment which has been used to fish for shrimp pursuant to this Code section.
  6. In accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management, the commissioner may authorize any person to fish for crabs, jellyfish, or whelks with power-drawn nets of four-inch stretched mesh from any waters outside, on the seaward side, of the sounds at any time during the year, or from the waters of Cumberland, St. Simons, Sapelo, St. Andrew, Wassaw, and Ossabaw sounds during the months of January, February, and March, when the commissioner has determined that fishing for crabs, jellyfish, or whelks within such waters will not be detrimental to the conservation of crabs, jellyfish, whelks, or shrimp. Possession of any net with mesh smaller than that provided in this subsection while taking crabs, jellyfish, or whelks shall be prima-facie evidence of the violation of this Code section.
  7. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing for shrimp for commercial purposes pursuant to this Code section to fail to have positioned on the bow or cabin of the boat taking such shrimp a board with a background color of daylight fluorescent orange and with such numerals and letters painted or affixed thereon as are specified by the department for the boat. The numerals and letters shall be at least 16 inches in height, black in color, of block character, and spaced so as to be readable from the air from left to right.
  8. Any determination to open or close the salt waters pursuant to this Code section shall be made in accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management.

(a.1) (1)It shall be unlawful to fish for shrimp for human consumption with any trawl or trawls having a total foot-rope length greater than 220 feet, not including the foot-rope length of a single trawl not greater than 16 feet when used as a try net. Foot-rope shall be measured from brail line to brail line, first tie to last tie on the bottom line. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to vessels having a maximum draft of seven feet or less when fully loaded. The department is authorized to exempt trawls used by persons holding a valid scientific collection permit granted by the department.

A vessel operator who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $500.00 nor more than $2,500.00, imprisoned for not longer than 30 days, or both, and any trawl on board the vessel shall be contraband and forfeited in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 16 of Title 9.

(Ga. L. 1924, p. 101, § 34; Code 1933, § 45-512; Ga. L. 1952, p. 77, §§ 1-4; Ga. L. 1953, Jan.-Feb. Sess., p. 491, §§ 1-7; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 94; Ga. L. 1956, p. 590, §§ 12, 13, 20; Ga. L. 1964, p. 174, § 1; Ga. L. 1966, p. 270, § 1; Ga. L. 1968, p. 202, § 3; Ga. L. 1970, p. 961, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1971, p. 221, § 1; Ga. L. 1974, p. 1170, § 1; Ga. L. 1974, p. 1175, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-902, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1552, § 3; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 36; Ga. L. 1981, p. 688, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 27; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 11; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1069, § 1; Ga. L. 2002, p. 797, § 1; Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, § 11/HB 100; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 22/HB 869; Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 3-20/HB 233.)

Cross references.

- Factors to be considered in opening and closing salt waters in accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife management and research, § 27-4-130.

Opening and closing of salt waters for sport bait shrimping, § 27-4-170.

Access of salt waters for shrimping by bait dealers, § 27-4-171.

Numbering requirements for watercraft generally, § 52-7-5 et seq.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2001, "30" was substituted for "thirty" in paragraph (a.1)(2).

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2012, an extra comma was deleted following "management," in the first sentence of subsection (f).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2002, p. 797, § 1, which amended this Code section, purported to amend paragraph (a)(1) but actually amended paragraph (a.1)(1).

Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 4-1/HB 233, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015, and shall apply to seizures of property for forfeiture that occur on or after that date. Any such seizure that occurs before July 1, 2015, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such seizure."

Law reviews.

- For article surveying Georgia cases dealing with environment, natural resources, and land use from June 1977 through May 1978, see 30 Mercer L. Rev. 75 (1978). For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 1 (2015).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Measurement of salt water boundary.

- The salt waters of this state extend from the mean low watermark of the foreshore to three geographical miles offshore; except where a low tide elevation is situated within three nautical miles seaward of the low water line along the coast, the state's three mile boundary is measured from such low tide elevation. Department of Natural Resources v. Joyner, 241 Ga. 390, 245 S.E.2d 644 (1978).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting.

- The Georgia Crime Information Center is not authorized to collect and file fingerprints of persons charged with a violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-4-133(a.1). 2001 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2001-11.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 50, 52, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 31 et seq.

ALR.

- Liability for damage by vessel to nets or other articles used in fishing, 7 A.L.R. 52.

27-4-134. Requirements for commercial fishing boat license; penalty for violation.

  1. Upon application for a commercial fishing boat license under Code Section 27-2-8, the owner of such boat, if said boat is to be used for fishing with power-drawn nets in accordance with the provisions of Code Section 27-4-133, must do one of the following:
    1. Post a cash forfeiture bond in the form prescribed by the board in favor of the State of Georgia in the amount of $5,000.00, conditioned upon faithful compliance with Code Section 27-4-133;
    2. File with the commissioner a forfeiture bond in the form prescribed by the board executed by a bonding, surety, or insurance company licensed to do business in this state in favor of the state in the amount of $5,000.00, conditioned upon faithful compliance with Code Section 27-4-133; or
    3. File with the commissioner an affidavit in the form prescribed by the board stating that the affiant is a resident of the State of Georgia, that he is the sole owner of the boat to be licensed, and that the boat is free from all encumbrances, including but not limited to liens, mortgages, and other evidences of security interests. The department may require proof of residence or ownership or proof of residence and ownership. The affidavit shall acknowledge that the boat sought to be licensed will be subject to Code Section 27-4-137. The affidavit shall be filed by the department in the office of the clerk of the superior court as follows: when the owner is an individual, then in the county where he resides; when the owner is a partnership, corporation, or business entity other than an individual, then in the county of the owner's principal place of business. The affidavit shall be filed by the clerk like other security interests on boats; provided, however, that the filing of such affidavit shall not be permissible where the boat is documented under the laws of the United States.
  2. The term of the bond provided for in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be for one year and shall correspond to the period of the license. When such a bond has been filed, Code Section 27-4-137 shall not apply to the boat covered by the bond. The commissioner shall have the right to recover on the bond for the breach of its conditions whenever said boat is used in violation of Code Section 27-4-133 or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto, either with or without the knowledge, consent, or acquiescence of the owner of the boat. The recovery shall be:
    1. For the first violation, $1,000.00; and
    2. For each subsequent violation within the period of any license, $4,000.00.
  3. Every breach or violation shall carry over to all succeeding bonds filed under this Code section. The aggregate liability shall not exceed the amount of the bond. However, in the event that the total amount of any bond is forfeited, the commercial fishing boat license shall be suspended until a new bond in the amount of $10,000.00 is filed covering the remainder of the period of the license. Until the new bond is filed, any commercial use of the boat shall be unlawful; and the owner shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed so as to alter or affect the seizure and civil forfeiture, under Code Section 27-4-137, of any boat not covered by the bonds provided for in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section.

(Ga. L. 1974, p. 1173, § 1; Ga. L. 1975, p. 428, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-905, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1552, §§ 4, 5; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1012, § 2; Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 3-21/HB 233.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 4-1/HB 233, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015, and shall apply to seizures of property for forfeiture that occur on or after that date. Any such seizure that occurs before July 1, 2015, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such seizure."

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 1 (2015).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 51, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 28, 46, 47.

ALR.

- Validity of statute or ordinance which requires liability or indemnity insurance or bond as condition of license for conducting business or profession, 120 A.L.R. 950.

27-4-135. Maintenance of records by sellers; reports of oysters and clams harvested.

Reserved.Repealed by Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 4, effective July 1, 1991.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1968, p. 497, § 15; Code 1933, § 45-911, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 41.

27-4-136. Seafood dealer license; maintenance of records; purchase of seafood.

    1. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate as a seafood dealer or to own or operate shellfish canning or shucking facilities or otherwise deal in purchasing, landing, packing, or supplying raw shrimp, shellfish, crabs, fish, or other seafood for commercial purposes without having a valid seafood dealer license as provided for in Code Section 27-2-23.
    2. It shall be unlawful for any person required to have a seafood dealer license to fail to keep a record in which is entered the amount of shrimp, shellfish, crabs, fish, or other seafood taken from Georgia waters for commercial purposes; the name of each person from whom purchased; the date and price of purchase; the grade and quantity purchased; the name, number, and approximate tonnage of the boat in which they were brought to the facility; the number of calendar days expended in harvesting the product; the approximate location or locations of harvest; the quantity canned and packed for shipment; the date and amount of each shipment; and such other information as the department requires.
    3. Each person required to maintain records pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection shall report such information to the department, whose address for the purpose of reporting shall be the Coastal Resource Division headquarters, at such times and in such manner as the board provides by rule or regulation.
  1. It shall be unlawful for any master collecting permittee to fail to maintain records in a form as prescribed by the Department of Agriculture.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person required to have a seafood dealer license to purchase seafood from any person other than a properly licensed seafood harvester or another seafood dealer.

(Ga. L. 1924, p. 101, § 23; Ga. L. 1931, p. 7, § 25; Code 1933, § 45-818; Ga. L. 1943, p. 543, § 1; Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 374, § 4; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 112; Code 1933, § 45-919, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-917, as redesignated by Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 46; Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 5; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 12; Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, § 12/HB 100; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 16/HB 208.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, added paragraph (a)(1); redesignated former paragraph (a)(1) as present paragraph (a)(2); substituted "required to have a seafood dealer license" for "owning or operating shellfish canning or shucking facilities or otherwise dealing in purchasing, landing, packing, or supplying raw shrimp, shellfish, crabs, fish, or other seafood for commercial purposes" near the beginning of paragraph (a)(2); redesignated former paragraph (a)(2) as present paragraph (a)(3); substituted "paragraph (2)" for "paragraph (1)" in paragraph (a)(3); and added subsection (c). See Editor's note for applicability.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 36.

27-4-137. Civil forfeiture proceedings.

  1. Each boat, propulsion unit, net, door, boom, winch, cable, electronic device, or accessory equipment used in violation of Code Section 27-4-133 or 27-4-171 is declared to be contraband and forfeited to the state in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 16 of Title 9; provided, however, that:
    1. Forfeiture shall only be done in accordance with Code Section 9-16-12 and the property shall be described only in general terms; and
    2. The holder of any bona fide lien on the property shall be protected to the full extent of the lien, but only if the lien was perfected prior to the filing by the department of the affidavit provided for in paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 27-4-134, provided that the state shall not be obligated beyond the proceeds of any such sale less the actual costs incurred.
  2. The Attorney General may, upon the request of the commissioner, aid the district attorney in the in rem proceeding arising from any seizure or confiscation of property.

(Ga. L. 1953, Jan.-Feb. Sess., p. 491, § 6; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 94; Ga. L. 1970, p. 961, § 1; Ga. L. 1973, p. 795, § 2; Ga. L. 1975, p. 428, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-902, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 11; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 23/HB 869; Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 3-22/HB 233.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 4-1/HB 233, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015, and shall apply to seizures of property for forfeiture that occur on or after that date. Any such seizure that occurs before July 1, 2015, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such seizure."

Law reviews.

- For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 1 (2015).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 63.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 46, 47.

27-4-138. Penalties for offenses pertaining to operation of commercial fishing boats engaged in illegal fishing with power-drawn nets.

    1. As used in this Code section, the term "fishing day" means any day in any period during which the waters of this state are open to commercial shrimping pursuant to Code Section 27-4-133 and any administrative order of the commissioner.
    2. Any person on board any commercial fishing boat who violates or causes to be violated the provisions of Code Section 27-4-133 or of Code Section 52-7-13 with regard to waters identified in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of such Code section, which violation occurs not more than one-fourth mile within any waters which are closed or declared a boating safety zone at the time of the violation, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and shall be punished as such, subject to minimum punishment as follows:
      1. For the first offense, the person shall be fined not less than $500.00;
      2. For the second offense, the person shall be fined not less than $1,500.00 and given a mandatory suspension from any commercial fishing for ten fishing days; and
      3. For the third or any subsequent offense, the person shall be fined not less than $5,000.00 and given a mandatory suspension from any commercial fishing for 60 fishing days.
    3. Any person in command of any commercial fishing boat who violates or causes to be violated the provisions of Code Section 27-4-133, which violation occurs one-fourth mile or more within any waters which are closed at the time of the violation, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and shall be punished as such, subject to minimum punishment as follows:
      1. For the first offense, the person shall be fined not less than $5,000.00 and given a mandatory suspension from any commercial fishing for 60 fishing days;
      2. For the second offense, the person shall be fined not less than $10,000.00 and given a mandatory suspension from any commercial fishing for 120 fishing days; and
      3. For the third or any subsequent offense, the person shall be fined not less than $10,000.00 and given a mandatory suspension from any commercial fishing for one year.
    4. Any person who violates a mandatory suspension provided for in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection shall, upon a proper showing, be subject to imprisonment for a period not to exceed 12 months.
  1. It is the responsibility of every person operating a commercial fishing boat to determine whether or not the boat has a license which is valid and in effect. Any person who is engaged in illegal fishing with power-drawn nets while operating a boat which has not been licensed or which has had its license suspended and not reinstated shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a mandatory minimum sentence as follows:
    1. For the first offense, the person shall be fined not less than $2,500.00 or sentenced to not less than 30 days' nor more than 12 months' imprisonment, or both; and
    2. For the second offense, the person shall be fined not less than $5,000.00 and given a mandatory suspension from any fishing for not less than five years. Any person who violates such mandatory suspension shall, upon a proper showing, be subject to imprisonment not to exceed 12 months.
  2. For purposes of this Code section, "illegal fishing with power-drawn nets" means any violation of Code Section 27-4-133 or 27-4-171.
  3. Adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence shall not be suspended, probated, deferred, or withheld for any offense punishable under this Code section.

(Ga. L. 1968, p. 202, § 5; Ga. L. 1974, p. 1173, § 2; Ga. L. 1975, p. 428, § 4; Code 1933, § 45-904, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 490, § 1; Ga. L. 1988, p. 364, § 1; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1012, § 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 13.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1988, p. 364, § 2, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall be effective on April 1, 1988, and shall apply to all violations of Code Section 27-4-133 which occur on or after that date."

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 51, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 28.

27-4-139. Taking of shrimp for recreational purposes; lawful nets and use of shrimp; penalty for violation.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, § 13, effective July 1, 2007.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 14.

27-4-140. Penalties for using recreational food shrimp cast netting.

  1. Any enforcement officer or other law enforcement officer who discovers an illegal cast net being used on the waters of this state shall confiscate the net, which shall be forfeited.
  2. Any person convicted of using an illegal cast net to fish for shrimp from the waters of this state for commercial sale for food purposes shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
  3. Any person convicted for the second or any subsequent time of using an illegal cast net shall, in addition to any other penalty imposed by law, forfeit the vessel on which the violation occurred and in addition all commercial fishing and boat licenses issued to such person shall be revoked in accordance with the provisions of Code Section 27-2-25.
  4. Any person convicted of illegally fishing for shrimp from the waters of this state for commercial sale for food purposes shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Possession of a quantity of shrimp in excess of the noncommercial food shrimp possession limit allowed pursuant to Code Section 27-4-132.1 shall be prima-facie evidence of the intent of the person or persons so in possession to take shrimp for commercial purposes.

(Code 1981, §27-4-140, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 14; Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, § 14/HB 100.)

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Commercial crabbing, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Department of Natural Resources, Saltwater Fishing Regulations, § 391-2-4.07.

PART 2 C RABS

27-4-150. Taking, possessing, and dealing in crabs and peelers; required records.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to take or possess in this state any crab, other than a mature adult female crab, measuring less than five inches from spike to spike across the back; provided, however, that any person may take or possess peelers measuring at least three inches from spike to spike across the back. Any crabs taken or possessed in violation of this paragraph may not be intentionally killed and must be returned to the salt waters of this state as soon as possible; provided, however, nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit any person from importing, transporting, or possessing crabs when such person can provide documentary evidence showing that the crabs were taken outside this state in full compliance with the laws of the state of origin. He or she must have an executed invoice showing the point of origin of such crabs and exhibit such an invoice upon demand to any game warden.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person other than a licensed commercial fisherman or licensed commercial crab fisherman to take or possess commercial quantities of crabs, other than soft-shelled crabs, during any 24 hour period; provided, however, nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a person from possessing commercial quantities of such crabs when the person can provide documentary evidence showing that the crabs were purchased from a licensed commercial fisherman, a licensed commercial crab fisherman, or any person licensed to engage in the business of selling seafood or were purchased outside this state.
    1. It shall be unlawful for any person other than a licensed commercial crab fisherman or a licensed soft-shell crab dealer to take or possess peelers in commercial quantities; provided, however, it shall be lawful for any person to possess such amount of peelers when the person can provide documentary evidence showing that the peelers were purchased from a licensed soft-shell crab dealer or any person licensed to engage in the business of selling seafood or were purchased outside the state.
    2. It shall be unlawful for any person taking peelers to sell the peelers to any person other than a licensed soft-shell crab dealer.
    3. It shall be unlawful for a soft-shell crab dealer to purchase peelers from any person other than a licensed commercial crab fisherman or another soft-shell crab dealer, provided that it shall be lawful for a soft-shell crab dealer to purchase peelers from any person outside this state, or from outside this state.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person other than a licensed soft-shell crab dealer to operate a shedding facility for commercial purposes.
    1. Except as provided in Code Section 27-4-133, only a person in possession of a valid commercial crabbing license may operate a commercial fishing boat for the purpose of commercial crabbing activities as provided for in subsections (b) and (c) of this Code section. Such license shall be distinct from and in addition to the commercial fishing boat license required by Code Section 27-2-8.
    2. On and after May 1, 2013, the total number of new commercial crabbing licenses issued shall not exceed 100. Those commercial crabbing licenses issued prior to May 1, 2013, shall remain active until such time the license is not renewed. Any license which is not renewed by May 1 of any license year shall revert to the department for reissue by lottery devised and operated by the department. No person may hold more than one license at any time.
    3. Commercial crabbing licenses may be sold for consideration to any person not holding a current commercial crabbing license unless otherwise prohibited by law or regulation.
    4. Commercial crabbing licenses may be transferred to the licensee's spouse, lineal descendants, siblings, or lineal ancestors if the licensee dies or is permanently and totally disabled. An instrument of the court declaring the rightful heir or recipient may be required for transfers upon a death. For purposes of this Code section, a permanent, total disability shall be a physical or mental impairment of a total and permanent nature which prevents gainful employment and which is certified as such by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, Medicaid, medicare, the Railroad Retirement System, or a unit of federal, state, or local government recognized by the board by rule or regulation. The transferee of a license so transferred shall engage in commercial crabbing as evidenced by his or her commercial crab harvest records within two years after such transfer or the license shall revert to the department for reissue as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection. Any person receiving a commercial crabbing license by transfer shall register such transfer with the department and pay to the department the license fee, if so required, within 30 days following the date of the transfer.
    1. It shall be unlawful for anyone engaged in commercial fishing for crabs in the salt waters of this state to fail to maintain at all times a record book showing the amount of crabs caught daily; the name and address of the person or persons to whom sold; the date of sale and the time and place of delivery; and such other information as may be required by the department. If no fishing occurred during any calendar month, a report stating such must be filed.
    2. Each person required to maintain records pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall report such information to the department at such time and in such manner as the board provides by rule or regulation. Such records shall be deemed provided in accordance with the provisions of this subsection on the date they were postmarked with the correct address and postage.
    3. Any person who fails to report records as required by the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection within 60 days of the date such report is due shall be penalized as follows:
      1. On a first offense, the person shall pay a fine of $250.00;
      2. On a second offense, the person shall pay a fine of $500.00; and
      3. On a third or any subsequent offense, the person shall pay a fine of $500.00, and his or her commercial crabbing license shall be suspended for a period of ten days.
    4. Any licensed crabber who has not submitted all harvest records for the previous year, as required by paragraph (2) of this subsection and all pertinent rules and regulations, shall be ineligible for license renewal until such time as the required records have been submitted and all penalties paid.
  4. Any person violating the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall pay a fine as follows:
    1. For a first offense, the person shall pay a fine of $250.00;
    2. For a second offense, the person shall pay a fine of $500.00, and his or her commercial crabbing and commercial fishing boat licenses shall be suspended for ten days and may not be used by any person; and
    3. For a third and each subsequent offense, the person shall pay a fine of $1,000.00, and his or her commercial crabbing and commercial fishing boat licenses shall be suspended for 60 days and may not be used by any person. Any person whose license is so suspended shall remove all of his or her traps from the water not later than ten days after the first day of the suspension.

(Ga. L. 1939, p. 367, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 92; Ga. L. 1957, p. 96, § 1; Ga. L. 1976, p. 771, § 1; Code 1933, § 45-901, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 893, § 6; Ga. L. 1995, p. 156, § 3; Ga. L. 1997, p. 444, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1647, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1999, p. 81, § 27; Ga. L. 2002, p. 805, § 1; Ga. L. 2005, p. 594, § 1/SB 119; Ga. L. 2009, p. 8, § 27/SB 46; Ga. L. 2012, p. 775, § 27/HB 942; Ga. L. 2012, p. 958, § 1B/SB 464; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game warden" for "conservation ranger" at the end of subsection (a).

Editor's notes.

- Former paragraph (a)(2) was repealed on its own terms effective July 1, 2008.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 54 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 35, 36.

27-4-151. Use of crab traps; identification of boats or vessels; closure of salt waters authorized.

  1. For purposes of crabbing, that portion of the St. Marys River and the Satilla River System (including the Satilla River and White Oak Creek) which is seaward of the points at which the Seaboard Coastline Railroad crosses such streams and that portion of the Altamaha River System which is seaward of the points at which U.S. Highway I-95 crosses the streams of that system shall be considered salt water. It shall be unlawful to place any crab trap in the waters of this state other than that described as salt water in Code Section 27-4-1 or by this subsection.
  2. It shall be unlawful to set or place any commercial crab trap in the salt waters of this state which does not have attached a float which is made of a substance visible from a distance of 100 feet in clear weather at slack tide. For the purposes of this Code section, "slack tide" means that portion of the tidal current characterized by slowness, sluggishness, and lack of energy and which occurs approximately midway between maximum flood-tide and maximum ebb-tide currents and between maximum ebb-tide and maximum flood-tide currents.
  3. It shall also be unlawful to set or place in the salt waters of this state any commercial crab trap which does not have attached a float with such identification as is assigned by the department to the owner of the trap. Such identification shall be at least one inch in height, of a color which contrasts with the color of the float, of block character, and spaced so as to be readable from left to right. The identification shall be assigned by the department to the owner of the trap when the owner is issued his or her commercial crabbing license. For subsequent years, the same identification shall be assigned to such commercial crab fisherman.
    1. When the float of a commercial crab trap has been identified as provided in this Code section, it shall be unlawful for any person, other than the licensed commercial crab fisherman or a sole individual licensed as required in subsection (b) of Code Section 27-4-150 and carrying on his or her person written permission from the licensed commercial crab fisherman if the department has been previously notified in writing of such permission, to pull such trap or to take crabs from such trap or intentionally to damage, destroy, remove from the water any crab trap or float thereof, or to use such a float for any purpose. It shall also be unlawful for any person to use such a float for any purpose other than to mark a submerged crab trap. For purposes of determining the number of crab traps a person is employing, it shall be conclusively presumed that a crab trap is tethered to each such float.
    2. In addition to the penalty provided by Code Section 27-1-38, any person convicted of violating the provisions of this subsection shall be penalized as follows:
      1. On a first offense, his or her crabbing license shall be suspended for a period of three months, during which time the person shall be ineligible to apply for a new license and upon the completion of which he or she may renew the license;
      2. On a second offense, his or her crabbing license shall be suspended for a period of six months, during which time the person shall be ineligible to apply for a new license and upon the completion of which he or she may renew the license; and
      3. On a third or any subsequent offense, his or her crabbing license shall be permanently revoked and the person shall be prohibited from purchasing a license in the future.
  4. It shall also be unlawful for any person to engage in commercial crabbing with a boat or vessel unless there is displayed on each side of the forward third of the boat or vessel so as to be readable from the water such identification as is assigned by the department to such person. The identification shall be at least eight inches in height, of a color which contrasts with the color of the background, of block character, and spaced so as to be readable from left to right. The assigned identification of the boat or vessel being utilized shall correspond to the identification of the float of the trap from which crabs are being taken. No boat or vessel shall be assigned more than one identification in any license year unless such boat or vessel is transferred to another licensed commercial fisherman and such transfer is registered with the department. A crabbing boat or vessel may only employ traps marked with floats with identification issued by the department corresponding to the identification of the boat or vessel being utilized. No identification may be assigned to more than one boat or vessel in any license year, except for replacement vessels as provided in subparagraph (g)(1)(B) of this Code section; provided, however, that one identification number may be assigned to a licensed crabber's primary and alternate vessels, only one of which may be operated for crabbing at any time.
  5. It shall be unlawful for any person to catch crabs for commercial purposes within 100 feet of the dock of any other person. It shall also be unlawful to place or set commercial crab traps in the channel of any stream when such channel has been marked by a lawfully established system of waterway markers.
      1. The first time after July 1, 1998, that a person obtains or renews a commercial crabbing license, he or she shall obtain a permit from the department establishing the maximum number of traps he or she may deploy at any given time during that license year. Such permits shall be issued in 50 trap increments up to a maximum of 200 traps. The licensee shall pay a fee of $2.50 per trap for the permit, and the permit shall be for the same duration and shall be renewed at the same time as the commercial crabbing license.
      2. No crab trap permit may be amended to permit the use of more traps except at the time of license renewal. The licensee shall have the trap permit in his or her possession at all times while crabbing.
    1. It shall be unlawful for any licensed commercial crab fisherman or a person designated by such licensee as provided in subsection (d) of this Code section to employ more crab traps than the number allowed by his or her crab trap permit at any time. It shall be unlawful for any person to exercise harvest permission as provided in subsection (d) of this Code section from more than one licensed commercial crab fisherman at any time.
    2. Any person violating the provisions of paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $2,000.00 or incarceration for not longer than one year or both. In addition to such criminal penalty, any person found guilty of employing more than the permitted number of crab traps shall pay a civil fine of $100.00 for each excess trap. In addition to such criminal and civil penalties, the license of any person found guilty of employing more than 50 excess crab traps shall be suspended for one year, during which time the person shall be ineligible to apply for a new license and upon the completion of which he or she may renew the license. Upon a second or subsequent such offense, the person's license shall be revoked for one year, and at the end of that time such person must apply for a new license as if he or she had never before been in possession of a license; provided, however, that such individual shall not be eligible to receive a license through transfer pursuant to paragraph (3) or (4) of subsection (e) of Code Section 27-4-150.
    3. Whenever the commissioner or his or her designee has reason to believe that any person has violated the provisions of paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection or any rule or regulation promulgated to implement such subsection, he or she may request and shall receive a hearing before an administrative law judge of the Office of State Administrative Hearings acting in place of the Board of Natural Resources, as provided by Code Section 50-13-41. Upon finding that such person has violated this Code section, the administrative law judge shall impose a civil penalty in the amount of $100.00 for each trap in excess of the permitted number. The decision of the administrative law judge shall constitute a final decision in the matter, and any party to the hearing, including the commissioner, shall have the right of judicial review thereof in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."
  6. Any commercial crab trap in violation of this Code section is declared to be contraband and subject to seizure by game wardens, sheriffs, and other peace officers authorized to enforce this title.
  7. Nothing in this title shall be construed to require any individual to obtain a commercial fishing license or a commercial crabbing license when such person is deploying six or fewer crab traps in the salt waters of this state to take crabs for personal consumption; provided, however, that each crab trap measures 2 feet by 2 feet or smaller; a float clearly marked with the owner's name and address is attached to each crab trap; the quantity of crabs taken or possessed by such person does not exceed one bushel per person or two bushels per boat when the boat is occupied by more than one person; and the crabs are not sold.
  8. The commissioner shall have the power to close all or any portion of the salt waters of this state to commercial and recreational fishing for blue crabs or any component of the blue crab fishery, including peeler, soft, or sponge crabs. Any determination to close the salt waters pursuant to this subsection or to reopen such waters shall be made in accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management as provided by Code Section 27-4-130.

(Ga. L. 1956, p. 590, § 10; Code 1933, § 45-909, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 893, § 7; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1629, § 5; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 7; Ga. L. 1995, p. 156, §§ 4, 5; Ga. L. 1997, p. 444, §§ 2, 3; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1647, § 3; Ga. L. 1999, p. 785, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 136, § 27; Ga. L. 2002, p. 805, § 2; Ga. L. 2008, p. 163, § 2/HB 1016; Ga. L. 2012, p. 958, § 2/SB 464; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 17/HB 208; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, substituted "$2.50" for "$2.00" in the last sentence of subparagraph (g)(1)(A); deleted former subparagraph (g)(1)(B), which read: "No crab trap permit may be sold or transferred to another person except as provided in this subparagraph. Such a permit may be transferred along with the transfer of the licensed commercial crabber's nontrawler license to a replacement vessel if the transfer of the permit and the license is registered with the department. Such a permit may be transferred to the purchaser of a commercial crab boat along with the commercial crabber's license and the commercial crabber's nontrawler license if the transfer of the permit, the commercial crabber's license, and the commercial crabber's nontrawler license are recorded with the department and a new permit fee is paid to the department."; and redesignated former subparagraph (g)(1)(C) as present subparagraph (g)(1)(B). See Editor's note for applicability.

The 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "game wardens" for "conservation rangers" in subsection (h).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1995, "two" was substituted for "2" preceding "bushels per boat" near the end of subsection (i).

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1997, "St. Marys River" was substituted for "St. Mary's River" in the first sentence of subsection (a).

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1998, in the first sentence of paragraph (g)(3), "than" was deleted following "more than" and "a" was deleted preceding "one year".

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1999, "licensed" was substituted for "licenced" in the fourth sentence in subsection (e).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprintable offenses.

- Violation of O.C.G.A. § 27-4-151 is not designated as an offense for which fingerprinting is required. 1999 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 99-17.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 31 et seq.

PART 3 T AKING SHRIMP FOR BAIT

27-4-170. Sport bait shrimping.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 24/HB 869, effective January 1, 2013.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1956, p. 590, § 19; Ga. L. 1957, p. 122, § 1; Ga. L. 1958, p. 408, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1975, p. 425, §§ 1, 3; Code 1933, § 45-907, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1552, §§ 6, 7, 12; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 37; Ga. L. 1985, p. 1047, § 5; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1834, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 783, § 15; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 15; Ga. L. 1999, p. 81, § 27; Ga. L. 2002, p. 415, § 27; Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, § 15/HB 100.

27-4-171. Bait shrimping.

    1. It shall be unlawful for any person to fish for shrimp for live bait to be sold, to engage in the sale of shrimp for live bait, or to engage in the sale of shrimp for dead bait unless the person has a bait dealer license and possesses a valid personal commercial fishing license as provided in Code Section 27-2-23 or is an employee of a licensed bait dealer and possesses a valid personal commercial fishing license as provided in Code Section 27-2-23; provided, however, that no cashier employed by a licensed bait dealer and not actively involved in the harvest of bait shrimp shall be required to obtain a commercial fishing license under this Code section. No bait dealer license shall be issued to a person holding a commercial food shrimp cast netting license issued pursuant to Part 5 of this article. Any license issued pursuant to this Code section shall be invalid immediately upon the holder's obtaining such a commercial food shrimp cast netting license. No bait dealer license shall be issued for an individual whose establishment is located on any dock or other facility, including platforms, walkways, and buildings, which is one contiguous unit and where shrimp taken pursuant to Code Section 27-4-133 are processed, stored, or sold for retail purposes.
    2. In addition to complying with subsection (b) of this Code section, any applicant for a bait dealer license must first file with the commissioner a forfeiture bond in the form prescribed by the department, executed by a bonding, surety, or insurance company licensed to do business in this state, in favor of the state in the amount of $2,000.00, conditioned upon the faithful compliance by the person and all his or her employees with all the laws and regulations relating to the taking, possession, and sale of bait shrimp, provided that a cash forfeiture bond in like amount may be substituted in lieu of the commercial bond provided for in this Code section. The term of the bond shall be one year and shall correspond to the period of the bait dealer license, which shall be from April 1 to March 31. The bond shall be in addition to the commercial fishing boat license, where applicable, required by Code Section 27-2-8 and in addition to the personal commercial fishing license required by this Code section. Notation of execution of the bond shall be stamped or endorsed on the applicant's bait dealer license.
    3. Trawler licenses for bait shrimp trawling shall not be issued to any person who does not possess a valid bait dealer license unless such person is an employee of a licensed bait dealer.
    4. In addition to the general provisions of this Code section and in accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management, the board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations establishing the seasons, days, and places; methods of fishing and disposition; and size, creel, and possession limits for commercial bait shrimping.
    5. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing for shrimp for live bait pursuant to this Code section to:
      1. Hold a valid commercial food shrimp cast netting license issued pursuant to Part 5 of this article or to employ any person holding such a commercial food shrimp cast netting license;
      2. Fish for shrimp pursuant to this Code section in closed waters. All salt waters of this state shall be closed to fishing for shrimp pursuant to this Code section, except those rivers or creeks or portions thereof opened to such taking. The determination of whether to open or close a river or creek or portion thereof shall be made by the commissioner in accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management; and
      3. Fail to maintain on the commercial fishing boat bait-holding facilities which comply with the requirements set forth by the board.
  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of, for human consumption, any shrimp caught pursuant to this Code section or to possess such shrimp for the purpose of sale or other distribution for human consumption or personally to consume such shrimp. Possession of shrimp with heads off shall be prima-facie evidence that the shrimp are to be sold for human consumption or are personally to be consumed. Possession of more than 20 quarts of unlabeled, unpackaged, or unfrozen heads-on shrimp shall be prima-facie evidence that such shrimp are to be used for human consumption or are personally to be consumed.
  2. This Code section shall not prohibit the interstate import of bait shrimp provided that a bona fide bill of lading accompanies such shrimp as proof that such shrimp were not taken or transported in violation of this Code section or the laws of the jurisdiction from which the bait shrimp originated.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing for shrimp pursuant to this Code section to fail to have positioned on the bow or cabin of the boat being used for fishing for shrimp a board with a background color of daylight fluorescent orange with such numerals and letters painted or affixed thereon as are specified by the department for a particular established bait dealership. The numerals and letters shall be at least 16 inches in height and two inches in width or thickness, black in color, of block character, clearly legible, and spaced so as to be readable from the air from left to right. The numerals and letters required for compliance with this subsection shall be assigned by the department at the time a bait dealer license is issued pursuant to Code Section 27-2-23.
  4. The department shall inspect the bait dealer facilities within 30 days from the time application for license is received to ensure the facilities comply with the requirements of this Code section and Code Section 48-8-59 before issuing a bait dealer license.

(Code 1981, §27-4-171, enacted by Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 25/HB 869.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2012, an engrossing error in the Code section designation was corrected.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section formerly pertained to bait dealers. The former Code section was based on Ga. L. 1970, p. 961, §§ 2-4; Ga. L. 1975, p. 425, §§ 2, 3; Code 1933, § 45-908, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1552, §§ 8-11, 13; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, §§ 38-40; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 7; Ga. L. 1984, p. 22, § 27; Ga. L. 1985, p. 1047, §§ 6-8; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1834, § 2; Ga. L. 1995, p. 10, § 27; Ga. L. 2001, p. 1052, § 1; Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, § 16/HB 100.

27-4-172. Protections for horseshoe crabs; catch limits; exceptions.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 26/HB 869, effective January 1, 2013.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Code 1981, § 27-4-172, enacted by Ga. L. 2001, p. 323, § 2.

PART 4 S HELLFISH

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, effective July 1, 1991, repealed the Code sections formerly codified at this part and enacted the current part. The former part consisted of §§ 27-4-190 through27-4-199 and was based on Ga. L. 1889, p. 143, § 4; Civil Code 1895, §§ 1691, 1694; Penal Code 1895, §§ 586, 589, 590; Ga. L. 1905, p. 73, § 1; Civil Code 1910, §§ 1937, 1940; Penal Code 1910, §§ 615, 618, 619; Ga. L. 1924, p. 101, §§ 10, 11; Ga. L. 1931, p. 7, § 25; Code 1933, §§ 45-801, 45-802, 45-809, 45-811; Ga. L. 1937, p. 671, §§ 2-4; Ga. L. 1937-38, Ex. Sess., p. 332, §§ 7-9; Ga. L. 1943, p. 543, § 1; Ga. L. 1943, p. 583, §§ 1-7; Ga. L. 1945, p. 164, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 1945, p. 198, §§ 1-4; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, §§ 38-40, 95, 96, 104-107, 111, 113, 115; Ga. L. 1958, p. 382, §§ 1, 2, 4; Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, §§ 21, 22, 42-51; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 7; Ga. L. 1984, p. 416, §§ 1-4; Ga. L. 1985, p. 149, § 27; Ga. L. 1981, Ex. Sess., p. 8 (Code enactment Act) and Ga. L. 1988, p. 1435, § 1.

27-4-187. Public policy on development of commercial shellfish industry.

The General Assembly finds that the wild harvest and mariculture of shellfish provide increased seafood production and long-term economic opportunities for coastal Georgia as well as increased ecological benefits to the estuarine environment by promoting natural water filtration and increased fishery habitats. The General Assembly also finds that there exists a public health concern when consuming raw or undercooked shellfish, especially during warm water, summer conditions. Therefore, the General Assembly declares that it is the policy of the state to encourage development of the commercial shellfish industry in ways that protect the public health and are compatible with the environment and with other public uses of the estuarine area, such as navigation, fishing, swimming, and other forms of recreation.

(Code 1981, §27-4-187, enacted by Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes.

27-4-188. Definitions.

As used in this part, the term:

  1. "Approved growing area" means that area or areas approved by the department in conformance with the National Shellfish Sanitation Program which supports or could support the propagation of wild or maricultured shellfish that may be harvested and directly marketed for human consumption.
  2. "Approved shellfish pathologist" means a pathologist approved by the department.
  3. "Certified firms" means those firms certified by the Department of Agriculture and includes, but is not limited to, certified dealers, shellstock shippers, shuckers or packers, repackers, reshippers, depuration processors, and wholesalers.
  4. "Culch" means, but is not limited to, oyster shells, clam shells, and other shellfish shells when those shells originated from Georgia salt waters; oak brush, cement coated shingles, nongalvanized wire fencing, small gravel, and any other material approved by the department.
  5. "Culch material" means that material which is approved by the department and which is conducive to larval oyster attachment.
  6. "Director" means the director of the Coastal Resources Division of the Department of Natural Resources.
  7. "Harvester" means a person who is authorized by the department to harvest shellfish for commercial purposes at the request of a master harvester.
  8. "Intertidal" means the area of the marine shoreline that is exposed to air at mean low tide and covered with seawater at mean high tide.
  9. "Management plan" means a detailed plan submitted by the master harvester describing all activities related to shellfish production and marketing over the term of a shellfish lease, as approved by the department.
  10. "Master harvester" means a person who has acquired a lease with permission to grow or harvest shellfish from the state or from an owner with exclusive rights to shellfish pursuant to Code Sections 44-8-6 through 44-8-8, who has been permitted by the department.
  11. "Operational plan" means a detailed annual plan submitted by the master harvester or shellfish hatchery and nursery, specifying all processes and activities related to shellfish mariculture, as approved by the department.
  12. "Shellfish hatchery and nursery" means a facility where shellfish are artificially bred, hatched, or reared.
  13. "Shellfish mariculture" means the controlled cultivation of shellfish in confinement from seed size until harvest for commercial purposes.
  14. "Shellfish seed" means juvenile shellstock intended for growth to market size.
  15. "Shellstock" means live molluscan shellfish in the shell.
  16. "Subtidal" means the area of the marine shoreline that is below mean low tide and is covered with seawater at all stages of the tide.
  17. "Unapproved growing areas" means all those areas other than approved growing areas.
  18. "Water bottoms" means the lands within this state covered at mean high water from the salt water and fresh water demarcation line seaward to the state boundary.

(Code 1981, §27-4-188, enacted by Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes.

27-4-189. Regulatory authority to develop and cultivate shellfish industry; recommendations on legislation.

  1. Except as otherwise provided by law and in accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management, the board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to develop and cultivate the shellfish industry in Georgia to include, but not be limited to, size, possession, and creel limits; season criteria; siting criteria, including lease size for mariculture activities; methods for issuing leases, including number issued per year, lease values and terms, and the importation of molluscan shellfish, shellfish tissues, or shells into this state to include place or region of origin, minimum and maximum seed size, ploidy, and type. When promulgating rules and regulations, the board shall take into account public health as the primary consideration.
  2. The board shall transmit to the chairpersons of the Game, Fish, and Parks Committee of the House of Representatives and the Senate Natural Resources and the Environment Committee a list of recommended legislation necessary to improve Georgia's mariculture industry.

(Code 1981, §27-4-189, enacted by Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes.

27-4-190. Commercial fishing license with shellfish endorsement and master harvester permit or harvester permit; hours for taking shellfish; recreational harvesting.

    1. It shall be unlawful to take or possess shellfish in commercial quantities or for commercial purposes without first having obtained a commercial fishing license with a shellfish endorsement and a master harvester permit or harvester permit or without proof of purchase that such shellfish were purchased from a certified shellfish dealer. Master harvester permits shall specify whether the permittee is authorized to take oysters, clams, or other shellfish and shall only be issued to persons certified by the Department of Agriculture to handle shellfish unless permission to take and possess shellfish has been granted by the department as described in subsection (d) of Code Section 27-4-197 and in Code Section 27-4-202. Such permits shall be provided annually. A permittee may request authorization from the department for employees or agents, who shall be referred to as harvesters, of such permittee to take shellfish from permitted areas. Such request shall be in writing to the department and shall include the name, address, and personal commercial fishing license number of the harvester. It shall be unlawful for harvesters to take or possess shellfish as authorized under their employer's master harvester permit unless they carry on their person while taking or in possession of shellfish a harvester permit as provided by the department indicating the exact area and circumstances allowed for taking. Such harvesters' permits and charts shall be provided annually by the department and shall be in a form as prescribed by the department. Harvesters must possess a valid personal commercial fishing license as provided for in Code Section 27-4-110, a shellfish endorsement as provided for in the department's rules and regulations, and, when a boat is used, a valid commercial fishing boat license as provided in Code Section 27-2-8. Master harvester permits and harvester permits shall not be issued to persons who have violated this part in the two years immediately preceding the filing of an application for a permit. Permits may be revoked pursuant to Code Section 27-2-25. Master harvester permits and harvester permits issued to master harvesters or agents shall be surrendered to the department upon termination of Department of Agriculture certification for handling shellfish, upon termination of right to harvest shellfish, or upon violation of any provision of this title. If a harvester is removed from authorization to take shellfish by the master harvester permittee, the master harvester shall immediately notify the department of such removal. In addition, that harvester shall immediately surrender to the department his or her harvester permit. It shall be unlawful to possess unauthorized harvester permits or harvester permits issued to another person.
    2. All commercially licensed vessels engaged in commercial shellfish harvest or transport, whether with shellfish on board or not, shall have a portable marine toilet on board, as the term is defined in Code Section 52-7-3.
  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to take or possess shellfish from unauthorized locations and during unauthorized periods of taking. It shall be unlawful to take shellfish except between the hours of one-half hour before sunrise and one-half hour after sunset.
  2. It shall be unlawful to take any quantity of shellfish for commercial purposes from public recreational harvest areas. Recreational quantities of oysters in the shell shall be two bushels per person with up to six bushels per boat per day. Recreational quantities of clams in the shell shall be one bushel or less per person with no more than one bushel per boat per day. Recreational quantities of shucked oysters or clams or a combination thereof shall be one gallon per day. It shall be unlawful to harvest shellfish recreationally except in areas designated by the commissioner except that private property owners or persons authorized by private property owners may harvest recreational quantities of shellfish from areas for which they have harvest rights to shellfish if they have in their possession proof of ownership or a letter of permission from the property owner stating the dates allowed to take shellfish, type of shellfish which may be taken, and a description of the area allowed for such taking. Private property owners wishing to harvest recreational quantities of shellfish or to issue permission to others to harvest recreational quantities of shellfish shall notify the department in writing prior to the taking of shellfish or the permitting of others to take shellfish so harvest areas can be opened according to Code Section 27-4-195. Permission to harvest shellfish recreationally in public recreational harvest areas shall be granted to all residents and nonresidents upon the designation of individual public recreational harvest areas.

(Code 1981, §27-4-190, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 6; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 27/HB 869; Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

The 2019 amendment, effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations and effective March 1, 2020 for all other purposes, rewrote paragraph (a)(1); deleted former subsection (c), which read: "A master collecting permit shall not be issued if the permittee has failed to comply with Code Section 27-4-196 during the previous harvest season or if the issuance is determined not to be in accordance with sound, current principles of wildlife research and management by the department. Permits may be revoked according to Code Section 27-2-25."; and redesignated former subsection (d) as present subsection (c).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1991, "harvest shellfish recreationally" was substituted for "recreationally harvest shellfish" twice in subsection (d).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 3/HB 501, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law with such approval for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes." This Act was signed by the Governor on May 6, 2019.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

When lease from state required.

- An applicant for a master collecting permit pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 27-4-190(a) must have a lease from the State of Georgia in order to harvest oysters and clams from marsh islands or from subtidal areas of tidal inlets. 1985 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 85-16.

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 7, 20 et seq., 51 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 14, 28, 35, 36.

27-4-191. Shellfish dredging permits; bond required of master collecting permittees applying for shellfish dredging permits.

Reserved. Repealed by Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 6, effective July 1, 1991.

Editor's notes.

- This Code section was based on Ga. L. 1958, p. 382, § 4; Code 1933, § 45-320, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 22; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1729, § 7.

Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501, effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations and effective March 1, 2020 for all other purposes, reenacted the reservation of this Code section without change.

Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 3/HB 501, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law with such approval for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes." This Act was signed by the Governor on May 6, 2019.

27-4-192. Methods of taking shellfish generally.

  1. Unless authorized by the department, it shall be unlawful for any person to take or possess for commercial purposes any shellfish taken from the salt waters of this state except by hand or hand-held implement. The department may authorize the use of other equipment for taking shellfish for commercial purposes upon such conditions as the department determines are in accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management. It shall be unlawful to take or possess shellfish taken by such other equipment unless prior written approval has been obtained from the department and unless a copy of the written permission is on the person of the authorized harvester and unless the conditions of the written authorization are being met. Such other equipment includes, but is not limited to, rock dredges, escalator dredges, hydraulic dredges, mechanical tongs, patent tongs, and any power drawn or driven device.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to take or possess shellfish for recreational purposes using any instrument other than by hand or hand-held implement.

(Code 1981, §27-4-192, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 6; Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

The 2019 amendment, effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations and effective March 1, 2020 for all other purposes, inserted "by" near the end of subsection (b).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 3/HB 501, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law with such approval for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes." This Act was signed by the Governor on May 6, 2019.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 36.

27-4-193. Taking shellfish from unapproved growing areas; operating facility for controlled purification of shellfish.

  1. It shall be unlawful to take or possess shellfish from unapproved growing areas except at such times and places as the department may establish. The department is authorized to close approved growing areas to allow transplanting at any time between January 1 and December 31. It shall be unlawful to engage in transplanting of shellfish from unapproved growing areas without written authorization from the department. Such authorization may condition the transplanting upon compliance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management. In approving growing areas, the department shall consider such current guidelines as have been established by the National Shellfish Sanitation Program at the time of approval of the growing areas and current, sound principles of wildlife research and management.
  2. It shall be unlawful to build or operate a facility for controlled purification of shellfish without prior written authorization from the department. In issuing such authorization, the department shall consider such current guidelines as have been established by the National Shellfish Sanitation Program and the rules and regulations of the Department of Agriculture at the time of such authorization.

(Code 1981, §27-4-193, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 6; Ga. L. 1992, p. 6, § 27; Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

The 2019 amendment, effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations and effective March 1, 2020 for all other purposes, deleted former subsection (a), which read: "As used in this Code section, the term 'approved growing area' means that area or areas approved by the department for shellfish harvesting and 'unapproved growing area' means all other areas."; and redesignated former subsections (b) and (c) as present subsections (a) and (b), respectively.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 3/HB 501, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law with such approval for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes." This Act was signed by the Governor on May 6, 2019.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

27-4-194. Minimum size of shellfish which may be taken for commercial or noncommercial purposes.

    1. It shall be unlawful to take any oysters for noncommercial purposes when the shells of the oysters measure less than three inches from hinge to mouth, except that oysters less than three inches from hinge to mouth may be removed if attached to an oyster of that minimum size and the oyster so attached cannot be removed without destroying the three-inch oyster.
    2. It shall be unlawful to take any oysters for commercial purposes when the shells of the oysters measure less than two inches from hinge to mouth, except that oysters less than two inches from hinge to mouth may be removed if attached to an oyster of that minimum size and the oyster to which it is so attached cannot be removed without destroying the two-inch oyster.
    3. It shall be unlawful for any person engaged in shucking or canning oysters for market to shuck, can, purchase, or have in possession any quantity of oysters containing more than 5 percent of oysters of prohibited size as defined in this Code section. Smaller oysters may be taken incidentally with such minimum-size oysters when they are directly attached to the minimum-size oysters. Oysters of prohibited size as defined in this Code section may be taken or possessed if prior written approval has been obtained from the department and such approval is on the person of the harvester or person in possession of the oyster.
  1. It shall be unlawful to take or possess any clam for commercial or recreational purposes when the maximum depth of the shell of the clam measures less than three-fourths' inch thickness from one shell half to the other unless prior written approval has been obtained from the department and such approval is on the person of the harvester or person in possession of the clam.

(Code 1981, §27-4-194, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 6; Ga. L. 2001, p. 999, § 1; Ga. L. 2012, p. 739, § 28/HB 869; Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501, effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations and effective March 1, 2020 for all other purposes, reenacted this Code section without change.

Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 3/HB 501, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law with such approval for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes." This Act was signed by the Governor on May 6, 2019.

Law reviews.

- For note on the 2001 amendment of this Code section, see 18 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 143 (2001).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 54 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 35, 36.

27-4-195. Times and places for taking shellfish; master harvester's request to harvest shellfish during periods when shellfish harvest is closed; revocation of permission for closed period harvest.

  1. It shall be unlawful to take shellfish from any of the salt waters of this state except at such times and places as the commissioner may establish. The commissioner is authorized to open or close for the purpose of taking shellfish any or all portions of the salt waters of this state at any time between January 1 and December 31, provided that he or she has determined that such action in opening or closing said salt waters is in accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management.
  2. It shall be unlawful to give permission to take shellfish from any area not opened pursuant to this Code section unless permission has been granted by the department or to give permission to harvest shellfish from areas for which the individual granting such permission does not have harvest rights.
  3. A master harvester may request permission from the department to harvest shellfish during periods when shellfish harvest is closed pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section. The department may consider a master harvester's past compliance with the provisions of this part in making its determination to issue conditional permission to harvest during closed periods. In addition, the master harvester shall provide:
    1. A closed season shellfish operations plan that is approved by the department and meets requirements established by the board to be protective of public health;
    2. A list of trained, authorized harvesters as provided in subsection (d) of this Code section; and
    3. A list of receiving certified firms.
  4. A master harvester shall ensure that a harvester receives training required by the National Shellfish Sanitation Program, abides by the conditions of the program, and holds all required licenses.
  5. The department may suspend or revoke a master harvester's permission for closed period harvest for a violation of a condition by the master harvester or harvester. The filing of a judicial appeal shall not act as an automatic stay of enforcement. No license, permit, or lease shall be denied or revoked under this part without opportunity for hearing in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."

(Code 1981, §27-4-195, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 6; Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

The 2019 amendment, effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations and effective March 1, 2020 for all other purposes, in subsection (a), in the middle of the second sentence, substituted "all portions" for "a portion" and inserted "or she"; inserted "unless permission has been granted by the department" in the middle of subsection (b); and added subsections (c) through (e).

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1991, a comma was inserted following "December 31" in subsection (a).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 3/HB 501, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law with such approval for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes." This Act was signed by the Governor on May 6, 2019.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 52, 53, 59 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 31 et seq.

27-4-196. Distribution and transplanting of wild oyster shells and culch material by permittee.

  1. It shall be unlawful for any permittee authorized pursuant to Code Section 27-4-190 to gather wild oysters for commercial purposes from intertidal water bottoms other than those leased from the state to fail to do one of the following each year:
    1. Distribute upon areas designated by the department at least 33 1/3 percent by volume of oyster shells taken by the permittee or taken under authorization by the permittee during the immediately preceding harvest season;
    2. Transplant at least such amount by volume of oysters from unapproved growing areas in accordance with the requirements of this article; or
    3. Distribute or transplant at least such amount by volume of culch material.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any permittee or permittee's authorized agent taking wild oysters from intertidal water bottoms leased from the state to fail to return culch amounts by volume as are specified in the lease agreement.
  3. Such shell deposition, oyster transplanting, or deposition of culch material shall be done under the direction or supervision of the department and shall require prior notification to the department of any such proposed action.

(Code 1981, §27-4-196, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 6; Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

The 2019 amendment, effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations and effective March 1, 2020 for all other purposes, deleted former subsection (a), which read: "As used in this Code section, the term:

"(1) 'Culch' includes, but is not limited to, oyster shells, clam shells, and other shellfish shells when those shells originated from Georgia salt waters; oak brush, cement-coated shingles, nongalvanized wire fencing, small gravel, and any other material approved by the department.

"(2) 'Culch material' means that material which is approved by the department and which is conducive to larval oyster attachment."; redesignated former subsections (b) through (d) as present subsections (a) through (c), respectively; in subsection (a), inserted "wild" and substituted "intertidal water bottoms" for "beds" near the middle of the introductory language and inserted the second and third occurrences of "the" in paragraph (a)(1); and substituted "taking wild oysters from intertidal water bottoms leased from the state to fail to return culch amounts by volume" for "taking oysters from beds leased from the state to fail to return to the beds the shells taken from such beds in such amounts" in subsection (b).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 3/HB 501, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law with such approval for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes." This Act was signed by the Governor on May 6, 2019.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 40, 50, 56 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, §§ 35, 38.

ALR.

- Pollution of oyster beds, 3 A.L.R. 762.

27-4-197. Shellfish sanitation program; requirements as to shipment of shellfish.

  1. The department and the Department of Agriculture shall conduct a shellfish program sufficient to be certified by the United States Food and Drug Administration for interstate shipment of shellfish produced in this state.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person handling shellfish for purposes of sale or shipment to fail to keep such shellfish in clean barrels, bags, crates, baskets, or other containers as prescribed by the Department of Agriculture. It shall be unlawful to fail to attach to each such container a tag approved by the Department of Agriculture or to mark containers of shucked shellfish with mandatory information as described by the Department of Agriculture. It shall be unlawful to possess shellfish which are not properly tagged or labeled according to this Code section. Such tags or labels shall indicate the information as required by the Department of Agriculture.
  3. It shall be unlawful to affix tags issued to a certified dealer onto containers of another. Uncertified master harvesters shall tag harvested shellfish in a manner as prescribed by the department according to the guidelines of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.
  4. It shall be unlawful to ship or possess commercial quantities of shellfish unless certified by the Department of Agriculture. It shall be unlawful to possess shellfish from out-of-state sources unless those shellfish were purchased from certified dealers. It shall be unlawful to ship shellfish through Georgia unless certified. Certified dealers are those permitted to handle shellfish according to the guidelines of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program. The department may issue permission to uncertified firms to take and possess shellfish. Such permission may be issued upon such conditions as the department determines are in accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management.

(Code 1981, §27-4-197, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 6; Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

The 2019 amendment, effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations and effective March 1, 2020 for all other purposes, substituted "approved by" for "obtained from" in the middle of the second sentence in subsection (b); in subsection (c), deleted "or to fail to surrender unused tags to the Department of Agriculture upon termination of certification or master collecting permit" following "another" at the end of the first sentence and added the second sentence; and deleted "for mariculture purposes" following "shellfish" at the end of the fifth sentence of subsection (d).

Cross references.

- Sanitary handling of fish and seafood, § 26-2-315 et seq.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1991, "out-of-state" was substituted for "out of state" in the second sentence of subsection (d).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 3/HB 501, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law with such approval for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes." This Act was signed by the Governor on May 6, 2019.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 59 et seq.

27-4-198. Lease of state intertidal and subtidal water bottoms within approved growing areas from department.

    1. The department may offer leases of state intertidal water bottoms within an approved growing area for the exclusive rights to harvest wild or maricultured shellfish pursuant to this Code section through public competitive bidding. Any person desiring to lease state intertidal water bottoms shall make an application in writing to the department in the manner and time as described by the department in the competitive bid advertisement. Such lease shall include terms and conditions as prescribed by the department.
    2. The department shall cause to be published once per week for two consecutive weeks in the legal organ of the county or counties in which the area to be bid upon is located an advertisement of an invitation for bid, setting forth a description of the area proposed to be leased; the date, time, and place when and where bids will be received; the minimum acceptable bid as determined by the department but not less than $15.00 per acre; and such other information as the department may deem necessary. Prior to such advertisement, the department shall prepare a proposed form of lease and appropriate instructions which shall be available to prospective bidders under such conditions as the department may prescribe. Sealed bids shall be submitted to the department, and each bid shall be accompanied by a refundable certified check, cashier's check, or money order for the total annual amount of the submitted bid. The funds submitted by the successful bidder will be applied toward the first annual lease payment. In addition, each sealed bid shall be accompanied by a detailed management plan for working the intertidal water bottoms lease area for wild harvest or mariculture. The lease form shall contain provisions regarding the term of the lease, the method of taking shellfish, the time and place for annual payment for the lease which shall be equal to the bid amount, the minimum replanting or production requirements of shellfish to be harvested, the placement and type of signs to mark the site as a leased area, and such other terms as the department deems necessary.
    3. All bids shall be opened in public on the date and at the time and place specified in the advertisement of the invitation to bid. The department shall announce which bid and bidder it considers most advantageous to the state. In so considering, the department shall give preference to residents over nonresidents. In exercising its discretion, the department may consider an applicant's previous performance and compliance with this article. The department shall have the right to reject any or all bids and bidders and the right to waive formalities in bidding.
    1. The department may offer leases of state subtidal water bottoms within approved growing areas for the exclusive rights to mariculture shellfish to in-state and out-of-state residents. Prior to offering a subtidal water bottoms lease, the department shall consider compatibility with other public uses of the marine and estuarine resources in proximity of the lease area that include, but are not limited to, navigation, fishing, swimming, and other forms of recreation. Such lease shall include terms and conditions as the department may prescribe.
    2. Subtidal water bottoms leases shall be issued through a lottery devised and operated by the department. Preference may be given to certified firms, lease holders, and state residents.
    3. Subtidal water bottoms annual lease fees shall be equal to the fair market value per acre as determined by the department but not less than $50.00 per acre.
  1. Each person granted an intertidal water bottoms or subtidal water bottoms lease shall pay an annual lease fee. If the annual fee is not paid by August 1, the department shall assess a late penalty of 10 percent. If the department does not receive the fee and any penalty on or before September 1, the lease shall be void.
  2. Intertidal water bottoms or subtidal water bottoms leased pursuant to this Code section shall be posted at the site by the lessee so as to identify clearly the areas so leased. The lessee shall also have a copy of the lease recorded within 30 days of the execution of the lease by the clerk of the superior court of the county or counties in which the leased area is located.
  3. Each intertidal water bottoms or subtidal water bottoms lease is valid for a term not to exceed ten years as determined by the board and may be renewed for additional terms so long as the leasee is in good standing pursuant to this part and all terms of the current lease.
    1. Intertidal water bottoms and subtidal water bottoms leases may not be transferred, by sale or barter, without the written approval of the department along with a $50.00 transfer fee paid to the department. Transferees shall meet the same conditions as the original leasee.
    2. Intertidal water bottoms and subtidal water bottoms leases may be inheritable and transferable to the leasee's spouse, siblings, lineal descendants, or lineal ancestors without payment of a transfer fee if the leasee dies or is permanently and totally disabled. An instrument of the court declaring the rightful heir or recipient may be required for transfers upon a death. For purposes of this Code section, a permanent, total disability shall be a physical or mental impairment of a total and permanent nature which prevents gainful employment and which is certified as such by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, Medicaid, medicare, the Railroad Retirement System, or a unit of federal, state, or local government recognized by the board by rule or regulation. Inherited leases shall be valid only with approval of the department.
    3. Transferred leases shall be valid only upon receipt of the transfer fee, if applicable, and department approval. Leases may not be transferred, by sale or barter, by a leasee who has not harvested shellfish on such lease as evidenced by harvest records within the previous three years. A transferee shall assume the lease in its entirety and all conditions associated with the lease, acquire all additional authorizations if so required, and harvest shellfish on such lease as evidenced by harvest records within two years after such transfer or the lease may revert to the department. Any person receiving a shellfish water bottoms or subtidal water bottoms lease by transfer shall pay to the department the lease fee within 30 days following the date of the transfer. If such fee is not paid within the required time, the lease shall revert to the department.
  4. The department is authorized to issue permission to remove shellfish from areas where those shellfish may be destroyed by dredging, development, or other destructive activities without entering into a lease as described in this Code section. Such authorization shall include terms and conditions as the department may prescribe and shall be issued only to master harvester permittees. The department shall notify permittees of its intentions to issue such authorization and set forth details on the proposed activity along with directions on how permittees may participate in the activity. When such authorization is issued, participants shall pay the department directly a one-time fee not to exceed $500.00 as set by the department.
  5. The department is authorized to issue permission to remove shellfish from unapproved growing areas without entering into a lease as described in this Code section. Such authorization shall be issued only to master harvester permittees and under guidelines as set forth in subsection (g) of this Code section.

(Code 1981, §27-4-198, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 6; Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

The 2019 amendment effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations and effective March 1, 2020 for all other purposes, rewrote this Code section.

Cross references.

- Procedures required for right of way or spoil disposal areas leased for cultivation and gathering of oysters, § 52-3-8.

Taking of oyster beds or damaging of oysters in connection with construction or maintenance of intracoastal waterway, § 52-3-9.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 3/HB 501, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law with such approval for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes." This Act was signed by the Governor on May 6, 2019.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 21.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 14.

ALR.

- Pollution of oyster beds, 3 A.L.R. 762.

27-4-199. Evidence of intent to use as food; inspection of businesses.

  1. The distribution, sale, or possession with intent to distribute or sell any shellfish shall be prima-facie evidence that the shellfish were intended for use as food unless prior written approval from the department authorizing such possession of shellfish is presented.
  2. Game wardens and other authorized personnel of the department are authorized to take samples from, to enter and have access to, and to examine during normal working hours and at any time when the licensed or authorized activity is being conducted all water bottoms, places of business, and other places where shellfish are grown, kept, stored, sold, or held in possession with intent to distribute, sell, or give away. Such personnel are also authorized at any time to take such samples of shellfish as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this article and to have access to and take samples from all streams, tributaries thereof, and lands adjacent thereto, the waters draining from which may come into contact with shellfish. It shall be unlawful for any person to obstruct or in any way interfere with any game warden or other authorized personnel of the department in carrying out the purposes of this article.
  3. Prior to and at point of landing game wardens and other authorized personnel of the department are authorized to seize, confiscate, and remove any and all shellfish discovered which were taken or possessed in violation of this article. Whenever a game warden or other authorized personnel of the department believes that shellfish examined may have been taken, contained, or stored in such a manner that may render the shellfish adulterated, misbranded, tainted, or otherwise which may pose a public health problem, the game warden or other authorized personnel of the department is authorized to seize, confiscate, and remove any and all shellfish. Such shellfish shall be destroyed or returned to the resource according to methods as the department may prescribe.

(Code 1981, §27-4-199, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 6; Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501; Ga. L. 2019, p. 808, § 7/SB 72.)

The 2019 amendments. The first 2019 amendment, effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations and effective March 1, 2020 for all other purposes, substituted "water bottoms" for "shellfish beds" in the middle of the first sentence of subsection (b). The second 2019 amendment, effective July 1, 2019, substituted "Game wardens" for "Conservation rangers" at the beginning of subsection (b); substituted "game warden" for "conservation ranger" in the last sentence of subsection (b) and in two places in the second sentence in subsection (c); and substituted "game wardens" for "conservation rangers" in the first sentence of subsection (c).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 3/HB 501, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law with such approval for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes." This Act was signed by the Governor on May 6, 2019.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 56 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 35.

27-4-200. Forged or false documents, records, or permits unlawful.

It shall be unlawful to knowingly produce, manufacture, or possess any forged or false documents, records, or permits provided for in this article.

(Code 1981, §27-4-200, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 6; Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501, effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations and effective March 1, 2020 for all other purposes, reenacted this Code section without change.

Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 3/HB 501, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law with such approval for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes." This Act was signed by the Governor on May 6, 2019.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

For an update of crimes and offenses for which the Georgia Crime Information Center is authorized to collect and file identifying data, see 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-35.

27-4-201. Penalty for violation of article; revocation of authorizations.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in this article, any person who violates any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.
  2. Any authorizations issued under this part to any person convicted of violating any provision of this article shall be revoked by operation of law and shall not be reissued for a period of three years. The department shall notify the person in writing of the revocation. Prior to revocation, such person shall have opportunity for hearing in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."

(Code 1981, §27-4-201, enacted by Ga. L. 1991, p. 693, § 6; Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

The 2019 amendment, effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations and effective March 1, 2020 for all other purposes, designated the existing provisions of this Code section as subsection (a) and added subsection (b).

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 3/HB 501, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law with such approval for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and shall become effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes." This Act was signed by the Governor on May 6, 2019.

27-4-202. Shellfish mariculture permit; bond requirement of master harvester; penalty for noncompliance.

  1. It shall be unlawful for a master harvester to engage in shellfish mariculture activities without first obtaining a shellfish mariculture permit from the department. A detailed mariculture operational plan must be approved by the department prior to any shellfish mariculture permit being issued. An operational plan shall include the species to be farmed, types of gear, amounts, locations, sources and types of shellfish seed including genetic strains, a storm mitigation plan, a wildlife interaction mitigation plan, and any other information required by the department.
  2. Permits may be conditioned by the department to include requirements related to shellfish production, mariculture operations, public rights of access and nonconflicting uses of permitted areas, and correction of environmental degradation resulting from the permitted activity.
  3. Shellfish mariculture activities on a subtidal water bottoms lease shall require a performance bond provided to the director by a master harvester to ensure compliance with the procedures and standards contained in this part. Such performance bond shall be in the amount of $20,000.00 and conditioned upon faithful compliance with the conditions and terms of this part. Such performance bond shall be placed on file with the director. The bond shall be made payable to the director and issued by an insurance company authorized to issue such bonds in this state. If any party is aggrieved or adversely affected by the master harvester's failure to comply with the requirements of this article, the director may commence and maintain an action against the principal and surety on the bond.
  4. The department shall not issue any new leases or permits or renew any leases or permits unless the leasing application is accompanied by a letter from the director or his or her designee stating that the applicant's bond is acceptable. Failure to provide an acceptable bond shall constitute grounds for denial of the issuance or renewal of a lease or permit.
  5. Upon a determination by the director that a master harvester, or an agent or employee responsible for harvesting, has failed to meet the standards as set out in this part, the director may, after written notice of such failure to the master harvester or the agent or employee responsible for harvesting:
    1. Forfeit or draw that amount of such bond that the director determines necessary to correct the violations;
    2. Expend such amount for such purposes;
    3. Enter into contracts for such purposes; or
    4. Require the replacement of that amount of such bond forfeited or drawn upon.

(Code 1981, §27-4-202, enacted by Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and becomes effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes.

27-4-203. Conditional certifications of shellfish hatcheries and nursery operations; approval of out-of-state hatcheries; authorization for operation; conditions for permitting; revocation.

  1. In accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management, the department may conditionally certify shellfish hatchery and nursery operations within the state, may approve out-of-state hatcheries for importation of shellfish seed into the state, and may issue authorization to shellfish hatchery and nursery operators to receive shellfish for mariculture activities.
  2. The department may grant permits to master harvesters to import hatchery produced shellfish seed under the following conditions:
    1. Shellfish seed shall be certified disease-free by an approved shellfish pathologist; and
    2. The importation of shellfish seed is confined to seed that originates from department approved hatcheries.
  3. Failure to comply with department rules and regulations, in whole or in part, may result in revocation of any applicable shellfish mariculture permits granted pursuant to this part.

(Code 1981, §27-4-203, enacted by Ga. L. 2019, p. 69, § 1/HB 501.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and becomes effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2019, "originates" was substituted for "originate" in paragraph (b)(2).

27-4-204. Permitting; number of cages; identification attached to cages.

  1. The first time that a person obtains or renews a shellfish mariculture permit, he or she shall obtain a permit from the department establishing the maximum number of cages that may be deployed at any given time during that license year. Such permits shall be issued in 25 cage increments. The permittee shall pay a fee of $1.00 per cage for the permit, and the permit shall be for the same duration and shall be renewed at the same time as the shellfish mariculture permit. Containers used for the mariculture of clams shall be exempt from this subsection.
    1. No cage permit may be amended to permit the use of more cages except at the time of permit renewal. The permittee, or his or her agent or employee if the permittee is not actively harvesting, shall have the cage permit in his or her possession at all times while harvesting.
    2. It shall be unlawful for any permittee or a person designated by such permittee as provided in Code Section 27-4-202 to employ more cages than the number allowed by the cage permit at any time.
  2. It shall be unlawful to set or place in the salt waters of this state any shellfish mariculture cage which does not have attached to it the identification assigned by the department to the permittee. The identification shall be assigned by the department to the permittee when such permittee is issued his or her shellfish mariculture permit. For subsequent years, the same identification shall be assigned to such permittee.

(Code 1981, §27-4-204, enacted by Ga. L. 2019, p. 619, § 1/HB 501.)

Effective date.

- This Code section became effective May 6, 2019, for purposes of promulgating rules and regulations necessary to administer the provisions of this Act and becomes effective on March 1, 2020, for all other purposes.

PART 5 C OMMERCIAL SHRIMP CAST NETTING LICENSES

27-4-205. Commercial shrimping license required.

It shall be unlawful for any person to fish for shrimp with a cast net from the waters of the state for commercial sale for food purposes or to sell for food purposes any shrimp he or she has taken with a cast net from the waters of the state unless he or she is in possession of a commercial food shrimp cast netting license as provided in this part. Such license shall be required in addition to a commercial fishing boat license issued pursuant to Code Section 27-2-8.

(Code 1981, §27-4-205, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 16; Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, § 17/HB 100.)

27-4-206. Issuance of licenses; limits; fees.

  1. The department may issue no more than 200 commercial food shrimp cast netting licenses as provided in this Code section. Such licenses shall be issued only to individuals and shall not be transferable.
  2. If the number of licenses issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section does not total 200, the department may issue the remaining allotment of commercial food shrimp cast netting licenses in the initial or any subsequent license year by lottery devised and operated by the department. After such lottery has been conducted, any remaining unissued licenses may be issued via a method established by the department.
  3. The department shall charge a license fee for the commercial food shrimp cast netting license in the amount of $250.00 for a resident commercial food shrimp cast netting license and $2,500.00 for a nonresident commercial food shrimp cast netting license.
  4. Any license which is not renewed in subsequent license years shall revert to the department to be issued as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section.

(Code 1981, §27-4-206, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 1133, § 16; Ga. L. 2007, p. 93, § 18/HB 100; Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 18/HB 208.)

The 2017 amendment, effective July 1, 2017, deleted former subsection (b), which read: "(b) The department shall issue commercial food shrimp cast netting licenses for the 1998-1999 license year in order of the date and time the application was received to individuals who:

"(1) Were in possession of a valid 1997-1998 commercial fishing license issued on or before December 12, 1997;

"(2) Were listed as owner or captain of a valid 1997-1998 commercial fishing boat license on the application for which a cast net was indicated as a commercial harvest gear on or before December 12, 1997; and

"(3) Are able to provide evidence satisfactory to the department that they sold shrimp ex-vessel during the 1997-1998 license year on or before December 12, 1997."; redesignated former subsections (c) through (e) as present subsections (b) through (d), respectively; substituted "subsection (a)" for "subsection (b)" near the beginning of subsection (b); and substituted "subsection (b)" for "subsection (c)" in subsection (d). See Editor's notes for applicability.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2017, p. 27, § 20/HB 208, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that the amendment of this Code section by that Act shall be applicable to all offenses occurring on or after July 1, 2017.

ARTICLE 5 INTERSTATE AGREEMENTS

PART 1 A TLANTIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMPACT

Editor's notes.

- The compact provided by this part has been adopted by the number of states required to make the compact effective according to its terms.

27-4-210. Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Compact.

The Governor of this state is authorized and directed to execute a compact on behalf of the State of Georgia with any one or more of the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida, and with such other states as may enter into the compact, legally joining therein the form substantially as follows:

"ATLANTIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMPACT. The contracting states solemnly agree:

A RTICLE I.

The purpose of this compact is to promote the better utilization of the fisheries, marine, shell and anadromous, of the Atlantic seaboard by the development of a joint program for the promotion and protection of such fisheries, and by the prevention of the physical waste of the fisheries from any cause. It is not the purpose of this compact to authorize the states joining herein to limit the production of fish or fish products for the purpose of establishing or fixing the price thereof, or creating and perpetuating monopoly.

A RTICLE II.

This agreement shall become operative immediately as to those states executing it whenever any two or more of the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida have executed it in the form that is in accordance with the laws of the executing state and the Congress has given its consent. Any state contiguous with any of the aforementioned states and riparian upon waters frequented by anadromous fish, flowing into waters under the jurisdiction of any of the aforementioned states, may become a party hereto as hereinafter provided.

A RTICLE III.

Each state joining herein shall appoint three representatives to a commission hereby constituted and designated as the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. One shall be the executive officer of the administrative agency of such state charged with the conservation of the fisheries resources to which this compact pertains or, if there be more than one officer or agency, the official of that state named by the governor thereof. The second shall be a member of the legislature of such state designated by the commission or committee on interstate cooperation of such state, or if there be none, or if said commission on interstate cooperation cannot constitutionally designate the said member, such legislator shall be designated by the governor thereof; provided, that if it is constitutionally impossible to appoint a legislator as a commissioner from such state, the second member shall be appointed by the governor of said state in his discretion. The third shall be a citizen who shall have a knowledge or an interest in the marine fisheries problem to be appointed by the governor. This commission shall be a body corporate with the powers and duties set forth herein.

A RTICLE IV.

The duty of the said commission shall be to make inquiry and ascertain from time to time such methods, practice, circumstances and conditions as may be disclosed for bringing about the conservation and the prevention of the depletion and physical waste of the fisheries, marine, shell and anadromous, of the Atlantic seaboard. The commission shall have power to recommend the coordination of the exercise of the police powers of the several states within their respective jurisdictions to promote the preservation of those fisheries and their protection against overfishing, waste, depletion or any abuse whatsoever, and to assure a continuing yield from the fisheries resources of the aforementioned states.

To that end the commission shall draft and, after consultation with the advisory committee hereinafter authorized, recommend to the governors and legislatures of the various signatory states legislation dealing with the conservation of the marine, shell and anadromous fisheries of the Atlantic seaboard. The commission shall, more than one month prior to any regular meeting of the legislature in any signatory state, present to the governor of the state its recommendations relating to enactments to be made by the legislature of this compact.

The commission shall consult with and advise the pertinent administrative agencies in the states party hereto with regard to problems connected with the fisheries and recommend the adoption of such regulations as it deems advisable.

The commission shall have power to recommend to the states party hereto the stocking of the waters of such states with fish and fish eggs or joint stocking by some or all of the states party hereto and when two or more of the states shall jointly stock waters the commission shall act as the coordinating agency for such stocking.

A RTICLE V.

The commission shall elect from its number a chairman and a vice-chairman and shall appoint and at its pleasure remove or discharge such officers and employees as may be required to carry the provisions of this compact into effect and shall fix and determine their duties, qualifications and compensation. Said commission shall adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of its business. It may establish and maintain one or more offices for the transaction of its business and may meet at any time or place but must meet at least once a year.

A RTICLE VI.

No action shall be taken by the commission in regard to its general affairs except by the affirmative vote of a majority of the whole number of compacting states present at any meeting. No recommendation shall be made by the commission in regard to any species of fish except by the affirmative vote of a majority of the compacting states which have an interest in such species. The commission shall define what shall be an interest.

A RTICLE VII.

The Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior of the Government of the United States shall act as the primary research agency of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission cooperating with the research agencies in each state for that purpose. Representatives of the said Fish and Wildlife Service shall attend the meetings of the commission.

An advisory committee to be representative of the commercial fisherman and the saltwater anglers and such other interests of each state as the commission deems advisable shall be established by the commission as soon as practical for the purpose of advising the commission upon such recommendations as it may desire to make.

A RTICLE VIII.

When any state other than those named specifically in Article II of this compact becomes a party thereto for the purpose of conserving its anadromous fish in accordance with the provisions of Article II, the participation of such state in the action of the commission shall be limited to such species of anadromous fish.

A RTICLE IX.

Nothing in this compact shall be construed to limit the powers of any signatory state or to repeal or prevent the enactment of any legislation or the enforcement of any requirement by any signatory state imposing additional conditions and restrictions to conserve its fisheries.

A RTICLE X.

Continued absence of representation or of any representative on the commission from any state party hereto shall be brought to the attention of the governor thereof.

A RTICLE XI.

The states party hereto agree to make annual appropriations to the support of the commission in proportion to the primary market value of the products of their fisheries, exclusive of cod and haddock, as recorded in the most recent published reports of the Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior, provided no state shall contribute less than $200 per annum and the annual contribution of each state above the minimum shall be figured to the nearest $100.

The compacting states agree to appropriate initially the annual amounts scheduled below, which amounts are calculated in the manner set forth herein, on the basis of the catch record of 1938. Subsequent budgets shall be recommended by a majority of the commission and the cost thereof allocated equitably among the states in accordance with their respective interests and submitted to the compacting states.

Schedule of Initial Annual State Contributions

Maine ........................................................$ 700.00 New Hampshire ...................................................200.00 Massachusetts .................................................2,300.00 Rhode Island ....................................................300.00 Connecticut .....................................................400.00 New York ......................................................1,300.00 New Jersey ......................................................800.00 Delaware ........................................................200.00 Maryland ........................................................700.00 Virginia ......................................................1,300.00 North Carolina ..................................................600.00 South Carolina ..................................................200.00 Georgia .........................................................200.00 Florida .......................................................1,500.00

A RTICLE XII.

This compact shall continue in force and remain binding upon each compacting state until renounced by it. Renunciation of this compact must be preceded by sending six months' notice in writing of intention to withdraw from the compact to the other states party hereto."

(Ga. L. 1943, p. 117, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 23; Code 1933, § 45-721, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 20.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2003, double quotes were inserted at the beginning and end of this compact.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 17, 40.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 10.

27-4-211. Establishment of commission; members; terms of office; removal.

  1. Pursuant to Article III of the compact, there shall be three members (hereinafter called commissioners) of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (hereinafter called commission) from the State of Georgia. The first commissioner from the State of Georgia shall be the commissioner of natural resources ex officio; and the term of any such ex officio commissioner shall terminate at the time he ceases to hold the office of commissioner of natural resources; and his successor as commissioner shall be his successor as commissioner of natural resources. The second commissioner from the State of Georgia shall be a legislator and a member of the Commission on Interstate Cooperation of the State of Georgia ex officio, designated by the Commission on Interstate Cooperation; and the term of any such ex officio commissioner shall terminate at the time he ceases to hold such legislative office or office as commissioner on interstate cooperation; and his successor as commissioner shall be named in like manner. The Governor (by and with the advice and consent of the Senate) shall appoint a citizen as a third commissioner who shall have a knowledge of and interest in the marine fisheries problem. The term of the commissioner shall be three years, and he shall hold office until his successor shall be appointed and qualified. Vacancies occurring in the office of the commissioner for any reason or cause shall be filled by appointment by the Governor (by and with the advice and consent of the Senate) for the unexpired term.
  2. The commissioner of natural resources, as ex officio commissioner, may delegate, from time to time, to any deputy or other subordinate in his department or office the power to be present and participate, including voting as his representative or substitute, at any meeting of or hearing by or other proceeding of the commission.
  3. The terms of each of the initial three members shall begin at the date of the appointment of the appointive commissioner, provided the compact shall have then gone into effect in accordance with Article II of the compact; otherwise, they shall begin upon the date upon which the compact shall become effective in accordance with said Article II.
  4. Any commissioner may be removed from office by the Governor upon charges and after a hearing.

(Ga. L. 1943, p. 117, § 2; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 23; Ga. L. 1972, p. 1015, § 1533; Code 1933, § 45-722, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 40.

27-4-212. Powers and duties of commission and state officers.

There is granted to the commission and the commissioners thereof all the powers provided for in the compact and all the powers necessary or incidental to the carrying out of the compact in every particular. All officers of the State of Georgia are authorized and directed to do all things falling within their respective provinces and jurisdictions necessary or incidental to the carrying out of the compact in every particular, it being declared to be the policy of the State of Georgia to perform and carry out the compact and to accomplish the purposes thereof. All officers, bureaus, departments, and persons of and in the government or the administration of the State of Georgia are authorized and directed at convenient times and upon request of the commission to furnish the commission with information and data possessed by them and to aid the commission by loan of personnel or other means lying within their legal rights.

(Ga. L. 1943, p. 117, § 3; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 23; Code 1933, § 45-723, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 40, 46.

27-4-213. Powers granted to commission regarded as supplemental.

Any powers granted to the commission shall be regarded as in aid of and supplemental to and in no case a limitation upon any of the powers vested in the commission by other laws of the State of Georgia or by the laws of the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida or by the Congress or the terms of the compact.

(Ga. L. 1943, p. 117, § 4; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 23; Code 1933, § 45-724, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, §§ 40, 46.

27-4-214. Commission to keep accurate accounts; reports to Governor and General Assembly; recommendations for legislative action.

The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements and shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly of the State of Georgia on or before December 10 of each year, setting forth in detail the transactions conducted by it during the 12 months preceding December 1 of that year. The commission shall also make recommendations for any legislative action deemed by it advisable, including amendments to the statutes of the State of Georgia which may be necessary to carry out the intent and purposes of the compact between the signatory states.

(Ga. L. 1943, p. 117, § 5; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 23; Code 1933, § 45-725, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

27-4-215. Examination of commission's accounts by state auditor; report to Governor.

The state auditor is authorized and empowered from time to time to examine the accounts and books of the commission, including its receipts, disbursements, and such other items referring to its financial standing as the state auditor may deem proper, and to report the results of the examination to the Governor of the state.

(Ga. L. 1943, p. 117, § 5; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 23; Code 1933, § 45-726, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

27-4-216. Annual appropriation for commission.

The sum of $200.00 per annum, or so much as may be necessary, is appropriated, out of any moneys in the state treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the expenses of the commission created by the compact authorized by this part.

(Ga. L. 1943, p. 117, § 6; Ga. L. 1945, p. 193, § 1; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 23; Code 1933, § 45-727, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1.)

PART 2 F ISHING LICENSE RECIPROCITY

Cross references.

- Power of department to make agreements with other states regarding hunting license reciprocity, § 27-2-7.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 41.

C.J.S.

- 36A C.J.S., Fish, § 10.

27-4-230 through 27-4-233.

Repealed by Ga. L. 1989, p. 1552, §§ 9-12, effective April 18, 1989.

Editor's notes.

- Code Sections 27-4-230 through 27-4-233, pertaining to reciprocal agreements with Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, respectively, were based on former Code 1933, §§ 45-728 through 45-730, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 816, § 53; Ga. L. 1979, p. 678, § 30; Ga. L. 1980, p. 2004, § 4; Ga. L. 1984, p. 537, §§ 9, 10. For present provisions on reciprocity, see Code Section 27-4-234.

27-4-234. Agreements with adjoining states.

  1. As used in this Code section, the term "adjoining state" means any of the following states: Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
  2. The department is authorized to make and enter into agreements, from time to time, with the proper authorities of any adjoining state whereby:
    1. A citizen of the State of Georgia who has obtained an honorary fishing license as a blind person pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of Code Section 27-2-4 may fish within such adjoining state without the necessity of purchasing a nonresident fishing license in that state; and
    2. A citizen of the adjoining state who has an honorary fishing license as a blind person issued by that state may fish within the State of Georgia without the necessity of purchasing a nonresident fishing license in this state.
  3. An agreement entered into with an adjoining state pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) of this Code section pertains only to reciprocity of fishing licenses and all other fishing laws and regulations of the State of Georgia shall apply to any nonresident fishing in Georgia waters pursuant to the authority of any such agreement.
  4. The commissioner is authorized to enter into agreements from time to time with the proper authorities of any of the adjoining states whereby a valid fishing license issued by the State of Georgia will be accepted and honored as and in lieu of a fishing license for adjoining states so agreeing on the banks and in the waters of the lakes, rivers, and streams lying between the State of Georgia and such adjoining state or partly within the boundaries of both the State of Georgia and that adjoining state. In turn, valid licenses issued by said adjoining state shall be accepted and honored as and in lieu of a Georgia fishing license on the banks and in the waters of such lakes, rivers, and streams. Notwithstanding provisions of this title to the contrary, it shall be unlawful to take game fish except channel catfish, flathead catfish, American shad, and hickory shad from waters of the lakes, rivers, and streams lying between the State of Georgia and such adjoining state or partly within the boundaries of Georgia and that adjoining state. The numbers of those game fish which may be lawfully taken from such waters are limited by the commissioner in accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife management. Those limits allow one to 50 fish of each species to be taken but no more than a total of 50 fish of all species.

(Code 1981, §27-4-234, enacted by Ga. L. 1988, p. 370, § 1; Ga. L. 1989, p. 1552, § 13.)

ARTICLE 6 AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT

Administrative Rules and Regulations.

- Aquaculture, Official Compilation of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, Rules of Georgia, Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Subject 391-4-14.

27-4-251. Short title.

This article may be cited as the "Georgia Aquaculture Development Act."

(Code 1981, §27-4-251, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 8.)

27-4-252. Definitions.

As used in this article, the term:

  1. "Aquaculture" means the extensive or intensive farming of aquatic animals and plants.
  2. "Commission" means the Aquaculture Development Commission created by Code Section 27-4-253.

(Code 1981, §27-4-252, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 8; Ga. L. 2004, p. 948, § 2-6.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2019, p. 919, § 1-1, repealed the provisions of the Georgia Pacific White Shrimp Development Aquaculture Act, effective July 1, 2019. As a result, the amendment by Ga. L. 2004, p. 948, § 2-6, which was never funded and therefore remained dormant, is now moot.

27-4-253. Aquaculture Development Commission created; membership; bylaws; quorum; reimbursement for expenses; meeting at call of chairman.

  1. There is created the Aquaculture Development Commission. The commission shall be composed of 14 members as follows:
    1. The president of the Georgia Aquaculture Association or his representative, who shall serve as chairman of the commission;
    2. The president of the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation or his representative;
    3. The dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of the University of Georgia or his representative;
    4. The chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Consumer Affairs of the House of Representatives or his representative;
    5. The chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee or his representative;
    6. The Commissioner of Agriculture or his representative;
    7. The commissioner of natural resources or his representative;
    8. The commissioner of economic development or his or her representative; and
    9. Six members to be appointed by the president of the Georgia Aquaculture Association as follows:
      1. Four members shall be representatives of the aquaculture industry;
      2. One member shall be a representative of the commercial fish farming supply and equipment industry; and
      3. One member shall be a representative of a private industry which is doing research in the promotion of fish farming.

        Each of such six members shall be appointed for a term of two years and until a successor is appointed and assumes membership on the commission. The terms of the first six such members shall begin on July 1, 1989.

  2. The members of the commission shall enter upon their duties without further act or formality. The commission may make such bylaws for its government as it deems necessary but is under no duty to do so. The commission may appoint working subcommittees based on identified needs. These subcommittees may consist of noncommission members who exhibit an interest in the development of the aquaculture industry of Georgia.
  3. Eight members of the commission shall constitute a quorum necessary for the transaction of business, and a majority vote of those present at any meeting at which there is a quorum shall be sufficient to do and perform any action permitted the commission by this article.No vacancy on the commission shall impair the right of a quorum to transact any and all business of the commission.
  4. The members shall not receive compensation for their services on the commission but those members who are public officials or employees shall be reimbursed from the funds of their employing department, agency, or branch of government for per diem, travel, and other expenses in the same manner and amount as they otherwise receive for performing services for their respective departments, agencies, or branches of government.
  5. The commission shall meet upon the call of its chairman.

(Code 1981, §27-4-253, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 8; Ga. L. 1995, p. 10, § 27; Ga. L. 1995, p. 1059, § 1; Ga. L. 2004, p. 690, § 13; Ga. L. 2009, p. 303, § 1/HB 117.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2009, p. 303, § 20/HB 117, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "This Act is intended to reflect the current internal organization of the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives and is not otherwise intended to change substantive law. In the event of a conflict with any other Act of the 2009 General Assembly, such other Act shall control over this Act."

27-4-254. Duty of commission to develop aquaculture development plan; contents of plan; meetings of commission; staff support.

  1. The commission shall make a thorough study of aquaculture and the potential for development and enhancement of aquaculture in the state.It shall be the duty of the commission to develop, distribute, and, from time to time, amend an aquaculture development plan for the State of Georgia for the purpose of facilitating the establishment and growth of economically viable aquaculture enterprises in Georgia.Such plan shall include:
    1. An evaluation of Georgia's natural resources as they relate to aquaculture;
    2. An evaluation of species with potential for culture in Georgia;
    3. An identification of constraints to development of aquaculture in Georgia and recommendations on methods to alleviate these constraints;
    4. An identification of the roles of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Natural Resources in supporting the aquaculture industry, including an evaluation of existing physical and personnel resources and recommendations for allocation of additional resources where needed;
    5. Recommendations for implementation of the plan; and
    6. An identification of the role of other state and federal agencies in the development of the aquaculture industry.
  2. The commission is authorized to conduct meetings at such places and at such times as it considers expedient and to do all other things consistent with this article which are necessary or convenient to enable it to exercise its powers, perform its duties, and accomplish the objectives and purposes of this article.
  3. Staff support for the commission shall be provided by the Department of Natural Resources with assistance from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Economic Development.

(Code 1981, §27-4-254, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 8; Ga. L. 2004, p. 690, § 14.)

27-4-255. Registration required for sale of domestic fish; regulation of sale without registration.

Any person engaged in the sale of domestic fish, except grocery stores, shall apply to the department for an aquaculture registration.The domestic fish of a registered aquaculture producer shall be privately owned subject to regulation by the Department of Natural Resources; provided, however, any person selling "domestic fish" without first obtaining an aquaculture registration shall be considered to be selling "wildlife" or "wild animals" and shall be subject to the provisions of this title governing such sale.

(Code 1981, §27-4-255, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 8.)

27-4-256. Duty of department to register sellers of domestic fish; expiration of registration.

The Department of Natural Resources shall register sellers of domestic fish under the applicable provisions of this article.Such registration shall expire on April 1 following the second anniversary of registration; provided, however, that such registration shall expire 30 days following any change in the status of any information required by the provisions of this article or by any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this article to be reported to the department.The department shall issue to registrants who update their registration new certificates of registration for the full period of registration provided for in this Code section.

(Code 1981, §27-4-256, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 8; Ga. L. 1994, p. 600, § 6.)

27-4-257. Contents of application for registration.

  1. All applications to the department for registration as a seller of domestic fish shall:
    1. Designate an address in this state where the applicant can be personally served with legal process;
    2. Contain an appointment of an agent in this state for acceptance of service of legal process, together with the agent's address in this state; or
    3. Contain a designation of the Secretary of State for acceptance of service of legal process.
  2. A copy of such application shall be forwarded to the Secretary of State by the department.

(Code 1981, §27-4-257, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 8.)

27-4-258. Filing of application as admission of doing business in state.

The filing of an application with the department for registration as a seller of domestic fish shall constitute an admission by the applicant that the applicant is doing business in this state.

(Code 1981, §27-4-258, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 8.)

27-4-259. Denial of registration.

  1. The Commissioner may deny registration to:
    1. Any applicant with a criminal record;
    2. Any applicant who is found by the Commissioner to have violated any law administered by the department or any regulation or quarantine of the department; or
    3. A corporation, when any of its officers has a criminal record or is found by the Commissioner to have violated any law administered by the department or any regulation or quarantine of the department.
  2. In the case of a partnership, all parties shall be considered applicants for the purpose of this Code section.
  3. No registration shall be denied under this article without opportunity for hearing in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."

(Code 1981, §27-4-259, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 8.)

27-4-260. Revocation of registration.

The Commissioner may revoke any outstanding registration where the holder of the same or any officer or agent of the holder is found by the Commissioner to have violated any law administered by the department or any regulation or quarantine of the department, provided that no registration shall be revoked under this Code section without opportunity for hearing in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act."

(Code 1981, §27-4-260, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 8.)

27-4-261. Certificate as evidence of registration; list of persons registered.

All registration certificates issued by the department shall be evidence of a registration.The department shall maintain a current list of all persons registered under this article.

(Code 1981, §27-4-261, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 8.)

27-4-262. Rules and regulations.

The board shall make and publish in print or electronically such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with law, as it deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this article.

(Code 1981, §27-4-262, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 8; Ga. L. 2010, p. 838, § 10/SB 388.)

27-4-263. Inspections.

  1. Any inspector or other person authorized to ascertain compliance with any rule or regulation of the department pertaining to the production or sale of domestic fish may enter during normal business hours and inspect the premises of a registered seller or producer of domestic fish to determine whether such person is in compliance with the rules and regulations of the department.
  2. In the event any person refuses to give his consent to an inspection as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, the commissioner or any person authorized to make inspections may seek a warrant to make an inspection as provided in this subsection:
    1. Any application for an inspection warrant shall be made to a person who is a judicial officer within the meaning of Code Section 17-5-21;
    2. An inspection warrant shall be issued only upon cause and when supported by an affidavit particularly describing the place, dwelling, structure, premises, or vehicle to be inspected and the purpose for which the inspection is to be made.In addition, the affidavit shall contain either a statement that consent to inspect has been sought and refused or facts or circumstances reasonably justifying the failure to seek such consent.Cause shall be deemed to exist if either reasonable legislative or administrative standards for conducting a routine or area inspection are satisfied with respect to the particular place, dwelling, structure, premises, or vehicle, or there is reason to believe that a condition of nonconformity exists with respect to the particular place, dwelling, structure, premises, or vehicle;
    3. An inspection warrant shall be effective for the time specified therein, but not for a period of more than 14 days, unless extended or renewed by the judicial officer who signed and issued the original warrant, upon satisfying himself that such extension or renewal is in the public interest. Such inspection warrant must be executed and returned to the judicial officer by whom it was issued within the time specified in the warrant or within the extended or renewed time. After the expiration of such time, the warrant, unless executed, is void;
    4. An inspection pursuant to an inspection warrant shall be made between 8:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M. of any day or at any time during operating or regular business hours.An inspection should not be performed in the absence of an owner or occupant of the particular place, dwelling, structure, premises, or vehicle unless specifically authorized by the judicial officer upon a showing that such authority is reasonably necessary to effectuate the purpose of the regulation being enforced.An inspection pursuant to a warrant shall not be made by means of forcible entry, except that the judicial officer may expressly authorize a forcible entry where facts are shown which are sufficient to create a reasonable suspicion of a violation of this title, which, if such violation existed, would be an immediate threat to health, safety, or welfare or where facts are shown establishing that reasonable attempts to serve a previous warrant have been unsuccessful.Where prior consent has been sought and refused and a warrant has been issued, the warrant may be executed without further notice to the owner or occupant of the particular place, dwelling, structure, premises, or vehicle to be inspected;
    5. It shall be unlawful for any person to refuse to allow an inspection pursuant to an inspection warrant issued as provided in this subsection.Any person violating this paragraph shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; and
    6. Under this subsection, an inspection warrant is an order, in writing, signed by a judicial officer, directed to the commissioner or any person authorized to make inspections for the department, and commanding him or her to conduct any inspection authorized by any rules or regulations promulgated pursuant to this article.
  3. The provisions of Code Section 27-1-23 shall not be applicable to any person registered under this article.

(Code 1981, §27-4-263, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1507, § 8.)

ARTICLE 7 LIMITED LIABILITY OF OWNERS AND OPERATORS OF SPORT FISHING LOCATIONS

Cross references.

- Liability of volunteers, employees, or officers of nonprofit association conducting or sponsoring sports or safety program; liability of association, § 51-1-20.1.

27-4-280. Legislative findings.

The General Assembly recognizes that persons who participate in the sport of fishing may incur injuries as a result of the risks involved in such activity. The General Assembly also finds that the state and its citizens derive numerous economic and personal benefits from such activity. The General Assembly finds, determines, and declares that this article is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety. It is, therefore, the intent of the General Assembly to encourage the sport of fishing by limiting the civil liability of those involved in such activity.

(Code 1981, §27-4-280, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 1659, § 1.)

27-4-281. Definitions.

As used in this article, the term:

  1. "Fishing location" means a body of water, whether naturally occurring or manmade, containing fish and for the privilege of fishing there a fee is charged.
  2. "Participant" means any person who enters the fishing location, singly or with a group, either by paying a fee or having the fee waived, for the purpose of fishing, education, or enjoying the outdoor environment and any person who accompanies such person.

(Code 1981, §27-4-281, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 1659, § 1.)

27-4-282. Immunity from liability for injury or death; exceptions.

  1. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, the owner or operator of any fishing location, or any other person, corporation, group, partnership, or other entity, shall not be liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of fishing, including but not limited to drowning, and, except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, no participant or participant's representative shall make any claim against, maintain an action against, or recover from an owner or operator, or any other person or entity for injury, loss, damage, or death of the participant resulting from any of the inherent risks of fishing.
  2. Nothing in subsection (a) of this Code section shall prevent or limit the liability of an owner or operator or any other person or entity if the owner or operator:
    1. Owns, leases, rents, or otherwise is in lawful possession and control of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a dangerous latent condition which was known or should have been known to the owner or operator and for which signs warning of the latent defect have not been conspicuously posted;
    2. Commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant, and that act or omission caused the injury; or
    3. Intentionally injures the participant.
  3. Nothing in subsection (a) of this Code section shall prevent or limit the liability of an owner or operator under liability provisions as set forth in the products liability laws.

(Code 1981, §27-4-282, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 1659, § 1.)

27-4-283. Warning sign to be posted; contents of warning sign.

  1. Every owner and operator of a fishing location shall post and maintain signs which contain the warning notice specified in subsection (b) of this Code section. Such signs shall be placed in a clearly visible location on or near the water and at the location where the fee is paid. The warning notice specified in subsection (b) of this Code section shall appear on the sign in black letters, with each letter to be a minimum of one inch in height. Every written contract entered into by an owner or operator shall contain in clearly readable print the warning notice specified in subsection (b) of this Code section.
  2. The signs and contracts described in subsection (a) of this Code section shall contain the following warning notice:
  3. Failure to comply with the requirements concerning warning signs and notices provided in this Code section shall prevent an owner or operator from invoking the privileges of immunity provided by this article.
WARNING Under Georgia law, an owner or operator of a fishing location is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant from the inherent risks of fishing, including but not limited to drowning, pursuant to Article 7 of Chapter 4 of Title 27 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.

(Code 1981, §27-4-283, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 1659, § 1.)

CHAPTER 5 WILD ANIMALS

Cross references.

- Property rights in animals, § 44-1-8.

Ownership of deposit and offspring by wild animals on land, § 44-1-9.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Liability for injury to property inflicted by wild animal, 57 A.L.R.2d 242.

27-5-1. Legislative intent and findings.

The General Assembly finds and declares that it is in the public interest to ensure the public health, safety, and welfare by strictly regulating in this state the importation, transportation, sale, transfer, and possession of those wild animals which pose a possibility of:

  1. Harmful competition for wildlife;
  2. The introduction of a disease or pest harmful to wildlife;
  3. Problems of enforcing laws and regulations relative to wildlife;
  4. Threatening wildlife or other natural resources; or
  5. Endangering the physical safety of human beings.

    The importation, transportation, sale, transfer, and possession of wild animals are privileges not to be granted unless it can be clearly demonstrated that such actions can be accomplished in a manner that does not pose unnecessary risk to Georgia's wildlife and other natural resources or to the citizens of and visitors to this state. For these reasons, the General Assembly further finds and declares that only certain wild animals may be held for scientific or educational purposes, for public exhibition, or as pets and may only be lawfully held when the requirements of this chapter are met. The General Assembly further finds and declares that any wild animal for which a license or permit, or both, is required under the provisions of this chapter and for which no such license or permit, or both, has been obtained is a nuisance and is contraband and is subject to seizure by any peace officer authorized to enforce this chapter.

(Code 1933, § 45-1101, enacted by Ga. L. 1979, p. 1094, § 4; Ga. L. 1993, p. 91, § 27.)

Cross references.

- Liability of owner or keeper of vicious or dangerous animal for injuries caused by animal, § 51-2-7.

27-5-2. Powers of board generally.

  1. The board shall have the authority to regulate the importation, transportation, sale, and possession of wild animals when and to the extent that the importation, transportation, sale, or possession poses a possibility of:
    1. Harmful competition for wildlife;
    2. The introduction of a disease or pest harmful to wildlife;
    3. Problems of enforcement of laws and regulations relating to wildlife;
    4. Danger to wildlife or other natural resources; or
    5. Danger to the physical safety of human beings.
  2. The board is specifically authorized to supplement the list of wild animals set forth in this chapter for which a permit or license, or both, is required.
  3. The board shall have the authority to require that any listed wild animal that is imported, transported, possessed, sold, or transferred by any person, including wild animal dealers, be labeled with the correct species, number, age, or other relevant information.
  4. The board shall have the authority to require an applicant for a permit or license required under this chapter to supply such information and to supply it in such form as the board deems necessary for the department to discharge its responsibilities under this chapter.

(Ga. L. 1975, p. 1254, § 2; Code 1933, § 45-1107, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 1094, §§ 17, 18.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 40.

27-5-2.1. Definitions; importation restrictions; prohibition on possession of cervid carcasses.

  1. As used in this Code section, the term:
    1. "Cervid" means a member of the family cervidae.
    2. "Chronic wasting disease" means a fatal disease that belongs to a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and that affects the brains of cervids.
    3. "Clean" means having no meat matter or tissue attached to the carcass part.
    4. "Importation" means the transportation of a cervid, cervid carcass, or carcass part into this state.
    5. "Whole" means the entire carcass, whether eviscerated or not, prior to the carcass being processed.
    1. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, partnership, or association to import, bring, or cause to be imported or brought into this state any live cervid, except as otherwise authorized by rule or regulation of the board in effect as of January 1, 2007, or such later date as may be provided by Code Section 27-1-39.
      1. Any person who violates paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than $1,500.00 nor more than $5,000.00, imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months, or both such fine and imprisonment.
      2. The hunting and fishing privileges of any person convicted of violating paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be suspended for not less than three years from the date of conviction.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to import or possess a whole cervid carcass or cervid carcass part from any state having a documented case of a cervid infected with chronic wasting disease, except for any one or more of the following cervid carcass parts:
    1. Boned-out meat and commercially processed cuts of meat;
    2. Portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached;
    3. Hides with no heads attached;
    4. Clean skull plates with antlers attached;
    5. Clean antlers;
    6. Finished taxidermy heads; and
    7. Clean upper canine teeth (buglers, whistlers, ivories).

(Code 1981, §27-5-2.1, enacted by Ga. L. 2006, p. 226, § 4/HB 338.)

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 2006, a colon was substituted for a comma at the end of the introductory language of subsection (a).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting required for violators.

- Those charged with offenses under O.C.G.A. § 27-5-2.1 are to be fingerprinted. 2007 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2007-1.

27-5-3. Powers of department generally.

  1. The department shall have the authority to prescribe the form and contents for the license and permit applications provided for in this chapter.
  2. The department shall issue or deny all permits and licenses required by this chapter and any rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter.
  3. The department may, prior to a hearing, issue a cease and desist order or other appropriate order to any person who is violating this chapter or any regulation, permit, or license issued pursuant to this chapter.
  4. The department may quarantine or otherwise dispose of or order the disposition of any wild animal when it determines that the wild animal is affected with or exposed to a contagious or infectious disease or is infested with a parasite or pest harmful to wildlife.
  5. The department shall have the authority, based upon the standards set forth in Code Section 27-5-6, to determine if the necessary facilities, conditions, and standards prescribed by this chapter are sufficient for safety to the public and for the humane handling, care, confinement, and transportation of the wild animal for which application for a permit or license, or both, has been received. The department shall be authorized to make such determinations by inspecting the facilities of the permit or license holder. Following such determination, the department also has the authority to condition the license or permit so that the standards and intent of this chapter are met.
  6. The department is authorized to capture and contain any wild animal regulated by this chapter which has escaped or been released when such wild animal is determined by the department to pose a risk to Georgia's wildlife or other natural resources or to the citizens of and visitors to this state.

(Ga. L. 1975, p. 1254, § 5; Code 1933, § 45-1106, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 396, § 1; Ga. L. 1979, p. 1094, § 16.)

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 35A Am. Jur. 2d, Fish, Game, and Wildlife Conservation, § 40.

27-5-4. Wild animal licenses and permits generally.

  1. Unless otherwise provided in Code Section 27-5-5, it shall be unlawful for any person to import, transport, transfer, sell, purchase, or possess any wild animal listed in Code Section 27-5-5 or specified by the board by regulation without first obtaining a wild animal license from the department as provided in Code Section 27-2-23 or a wild animal permit as provided in this Code section; provided, however, anyone holding a deer-farming license is not required to have a wild animal license or permit to possess farmed deer. Unless otherwise specified by the department, such license or permit shall be effective from April 1 through March 31 and may contain such conditions and restrictions, including restrictions as to numbers and species of animals, as the department determines appropriate in light of the provisions of this chapter. An applicant for a wild animal license or permit shall have the burden of proving that any wild animals subject to such license or permit are or will be imported, transported, transferred, sold, purchased, or possessed i