TWRA Opens New Hunting Area on Watts Bar

The newly-opened Paint Rock WMA will only be open to bowhunters (for deer) and small game hunters (shotguns only). (Photo: Richard Simms)

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC) recently passed a proclamation converting Paint Rock Refuge, located in Roane County, to Paint Rock Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

CLICK HERE for a map.

The “refuge” status was originally put in place in the early 1960’s to provide a place for waterfowl populations present at that time.   However after more than two decades of monitoring, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) biologists and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) have deemed the area less useful for waterfowl.

The newly proclaimed Paint Rock WMA will no longer have a winter closure period.  As a result, hunters and anglers will have more opportunity to utilize the 1600 acre WMA located along Watts Bar Lake.

“Ducks no longer use the area due to a decrease in aquatic vegetation and changes in land use practices surrounding the area,” said Kirk Miles, TWRA Wildlife Program Manager. “We’re happy to change the designation on the area and provide further opportunities for sportsmen and women”.

The area will be open for Big Game (archery only), Small Game (shotgun only) and fishing. Please refer to the TWRA Hunting and Fishing Guides for specific seasons and public access dates at

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