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Commissioner, Steven G. Bowman

Commissioner’s Message

Welcome to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.  We serve as stewards of the Commonwealth’s marine and aquatic resources, and protectors of its tidal waters and homelands, for present and future generations.

We manage saltwater fishing, both recreational and commercial.  We work to create and maintain sustainable fisheries for the benefit of all anglers and the ecosystem.

We also manage water bottoms in public trust for the citizens of the Commonwealth.  Our Habitat Management Division works with those who wish to use them for piers or water-dependent projects.

Our Law Enforcement Division, the Virginia Marine Police, patrols the waterways to enforce the regulations and to assist citizens in need.

We take our duties seriously, striving always to serve the public in a professional, responsive and responsible way.

Please join us as protectors of our critical natural resources so that they remain for our children and grandchildren to enjoy them as we do.


Important Links

VMRC Regulations

Recreational Fishing Rules

Anglers Guide

What We Do


Agency News

May 23, 2019: Black Sea Bass Recreational Season Closes May 31st -- the Black Sea Bass recreational season will close May 31st. It will re-open again on June 22 and remain opened through December 31. The 21 day closure was necessary to account for quota harvested during the February recreational season.

May 22, 2019: ASMFC Public Hearing on Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Cobia Fishery Management Plan -- VMRC will host a public meeting 6pm, June 12, 2019 at their Fort Monroe Headquarters. The draft amendment addresses a number of issues related to the transition of cobia management from the federal government to the states. Major issued addressed include establishment of processes to define biological reference points and specify harvest, changes to commercial monitoring of landings, clarification of the process for evaluating recreational harvests against state harvest targets, potential changes to commercial fishery management measures, and recommended management measures for federal waters. [Notice | Cobia Information]

May 14, 2019: Pursuant to State Senate Joint Resolution 309, Commission staff will be holding a public meeting on Thursday, May 30th at 10AM regarding submerged fiber optic cable protection. The meeting is primarily intended for affected regulatory and industry participants, but the public may attend. The meeting will be held at the Commission main office at 380 Fenwick Rd, Ft. Monroe, 23651. [SJR 309 Text]

May 13, 2019:
The Horseshoe Crab Dredge Category Permit commercial fishery will close beginning at sunset, on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019. [Notice]

May 9, 2019:  The Mid-Atlantic Council will hold public meetings to seek additional feedback on the development of their 2020-2024 Strategic Plan. The public is invited to attend these meetings to provide feedback on performance relative to the 2014-2018 Strategic Plan, and to identify recommendations, challenges, and opportunities for the next five years.   One of the meetings will be held at the Commission's main office at 380 Fenwick Rd, Ft. Monroe 23651 on May 21st at 5:30PM. [MAFMC Notice]

May 8, 2019: Effective Sunset, Thursday, May 9th, 2019, the Virginia Horseshoe Crab General Category Permit commercial fishery will close. [Notice]

May 6, 2019:  Today, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) released the results from the 2019 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey that show the Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab stock remains healthy and able to support quality commercial and recreational harvests. [Press Release]

May 3, 2019:  The Virginia Marine Resources Commission will continue the prohibition on issuing the permits required by §28.2-546 of the Code of Virginia to carry oysters out of state. [Notice]


Click here for the news archive

VMRC in the News


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