Agency News

November 18, 2019:  It is projected that 75% of the Virginia commercial black sea bass bycatch fishery quota has been taken.  After Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at 6:00 P.M., vessels holding a 2019 Virginia Black Sea Bass Bycatch Permit will be limited to possessing aboard a vessel or landing in Virginia no more than 100 pounds of black sea bass as bycatch in addition to the North Carolina legal landing limit or trip limit. [Notice]

November 8, 2019:
The annual meeting of the Tournament Committee of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament will be held Monday, November 18th at 380 Fenwick Road, Building 96, Fort Monroe, VA, 6 PM, in the Virginia Marine Resources Commission's Board Room. The meeting is scheduled to start at 6 PM and the public is encouraged to attend. [Notice | Agenda]

November 6, 2019: State Record Albacore Tuna Landed: A 70-pound 11-ounce Albacore Tuna, sometimes referred to as "True" Albacore or Longfin Tuna, caught on September 22, 2019 by Wendy Brockenbrough of Virginia Beach, VA, has been certified as a Virginia State Record by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. [Press Release]

November 1, 2019:
VMRC is holding a Finfish Management Advisory Committee meeting at 6 PM on Thursday, November 14, 2019 in the Commission room. The agenda can be found here.

October 31, 2019: Notice to offshore fishing fleet east of NC and VA, bathymetric survey activity November 2019 through January 2020. [Notice]

October
22, 2019: 
The results of today's Commission meeting have been posted. [Meeting Summary]

October 16, 2019:
Effective 6:00 P.M., Wednesday, October 16, 2019, the 2019/2020 Virginia commercial speckled trout fishery will close. Based upon landing reports from Virginia seafood buyers and speckled trout harvesters, it is projected that Virginia will have harvested and landed 100% of the 51,104 pound quota. [Notice]

October 10, 2019:  The Commission welcomes new Ageing Lab staff, Dr. Hank Liao, Lab Manager, and Jessica Gilmore, Lab Technician. This summer, the former Old Dominion University (ODU) fish ageing lab moved to the Marine Resource Commission offices at Ft. Monroe. Ageing Lab personnel process hundreds of fish otolith and scale samples annually to help determine age and growth characteristics of fish important in Virginia saltwaters. Dr. Liao is also a regular participant in Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) regional fisheries management processes and is a well known expert in fish ageing techniques. Click on the link to learn more about the Ageing Lab. [Ageing Lab]

October 9, 2019: 
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has increased the retention limit for the commercial aggregated large coastal shark and hammerhead shark management groups (Appendix 1) for directed shark limited access permit holders in the Atlantic region from 45 to 55 sharks per vessel per trip effective October 9, 2019.  Per Regulation 4 VAC 20-490-10 ET SEQ. "Pertaining to Sharks" state possession limits mirror these new federal possession limits. [NOAA Notice  |   VA Commercial Shark Possession Limits]

October 3, 2019:
Virginia's Fall recreational striped bass season starts tomorrow. In Virginia, MRC is promoting "FISH F.A.S.T. FOR STRIPED BASS", encouraging anglers to use non-offset circle hooks while fishing. We hope this measure will decrease the amount of release mortality in our state and improve the long-term health of this resource. [FISH F.A.S.T. with Circle Hooks | New Fall Season Rules]


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Commissioner’s Message

Picture of Steven G. Bowman, Commissioner

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.

Steven G. Bowman, Commissioner, VMRC

Important Links

VMRC Mobile
Chesapeake Bay Plate
VRSFDF
Buy Recrecational Licenses
Fisherman Identification Program
VMRC Regulations
Recreational Fishing Regulations
Anglers Guide