Terrapin Conservation Measure Implemented for Recreational Crab Pots Effective 7/1/16

Senate Bill 283 was adopted in the 2016 session of the VA General Assembly and approved by Governor McAuliffe. The bill modifies Section 28.2-226.2 of the Code of Virginia effective 7/1/16 to raise the fee for a recreational five crab pot license from the current $36 to $46 for those license holders who do not install a turtle/terrapin excluder device on their crab pots. Those who install the excluder devices may purchase a 5 crab pot license for $36. In essence, the new law provides a $10 incentive for purchasers of recreational crab licenses to install turtle excluder devices in their crab pots.

Virginia recreational crab pot licensees are encouraged to purchase the new lower cost license and install the turtle/terrapin excluder device to help in the efforts to conserve terrapins in Virginia saltwater areas.

To learn more about terrapins, terrapin conservation, and how to use turtle excluders, also known as bycatch reduction devices or “BRDs”, please visit the following Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) web pages. Information included on the VIMS pages includes techniques for making your own BRDs and some contacts to purchase BRDs commercially.

VIMS Terrapin Page

Get information on how to make your own BRDs here.

VIMS site with online link to purchase BRDs  Note: almost all the bait and tackle shops have the exclusion devices, some may sell crab pots with the exclusion devices already in place, others may just have the terrapin exclusion device. Please call your local bait and tackle shop to be certain they have them in stock. They may have all three components, (1) just the terrapin turtle exclusion devices or (2) just the crab pots that you can put the terrapin turtle exclusion devices in yourself or (3) crab pots that already have the terrapin turtle exclusion devices in them.  Other specific vendors for excluder devices:
• Almost all Wal-Mart’s sell the terrapin turtle exclusion devices.
• Chris’ Bait and Tackle on the Eastern Shore has terrapin turtle exclusion devices and crab pots. 757-331-3000; www.crisbaitandtackle.com; chrisbait@verizon.net
• Heath Crab Pots in Christfield, Maryland, 410-968-1292; has both pots and/ or terrapin turtle exclusion devices.  This business is strictly about crab pots.
• Sherry Jo’s Custom Bait in Bloxom, Virginia, on the Eastern Shore has both the exclusion devices and crab pots. 757-824-6449

A Youtube video from Maryland showing how to install BRDs

After July 1, 2016, the two new recreational crab 5 pot licenses will be available at VMRC License Agents, ask for these gear types:


The 5 pot licenses can also be purchased through Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) license agents or can be purchase online, visit the DGIF License Page to find out how.

Note: licensees that purchased their 2016 recreational 5 crab pot license prior to 7/1/16 are not required to install BRDs in their crab pots since their license was purchased prior to the new law going into effect. All $36 5 pot licenses purchased after 7/1/16 are required to have a BRD installed.

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