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Commissioner, John M.R. Bull

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

October 27, 2015:  Due to low blue crab abundance levels, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission has decided to keep the winter crab dredge fishery closed this year, for the eighth consecutive year. Also, the Commission approved new shellfish lease marking requirements to improve boating safety and opened an additional area for oyster harvests next month near Saxis, on the Eastern Shore.  [Commission Meeting Summary]

October 27, 2015: 
Effective 12:01 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, Sunday, November 1, 2015, the Directed Virginia Offshore Summer Flounder Fishery will re-open for vessels with a Virginia Summer Flounder Endorsement License. [Notice]

October 21, 2015:
Effective 6:00 P.M., Eastern Daylight Savings Time, Friday, October 23, 2015, the commercial menhaden pound net fishery will close. Based on landing reports from mandatory harvest reporting and Virginia seafood buyers, it is projected that Virginia will have caught 100% of the 3,753,222 pounds of the menhaden pound net quota, by the above date and time.[ Notice ]

October 15, 2015: The Division of Shellfish Sanitation has rescinded Emergency Closure # 69N for the James River effective Thursday October 15, 2015. All shellfish harvesting waters have returned to their prior classification according to routine criteria. [VDH Notice]

October 13, 2015: 
The Commission will hold public hearings at the October 27, 2015 Commission Meeting concerning amendments for regulations pertaining to the marking of oyster ground leases and the marking of aquaculture structures within such leases. The public notice and the draft regulations can be found here: [ Habitat Notice ]

September 22, 2015: The Virginia Marine Resources Commission today repealed regulations that would have established a limited entry system for the public oyster fishery. As a result, watermen will be able to keep their oyster hand scrape or dredge licenses. A limited entry system will be examined further in the months to come. [Commission Meeting Summary ]

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VMRC in the News


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