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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

January 2018

January 22, 2018:  The scheduled Jan. 23, 2018 public hearing on the National Park Service’s proposal concerning Dyke Marsh in Fairfax County will NOT be heard by the Commission Board at this meeting, due to the partial shutdown of the federal government. The hearing will be rescheduled for the Feb. 27 regularly scheduled monthly Commission meeting. The agency regrets any inconvenience to any and all interested parties. This public hearing will NOT be held on Jan. 23, 2018.

January 19, 2018:The ASMFC held a public hearing at the Commission Offices on January 16, 2018 to gather public comment on Draft Addendum XXX to the Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan. Written comments on Draft Addendum XXX can also be sent to Caitlin Starks, ASMFC FMP Coordinator using the email address,, with Subject line: ‘Draft Addendum XXX Comment’ or mailed to 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200A-N, Arlington, VA 22201. [ASMFC Notice]

January 3, 2018: This is a notice that 80 percent of the 51,104 pound commercial landings quota for speckled trout has been taken for the season that began on September 1, 2017 and will extend through August 31, 2018.  Effective 12:01 A.M. Saturday, January 6, 2018, it shall be unlawful, for any commercial fisherman registration licensee, to take, harvest, land or possess a daily bycatch limit of more than 100 pounds of speckled trout, and that daily bycatch landing limit of speckled trout shall consist of at least an equal amount of other fish species. When it is projected that the commercial landings quota will be met, the Marine Resources Commission will provide notice of the closing date for commercial harvest and landing of speckled trout; and it shall be unlawful for any person to harvest or land speckled trout for commercial purposes, after such closing date and until September 1, 2018. If you have questions or comments, please contact Jill Ramsey at (757) 247-2243.

December 2017

December 12, 2017: The Virginia Marine Resources Commission board today was briefed on the Elizabeth River Project’s successful and on-going work to clean up contaminated river bottom and restore the health of the Elizabeth River. Great progress has been made, but much more needs to be done, the board was told. In other action, the board unanimously approved a floating “aqua park” on state-owned water bottom at Buckroe Beach in Hampton. [Meeting Summary]

December 6, 2017: 
A 6-pound 12-ounce gray triggerfish, caught on November 1, 2017 by Dave Walden of Yorktown, VA has been certified as the initial Virginia State Record for the species by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. The record-setting gray triggerfish measured 18.5 inches (TL) and the fish sported a robust 17-inch girth. [Press Release]

December 4, 2017:
VMRC is seeking a commercial representative to sit on the ASMFC South Atlantic multispecies Advisory Panel (AP). Advisory Panels provide feedback to the relevant ASMFC Management Board during the initiation of a Fishery Management Plan (FMP) or during any addendum or amendment to an FMP. AP members represent their respective state and industry and are asked to provide feedback to ASMFC during the three stages of such a process: 1) During the development of a Public Information Document (PID) 2) During the development of a draft FMP, Addendum or Amendment 3) During the public comment period (prior to a Board vote). The ASMFC South Atlantic AP provides guidance on spot, Atlantic croaker, speckled trout, red and black drum, Spanish mackerel and cobia. Interested parties should contact Joe Cimino at or 757-247-2236.

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VMRC in the News

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