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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

November 16, 2018: Atlantic states from Massachusetts through Virginia have scheduled hearings to gather public comment on Draft Addenda XXXI and XXXII to the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management
Plan (FMP). As previously announced, the hearing in Virginia was held 11/14/18. Anybody wishing to comment should submit comments directly to ASMFC by 11/29/18. See the following web links for further information.
[ASMFC Hearing Notice | Addendum 31 | ASMFC Addendum 31 Presentation | Addendum 32 | ASMFC Addendum 32 Presentation | ASMFC Public Comment Guide]

November 7, 2018:
The annual meeting of the Tournament Committee of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament will be held Thursday, November 15th at 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, 6 PM, in the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s Library, located on the fourth floor of the building. The meeting is scheduled to start at 6 PM and the public is encouraged to attend. [Notice]

November 6, 2018: NOAA Fisheries is increasing the retention limit for the commercial aggregated large coastal shark and hammerhead shark management groups for directed shark limited access permit holders in the Atlantic region from 36 to 45 large coastal sharks—other than sandbar sharks—per vessel per trip as of November 6, 2018 [ NMFS Notice VA Commercial Shark Possession Limits ]

November 2, 2018:
Closure of the commercial non-purse seine menhaden bait fishery [Notice]

October 30, 2018: The Commission met yesterday and approved one dock project, levied fines against two projects, approved two oyster planting permits and denied one oyster planting permit. Also of note: the Commission levied a civil penalty of $6,000 in addition to the purchase of 1,250 square feet of wetlands credits from a mitigation bank (estimated cost $27,500) to satisfy compensation for an after-the-fact approval of a wetland fill.  The Commission also modified the oyster harvest season in the James river to better distribute effort. The modification should not result in any major changes to harvest levels. In addition, the Commissioner ceased granting out of state transfer permits for the James river seed area to avoid localized depletion. [Meeting Summary]

On Tuesday October 30, 2018, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted to increase the vessel trip limit from 18,000 pounds to 28,500 pounds for the commercial offshore scup Winter II period fishery. This change will affect the Winter II period of October 1 through December 31, 2018. [Notice]

Closure of the fall 2018 James river seed oyster fishery [Notice]; The issuance of out of state seed transfer permits. [Notice]

October 25, 2018:  ASMFC and States Schedule Public Hearings on Draft Addenda XXXI and XXXII and Management Board Seeks Input on Options for Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management. The Virginia hearing will be 6PM, 11/14/18, at 2600 Washington Ave, 4rth FL, Newport News, VA 23607. [ASMFC Notice]


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VMRC in the News


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