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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

September 27, 2017: Effective 11:59 P.M., Saturday, September 30th, 2017, the Virginia commercial cobia fishery will close. Based upon landing reports of cobia from both the state and federal level, it is projected that the states belonging to the Atlantic Migratory Group of cobia (Georgia-New York) have caught 100% of the 50,000-pound annual catch limit allocated to the commercial sector. [Notice]

September 27, 2017: Effective 12:01 A.M., Monday, October 16, 2017, the Directed Virginia Offshore Summer Flounder Fishery will re-open for vessels with a Virginia Summer Flounder Endorsement License. [Notice]

September 26, 2017:
The Commission board voted unanimously today to set aside from shellfish leasing 40 acres of water bottoms where Captain John Smith first met Pocahontas, in order to protect a wealth of Native American relics, including possibly wooden canoes, in the river adjacent to Werowocomoco. The property is owned by the National Park Service and is located between Purtan Bay and Purtan Creek, tributaries to the York River in Gloucester County. In other action, the board voted to close the commercial cobia fishery on Oct. 1.  [Meeting Summary]

September 12, 2017: 
Effective 6 P.M., Tuesday, September 12, 2017, the Virginia horseshoe crab commercial pound net fishery will close. [Notice]

September 6, 2017: 
Effective Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 6:00 P.M., Horseshoe Crab Pound Net Permittees will be limited to possess aboard any vessel or land more than 250 horseshoe crabs per day. [Notice]

August 23, 2017:
The Virginia Marine Resources Commission board today unanimously approved the 2017-18 oyster season management plan. Among the changes are 1) a five day work week, up from four 2) a reduced vessel bushel limit from 24 to 16 bushels 3) the opening of additional oyster rocks for harvest, and 4) staggered opening of public grounds to ensure that multiple harvest areas are open concurrently throughout the established season. See following web link for a chart of the areas, gear types and dates. [Oyster Harvest Area Openings | Meeting Summary]

August 10, 2017:
VDH and VIMs have worked together to provide occupational health factsheet aimed at raising awareness of algal blooms and their potential health effects for those working on Virginia’s waters. Please follow the links to learn more. [Factsheet | VDH HABS Website]


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VMRC in the News


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