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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

May 2018

May 25, 2018:  Commission constituents are encouraged to participate in Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week during the first full week of June, June 2nd through 10th. Bay Awareness week is an opportunity to celebrate the Chesapeake Bay and to promote Bay conservation activities. Participants in awareness activities can post pictures of their participation on social media sites under hashtags #CleanTheBayDay and #AreYouBayAware. Click on the following links to learn about Awareness Week events and Bay resource facts. [CBF Clean the Bay Day | ACB Back to the Bay | CBP Bay Facts]

May 22, 2018: 
The Commission heard a contentious case regarding a proposed commercial aquaculture operation in the Rappahannock River near Locklies Creek in Middlesex County. The application was denied on a vote of 5-2-1 after a three hour hearing, with concerns expressed for SAV impacts and potential conflicts of use for the proposed site. In other action, the Commission designated an area within the Poquoson River as Public Clam Grounds. [Meeting Summary]

May 17, 2018:
The horseshoe crab dredge gear fishery will close at sunset, Thursday, May 17, 2018. [Notice]

May 14, 2018: Landing limit reduction for the 2018 horseshoe crab dredge fishery is effective sunset, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. [Notice]

May 12, 2018: 
NOAA Fisheries is reducing 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 25 to 3 large coastal shark other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip as of 11:30 p.m. local time May 12, 2018. [NMFS Notice]

May 9, 2018: Resilient Blue Crab Stock Weathers Harsh Winter Conditions. [Press Release]

May 8, 2018: NOAA Adjustment Made to Daily Retention Limit for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna General Category Fishery. The daily retention limit is now three fish per vessel, per day, for large, medium, or giant bluefin tuna (measuring 73” or greater). [NOAA Notice]



Click here for the news archive

VMRC in the News


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