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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

September 11, 2018:  During September, the lawful daily time period for the commercial harvesting of crabs by crab pot or peeler pot shall be from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Crab pots or peeler pots already on board a boat at the end of this lawful daily time period may be set during the period starting immediately following the lawful daily time period and ending one hour after the lawful daily time period. However, given the pending severe weather expected from Hurricane Florence, the Commissioner is allowing crab pots or peeler pots to be removed from the waters after 2 p.m. provided those crab pots are returned to shore. This is a temporary allowance, until the severe weather subsides.

September 10, 2018:  MAFMC-ASMFC Flounder hearing has been re-scheduled:  The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission are soliciting public input on a draft amendment to address several potential changes to the management of the commercial summer flounder fishery, as well as modifications to the fishery management plan (FMP) goals and objectives for summer flounder. Ten public hearings will be held between September 10 and September 27. Virginia’s hearing will be held at the VMRC main office at 2600 Washington Ave, Newport News , VA on Thursday Sept. 13, 2018, at 6:00pm.  -- rescheduled to Wednesday, September 26, at 7:00 p.m. [MAFMC-ASMFC Notice]

August 30, 2018:  The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is soliciting public input on an Atlantic Cobia Public Information Document (PID) to gather input from stakeholders about changes observed in the fishery/resource and potential management measures that should be considered for inclusion in Draft Amendment 1. Virginia’s hearing will be held at the VMRC main office at 2600 Washington Ave, Newport News , VA on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, at 6:00pm. Please see attached Memos for more information. [ASMFC memo | VMRC memo]

August 30, 2018:  Effective 11:59 P.M., Sunday, September 30th, 2018, 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 the 50,000-pound annual catch limit allocated to the commercial sector. [Notice]

August 27, 2018:  The Commission agreed to lease approximately 83 acres within The Thorofare, in York County, but denied a nearby 20 acre shellfish lease application. The lease applications were opposed by the local yacht club and an adjacent landowner. In other action the Commission adopted the commercial oyster harvest season for 2018-2019 and voted to modify thirteen finfish regulations to standardize measurement of total length for size limit regulations. [Meeting Summary | 2018-2019 Oyster Season Summary]

August 27, 2018: 
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission announced plans to continue development of a bluefish allocation amendment. Public hearings to occur after release of bluefish operational assessment. [MAFMC Press Release]



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