In July 1992, the Virginia General Assembly enacted legislation authorizing the implementation of a saltwater recreational fishing license.  Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 28.2-302.3 28.2-302.3. Virginia Saltwater Recreational Fishing Development Fund established.

There is hereby established a special, nonreverting fund in the state treasury to be known as the Virginia Saltwater Recreational Fishing Development Fund, hereafter referred to as the Fund.  The interest earned on the principal of the Fund also shall not revert to the general fund.  The Fund shall be administered by the Commission, to be used solely for the purposes of conserving and enhancing finfish species taken by recreational anglers; enforcing the provisions of 28.2-302, 28.2-302.1, and 28.2-302.6 through 28.2-302.9 and regulations promulgated thereunder; improving recreational fishing opportunities; administrating the Virginia and conducting research for fisheries management; and creating or restoring habitat for species taken by recreational fishermen.  The Fund shall consist of moneys collected pursuant to 28.2-302, 28.2-302.2, and 28.2-302.6 through 28.2-302.9.
, funds collected by the Commonwealth of Virginia for the sale of those license are deposited in a special non-reverting fund and used to improve recreational fisheries in Virginia.  These provisions include; conserving and enhancing finfish species, fishing access and facilities, law enforcement, education, administration of the Virginia Saltwater Sport Fishing Tournament, fisheries research and data collection, and habitat improvement.  The Recreational Fishing Advisory Board (RFAB) of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission is charged with advising the Commission on the management of that fund (VSRFDF) consistent with the enabling legislation.

The RFAB is made up of 9 members of various anglers' groups from around the state.  Clubs nominate members to serve on the RFAB. The Commissioner of the VMRC reviews the nominees and appoints members to serve on the RFAB.  Each member serves 3 years and is then eligible for reappointment.  There is no limit on the number of terms that a member can serve. (Virginia Code Section 28.2-302.4)


Link to search the Virginia Code (Leaving the VMRC website)

In 2000, the RFAB set guideline percentages to follow when recommending projects for approval:
  • Education: Not more than 20%
  • Law Enforcement: Not more than 5%
  • Facilities ( Access): Not more than 25%
  • Habitat Improvement: Not more than 20%
  • Research & Data Collection: Not more than 30%
  • Stock Enhancement: Not more than 5%
Please forward questions, comments, nominations, concerns, project applications and reports to Rob O'Reilly (rob.o'reilly@mrc.virginia.gov).



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