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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

December 12, 2017: The Virginia Marine Resources Commission board today was briefed on the Elizabeth River Project’s successful and on-going work to clean up contaminated river bottom and restore the health of the Elizabeth River. Great progress has been made, but much more needs to be done, the board was told. In other action, the board unanimously approved a floating “aqua park” on state-owned water bottom at Buckroe Beach in Hampton. [Meeting Summary]

December 6, 2017: 
A 6-pound 12-ounce gray triggerfish, caught on November 1, 2017 by Dave Walden of Yorktown, VA has been certified as the initial Virginia State Record for the species by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. The record-setting gray triggerfish measured 18.5 inches (TL) and the fish sported a robust 17-inch girth. [Press Release]

December 4, 2017:
VMRC is seeking a commercial representative to sit on the ASMFC South Atlantic multispecies Advisory Panel (AP). Advisory Panels provide feedback to the relevant ASMFC Management Board during the initiation of a Fishery Management Plan (FMP) or during any addendum or amendment to an FMP. AP members represent their respective state and industry and are asked to provide feedback to ASMFC during the three stages of such a process: 1) During the development of a Public Information Document (PID) 2) During the development of a draft FMP, Addendum or Amendment 3) During the public comment period (prior to a Board vote). The ASMFC South Atlantic AP provides guidance on spot, Atlantic croaker, speckled trout, red and black drum, Spanish mackerel and cobia. Interested parties should contact Joe Cimino at or 757-247-2236.

November 29, 2017:  The annual meeting of the Tournament Committee of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament will be held Thursday, December 7th at 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, 7 PM, in the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s Library, located on the fourth floor of the building. The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 PM and is open to the public. [Press Release]

November 6, 2017: 
Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced November as Virginia Oyster Month in the Commonwealth. The month of November is the perfect opportunity for travelers and Virginians to explore the Commonwealth’s eight different oyster regions, and to celebrate the Virginia oyster through numerous festivals and events across the Commonwealth. The Governor also encouraged travelers to visit the Virginia Oyster Trail, which connects visitors with restaurants, artisans, farms, tours, and historical sites throughout Coastal Virginia. [Governor's News Release]

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VMRC in the News

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