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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 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]

April 2018

April 30, 2018:  Effective Sunset, Monday, April 30th, 2018, the Virginia horseshoe crab general category permit commercial fishery will close. [Notice]

April 24, 2018:
The Commission heard three habitat permit cases, three contested lease applications, and adopted regulations related to commercial crabbing and recreational tilefish season and possession limits. See full meeting summary for more. [Meeting Summary]

April 23, 2018: 
ASMFC announces State public hearings to gather public input on Draft Addendum V to the American Eel Fishery Management Plan. [ASMFC Notice]

NOAA Fisheries is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna daily retention limits effective April 26, 2018, through December 31, 2018. [NOAA Notice]

April 20, 2018:  Effective 11:59 P.M., Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), Monday, April 30, 2018, the Directed Virginia Offshore Summer Flounder Fishery will close. [Notice]

April 2, 2018:
Effective 2PM, Friday, April 13, 2017, the Virginia James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area will be closed by VMRC to the harvest of Seed Oysters. [Notice]

March 2018

March 27, 2018: The Commission voted 5-2 to authorize an alternative plan to reduce the loss of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) for a permit for the National Park Service to fill State-owned submerged land as part of the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve Marsh Restoration/Protection Plan, in Fairfax County. The Commission also established a 16 1/2-inch minimum size limit for the 2018 recreational summer flounder fishery in Virginia waters, established new commercial restrictions related to cobia, set the 2018 recreational cobia season, and eliminated the prohibition on gaffing cobia while fishing recreationally. See the full meeting summary for more. [Meeting Summary | More on Cobia Regulations]

March 23, 2018:
The State will be transitioning to a new email system over the weekend. Our employee State email addresses have not changed. If you are corresponding with any Commission employee via email between 6PM Friday and the end of next week , please be aware that email delivery could be delayed, and if important be sure to verify with your intended recipient that your email has been properly received. Likewise if you are expecting email from one of our employees feel free to contact the employee by phone to check the status of an email. Our staff directory has employee phone numbers. [Staff Directory] [MRC User Initial Login | VITA Gmail Support]

March 16, 2018:
Results of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Hearing held today have been posted. [Meeting Summary]

March 13, 2018: Mid-Atlantic Council Seeking Applicants for Advisory Panels: The Council is soliciting applications from qualified individuals to serve on eight advisory panels. Applications are due by April 20, 2018. [MAFMC Press Release]



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VMRC in the News


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