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.
Recreational FishingRec Fishing Regulations
Commercial FishingRecent Regulations
Law EnforcementLE Field Offices
Habitat ManagementHabitat Permits
October 20, 2016: The VDH has revised Emergency Closure # 070-025A “Lynnhaven, Broad and Linkhorn Bays” in the city of Virginia Beach. VDH has also rescinded Closure #059O along the Peninsula side of the James River, Closure # 054-021H “Back River” in the cities of Hampton and Poquoson, and Closure # 063-008A “Nansemond River”. Refer to the VDH notice for more information. [VDH Notices]
October 19, 2016: Effective 6:00 P.M., Eastern Daylight Savings Time, Friday, October 21, 2016, the commercial menhaden pound net fishery will close [Notice]
October 14, 2016: The
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is reducing the retention limit for the
commercial aggregated large coastal shark (LCS) and hammerhead shark management
groups for directed shark limited access permit holders in the Atlantic region
from 45 to 25 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip as of 11:30 p.m.
local time on October 19, 2016. Accordingly, and pursuant to
Regulation 4 VAC 20-490-10 ET SEQ. "Pertaining to Sharks", it shall
be unlawful for any person to possess on board a vessel or to land in Virginia
more than a combined total of 25 commercially permitted aggregated large coastal
sharks and commercially permitted hammerhead sharks in one twenty-four hour
period as of 11:30 p.m. on October 19, 2016. [NMFS
October 12, 2016: The VDH has announced the following emergency closures due to localized flooding and to sewage spills associated with the remnants of Hurricane Matthew: Closure # 070-025A “Lynnhaven, Broad and Linkhorn Bays” in the city of Virginia Beach, Closure #059O along the Peninsula side of the James River, Closure # 054-021H “Back River” in the cities of Hampton and Poquoson, Closure # 063-008A “Nansemond River”. All emergency closures are in effect until the end of October. The Division of Shellfish Sanitation will be conducting monitoring of seawater and shellfish to determine if the areas can safely be opened sooner. [VDH Notices]
October 4, 2016: Here is a reminder: You must possess a Commercial Registration License (CRL) in order to sell what you catch in tidal waters. This applies to any species. While some shrimp have been landed in recent weeks, recreational anglers are reminded that anyone holding a valid saltwater recreational fishing license may use a cast net, if the angler does not hold a paid recreational license then use of a cast net requires a license. Commercial watermen are reminded that trawling is prohibited in Virginia waters.
September 27, 2016: The Commission board today decided to make no regulation changes recommended by a work group that extensively studied user conflicts with shellfish aquaculture cages in the Lynnhaven River and its tributaries in Virginia Beach and lifted a nine-month moratorium on the issuance of new shellfish leases in the area. [Meeting Summary | Offender News Release]
September 26, 2016: VDH has posted information regarding recent harmful algal blooms in lower York and lower James Rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. [VDH Notice]