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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

July 16, 2018: 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 will increase from 3 to 36 large coastal sharks—other than sandbar sharks —per vessel, per trip as of July 18, 2018. [ NMFS Notice VA Commercial Shark Possession Limits ]

June 19, 2018: 
The Commission approved four habitat permits, denied two shellfish lease applications, put three commercial watermen on probation, and adopted commercial regulations for blue crab and bluefish. The meeting summary has the full results of the meeting.  [Meeting Summary]

June 15, 2018:
Effective 12 noon, Saturday, June 16th, 2018, the Virginia horseshoe crab hand harvest commercial fishery will close. [Notice]

June 14, 2018:
The horseshoe crab hand harvest fishery will reduce its landing limit beginning at 12 noon on Friday, June 15, 2018. [Notice]

Commissioner Bowman participates in Clean the Bay DayJune 4, 2018:  The Commission welcomes new Deputy Commissioner Ellen Bolen today. Ellen has served in a variety of natural resource management and policy roles over the last 12 years, and most recently as a senior policy advisor for NOAA working in Washington DC. Ellen has extensive experience with marine resource and fisheries policy and will be assisting Commissioner Bowman and Commission staff with all aspects of agency activities.

June 2, 2018:
Commissioner Bowman participates in Saturday's Clean the Bay Day activities on Cypress Creek near Smithfield. Over 60 volunteers participated in the cleanup in an area of concentration on Cypress Creek from the Smithfield Station to the terminus of Windsor Castle Park. Pictured on left from left to right: Amy Bowman, Commissioner Steve Bowman, Kelly Davis Local Coordinator for Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Honorable Carter Williams, Mayor of the Town of Smithfield. Commission constituents are encouraged to participate in Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week during the first full week of June, June 2nd through 10th. Bay Awareness week is an opportunity to celebrate the Chesapeake Bay and to promote Bay conservation activities. Participants in awareness activities can post pictures of their participation on social media sites under hashtags #CleanTheBayDay and #AreYouBayAware. Click on the following links to learn about Awareness Week events and Bay resource facts. [CBF Clean the Bay Day | ACB Back to the Bay | CBP Bay Facts]

June 1, 2018: VMRC has created an Artificial Reefs Map that includes detailed deployment records of specific reef structures. Artificial reef construction is part of a continuing effort to replenish fish populations for recreational anglers. Currently, Virginia has 23 artificial reef sites (18 inshore and 5 offshore). [Artificial Reef Map]


Click here for the news archive

VMRC in the News


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