Agency News

March 23, 2020:  Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind project has announced an upcoming deployment of a new metbuoy and offshore survey work within and near the Kitty Hawk Offshore wind lease area. [Notice]

March 17, 2020: Click on the following link for important interim procedures for commercial fishermen and JPA Permit Holders and Applicants during VMRC's COVID-19 office closure [VMRC COVID-19 Interim Procedures]

March 16, 2020:
 the VMRC main office on Ft. Monroe and other agency field offices are closed until further notice per Governor Northam's closure of all State facilities in the Peninsula Health District as a result of a small cluster of COVID-19 cases on the Peninsula. Next week's Commission meeting scheduled for March 24, 2020 has been cancelled. The Commission's Marine Police Operations Center will remain open for emergency services only, and Marine Police Officers will remain in the field. Citizens are encouraged to use the Agency's toll free number, 800-541-4646, to report emergencies, boating accidents and marine resource violations.  For additional information visit the Governor's COVID-19 web page. [Virginia COVID-19 Updates]

March 13, 2020:  the blue crab season starts next Tuesday, March 17, for commercial crab and peeler pots and two recreational crab pots. The season for all other commercial crab gears will open Wednesday, April 1 and the season for the recreational five pot license opens June 1. If you're catching blue crabs recreationally, check out the VMRC's new recreational crabbing page for more information on licensing, seasons, size limits, possession limits, sponge crabs, and gear restrictions. For an index of commercial crab regulations, see here.

March 11, 2020:  VMRC seeks participants for its new Menhaden Management Advisory Committee (MMAC): The Virginia Marine Resources Commission is seeking individuals with knowledge of the menhaden resource to participate in it new Menhaden Management Advisory Committee. The purpose of the committee is to provide guidance to the VMRC on the sustainable management of the menhaden resource and harvest of the bait and reduction fisheries in the waters of the Commonwealth, including the Chesapeake Bay. Per the Code of Virginia, the Committee shall consist of nonlegislative citizen members who are residents of the Commonwealth and will be appointed by the Commissioner. Representation will include one person from each of the following: 1) the menhaden reduction fishery; 2) the menhaden bait fishery; 3) a labor organization involved in the menhaden fishery; 4) a recreational angler; 5) a member of a Virginia-based conservation organization; 6) the sportfishing industry; and 7) the Virginia appointee to the Atlantic Menhaden Technical Committee of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Up to five at-large seats may be appointed at the discretion of the Commissioner.

Applications are available at [MMAC Membership Application]. Applications and inquiries should be sent to (Attn: MMAC in the subject header). Deadline for applications is close of business on March 27th.

March 4, 2020: REMINDER FOR COMMERCIAL SPECKLED TROUT HARVESTERS AND BUYERS: Effective 6:00 P.M., Wednesday, October 16, 2019, the 2019/2020 Virginia commercial speckled trout fishery has closed, and will remain closed until September 1, 2020. Based upon landing reports from Virginia seafood buyers and speckled trout harvesters, Virginia has harvested and landed 100% of the 51,104 pound quota. [Notice]

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Commissioner’s Message

Picture of Steven G. Bowman, Commissioner

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.

Steven G. Bowman, Commissioner, VMRC

Important Links

VMRC Mobile
Chesapeake Bay Plate
Buy Recrecational Licenses
Fisherman Identification Program
VMRC Regulations
Recreational Fishing Regulations
Anglers Guide