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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

June 11, 2019:  Effective 12 noon, Wednesday, June 12th, 2019, the Virginia horseshoe crab hand harvest commercial fishery will close. The possession or landing of any horseshoe crabs in Virginia by any gear type except trawl or pound net shall be prohibited. [Notice]

May 31, 2019:
Fish On! Free Fishing Days Established for Recreational Fishing in Virginia Saltwater areas for June 7-9, 2019. If you’ve always wanted to try fishing, now is your chance! You may recreationally fish without a license again this year, during the first full weekend in June. Take advantage of the free fishing days, June 7, 8, and 9, 2019, and enjoy the great outdoors with your family and friends without having to spend money for a fishing license.

May 28, 2019: 
The Commission voted unanimously to make last month's emergency closure of the spring recreational striped bass trophy season a permanent regulation.  The Commission also adopted a regulation providing for a fast-track permitting program and permit application requirements, in order to authorize the selection and use of appropriate sites for disposal of dredge material on State-owned submerged lands for local government projects in Tidewater Virginia.  Click on the following link to see the full results of today's Commission Meeting.  [Meeting Summary]

May 23, 2019:
Black Sea Bass Recreational Season Closes May 31st -- the Black Sea Bass recreational season will close May 31st. It will re-open again on June 22 and remain opened through December 31. The 21 day closure was necessary to account for quota harvested during the February recreational season.

May 22, 2019: ASMFC Public Hearing on Amendment 1 to the Atlantic Cobia Fishery Management Plan -- VMRC will host a public meeting 6pm, June 12, 2019 at their Fort Monroe Headquarters. The draft amendment addresses a number of issues related to the transition of cobia management from the federal government to the states. Major issued addressed include establishment of processes to define biological reference points and specify harvest, changes to commercial monitoring of landings, clarification of the process for evaluating recreational harvests against state harvest targets, potential changes to commercial fishery management measures, and recommended management measures for federal waters. [Notice | Cobia Information]


Click here for the news archive

VMRC in the News


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