Agency News

December 2, 2019: the ASMFC has released fishery management planning documents for Spot and Croaker for public comment. They can be found on ASMFC's website at The Commission is having an ASMFC public hearing on the documents on January 7, 2020 at 6:30PM at VMRC. The public comment period closes on January 10, 2020 at 5PM. Comments should be sent to Dr. Michael Schmidtke, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at (Subject line: Croaker and Spot Draft Addenda III). Interested parties can submit public comments before the public hearing or at the public hearing, but take note the public comment will close just three days following the public hearing held at VMRC. [ASMFC Notice | Spot Addendum | Croaker Addendum]

November 26, 2019:
VMRC approves a 7.66% reduction in the Chesapeake Bay area commercial quota and a 9.81% reduction in coastal area commercial quota for the 2020 fishing year. In addition, the 28” commercial maximum size limit season in the Chesapeake Bay, formerly March 26 through June 15, has been extended to March 15 through June 15 to further protect the spawning stock of striped bass. Click on following link for more results of the November meeting. [Meeting Summary]

November 22, 2019:
Effective Sunset, Saturday, November 23rd, 2019, the Virginia horseshoe crab trawl commercial fishery will close. [Notice]

November 22, 2019:  VMRC is holding a Finfish Management Advisory Committee meeting at 6 PM on Monday, November 25, 2019 in the Commission room. The agenda can be found here.

November 18, 2019:  It is projected that 75% of the Virginia commercial black sea bass bycatch fishery quota has been taken.  After Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at 6:00 P.M., vessels holding a 2019 Virginia Black Sea Bass Bycatch Permit will be limited to possessing aboard a vessel or landing in Virginia no more than 100 pounds of black sea bass as bycatch in addition to the North Carolina legal landing limit or trip limit. [Notice]

November 8, 2019:
The annual meeting of the Tournament Committee of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament will be held Monday, November 18th at 380 Fenwick Road, Building 96, Fort Monroe, VA, 6 PM, in the Virginia Marine Resources Commission's Board Room. The meeting is scheduled to start at 6 PM and the public is encouraged to attend. [Notice | Agenda]

November 6, 2019: State Record Albacore Tuna Landed: A 70-pound 11-ounce Albacore Tuna, sometimes referred to as "True" Albacore or Longfin Tuna, caught on September 22, 2019 by Wendy Brockenbrough of Virginia Beach, VA, has been certified as a Virginia State Record by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. [Press Release]

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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