Agency News

June 4, 2020: the Secretary of Commerce has notified Virginia and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Committee that Virginia had come into compliance and the menhaden fishery moratorium scheduled to start June 17, 2020 has been lifted. [Press Release]

VMRC has updated our guidelines for the Charter for Hire industry operations during COVID-19 for Phase II reopening. The updated version clarifies VMRC authorities and removes the specific boat size capacity restrictions and shelter-in-place family allowance. For-hire and head boat capacity is limited to the number of people who can socially distance on board, regardless if they have sheltered-in-place together or not. Each passenger must be six feet away from the next passenger. If you have further questions, please email [Revised Charter Fishing Operating Guidelines 06/05/2020]

June 3, 2020: Fish On! Free Fishing Days Established for Recreational Fishing in Virginia Saltwater areas for June 5-7, 2020. 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 5, 6, and 7, 2020, and enjoy the great outdoors with your family and friends without having to spend money for a fishing license. [Press Release]

June 1, 2020:Last day to complete your COVID-19 fisheries disaster relief survey ! [Survey Announcement  |  Click here to Complete Your Fisheries Disaster Relief Survey]

May 28, 2020:  Updated guidelines for charter fishing vessels and procedures for oyster lease renewals/transfers/applications during the COVID-19 pandemic office closure have been posted on the COVID-19 information page.

May 27, 2020:  the Virginia Marine Resources Commission announces Matthew Rogers of Smithfield, Virginia as the Chief of Law Enforcement Division of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. [Press Release]

May 26, 2020:  Results of the May 26th Commission electronic meeting have been posted. [Commission Results]

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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