Agency News

January 13, 2020: Avangrid Renewables, the developer of the Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind Project has posted their Fisheries Communications Plan.

January 11, 2020:
  Out of an abundance of caution and in consultation with FDA, the Division of Shellfish Safety announces emergency closure # 031-102A "Parrott Island" in the Rappahannock River has been reissued extending the closed period from Saturday January 11, 2020 through Wednesday January 15, 2020. Click on the emergency closure referenced on the Division's home page at These waters are scheduled to reopen on Thursday January 16, 2020. Please direct any questions to Division of Shellfish Safety Central Office staff at 804-864-7480.

 December 28, 2019: 
The Virginia Department of Health announced today that the shellfish harvesting waters surrounding Parrot Island in the Rappahannock River in Middlesex County are closed to the harvest of oysters and clams effective December 26, 2019. This closure is a result of notification of a Norovirus Outbreak in Colorado that has been epidemiologically linked to shellfish harvested from this area.  Maps of the affected areas are posted on the Division of Shellfish Safety's home page at; The affected shellfish are oysters and clams, but not crabs or fin fish. This emergency closure is effective December 26, 2019, and is scheduled to reopen effective January 9, 2019.  For more information on shellfish closures, see the frequently asked questions on shellfish condemnations at

December 23, 2019: Beginning January 1, 2020, all legally landed and sold tautog from Massachusetts to Virginia must be tagged by the commercial harvester at the time of harvest or prior to offloading. A strap tag applied to the operculum will accommodate both live and dead market fish without compromising the health or quality of the fish. No commercially caught tautog may be landed, possessed, bought, or sold in Virginia without the proper Virginia-issued tag affixed to the operculum. Click here for more information.

December 17, 2019: 
The Commission voted unanimously to establish Chapter 4 VAC 20-1360-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Commercial Electrofishing", to create a commercial electrofishing license and fishery for catfish, with the addition of a prohibition against electrofishing within 100 yards of public boat ramps, fishing areas, and people in the water.  Click on following link for more results of the December meeting. [Meeting Summary]

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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