RECREATIONAL COBIA FISHING IN VIRGINIA

Quick Links: [ How to get 2020 cobia permit | Info on 2019 reporting that may affect your eligibility | 2020 online reporting | 2020 reporting on paper forms | Regulation | How to contact staff with questions ]


The Recreational Cobia Permit requires mandatory reporting regardless of your participation that year (ex., trips with harvest, trips without harvest, or no trips). Accurate catch and effort reporting is critical to fishing efforts and ensures anglers have future fishing opportunities.

click here to download Cobia decision tree chart


Getting Your Recreational Species Permit

To check your eligibility for or to get the VMRC Recreational Cobia Permit online, follow this link: https://webapps.mrc.virginia.gov/public/mpermits/. Step-by-step instructions are detailed in the video below (click on "YouTube" in video toolbar to see full screen):



*The VMRC Recreational Cobia Permit is also available through any VMRC agent.


If you have questions about how to complete your recreational species reporting requirements for VMRC, please watch the following videos about reporting on paper forms, registering for a Virginia Saltwater Journal account, and reporting on the Virginia Saltwater Journal. VMRC will accept reports only by paper (email, fax, mail) or through the Virginia Saltwater Journal. No reports by phone.

 Registering for the Virginia Saltwater Journal

To sign up for the Virginia Saltwater Journal, follow this link:https://www.vasaltwaterjournal.com/. Step-by-step instructions are detailed in the video below (click on "YouTube" in video toolbar to see full screen):




Recreational Reporting Online

To report on the Virginia Saltwater Journal for recreational species, follow this link: https://www.vasaltwaterjournal.com/. Step-by-step instructions are detailed in the video below (click on "YouTube" in video toolbar to see full screen):




Recreational Reporting on Paper Forms

To report on paper forms for recreational species, follow this link: https://www.mrc.virginia.gov/Forms/. Step-by-step instructions are detailed in the video below (click on "YouTube" in video toolbar to see full screen):






The regulation pertaining to the Recreational Cobia Permit can be found below:

Chapter 4VAC 20-510-10 "Pertaining to Amberjack and Cobia":

Section 15. RECREATIONAL COBIA PERMIT AND MANDATORY REPORTING.

4VAC20-510-15. RECREATIONAL COBIA PERMIT AND MANDATORY REPORTING.

C. It shall be unlawful for any permittee to fail to report trips where cobia were caught, whether harvested, released, or possessed in accordance with this section, on forms provided by the commission within seven days after the trip occurred. It shall be unlawful for any permittee to fail to report trips where cobia were targeted but not successfully caught, by the 21st day after the close of any recreational cobia fishery season.

1. Any permittee who did not participate in the recreational cobia season shall notify the commission of his lack of participation by the 21st day after the close of the recreational cobia season on forms provided by the commission or through the Virginia Saltwater Fisherman's Journal.

2. Following the 21st day after the close of any recreational cobia season, any permittee who failed to report, whether there was harvest or no activity during that season shall be ineligible to receive a recreational cobia permit for the following cobia season, but shall be eligible to reapply for that permit in subsequent years.


2019 VMRC Recreational Cobia Permittee notifications concerning mandatory reporting requirements

As a member of the angling community, it is your responsibility to know and understand the regulations and requirements associated with the species you target. VMRC staff made numerous attempts to inform the angling public of the recreational cobia permit mandatory reporting requirements throughout the 2019 fishing year including:

1) Each cobia permittee received an email reminder to report all activity when asked for their email address when applying for a permit online.

2) The permittee was reminded of their mandatory report requirements through the Virginia Saltwater Journal prior to printing out the actual permit.

3) The actual cobia permit itself states the reporting requirements through Virginia Saltwater Journal.

4) June 3, 2019: The Marine Resources Commission Facebook Page posted the mandatory reporting requirements.

5) July 8, 2019: Another Facebook post reminder on mandatory reporting requirements.

6) September 20, 2019: A VMRC Facebook post reminded anglers that: a) the season will close September 30; b) addressed the mandatory reporting requirements; and, c) stated that those not reporting by October 21, 2019 would not be eligible for a recreational cobia permit in 2020.

7) September 30, 2019: VMRC Website announced the cobia recreational season will close today and provided information on mandatory reporting requirements. Emails are sent to 5,801 permittees who have not yet met the mandatory reporting requirements. A letter was sent to all permittees who did not provide an email during registration or provided an erroneous email address, stating they have not yet met the mandatory reporting requirements as of this date.

8) October 15, 2019: Emails were sent to permittees who have not yet met the mandatory reporting requirements.

9) October 16, 2019: A VMRC Facebook post repeated the mandatory reporting requirements, reporting deadline, and repercussions for not reporting.

10) October 17, 2019: A second letter was sent to all permittees with erroneous or missing emails who still have not met their mandatory reporting requirements.

11) October 21, 2019: Deadline for meeting mandatory reporting requirements for the 2019 recreational cobia permit. Permittees must report all fishing trips (include zero catch), or no activity for the season on or before this date to retain eligibility for the permit in 2020.


Staff will answer additional questions only through emails sent to fisheries@mrc.virginia.gov, subject heading "COBIA". Please provide your full name and MRC ID number (ex. N001234) for reference.







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Important Links

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