This chapter establishes the Fisherman Identification Program that is consistent with the standards of the National Saltwater Angler Registry Program.  The program provides contact information, for all saltwater anglers 16 years of age or older, which will be used for surveys that estimate angler catch and fishing effort.

This chapter is promulgated pursuant to authority contained in §28.2-201 and §28.2-302.1:1 of the Code of Virginia.  This chapter amends and re-adopts, as amended, Chapter 4VAC20-1240-10 et seq., which was adopted on September 28, 2010 and made effective January 1, 2011.  The effective date of this chapter is March 1, 2012.

4VAC20-1240-10. Purpose.

The purpose of this regulation is to establish a Fisherman Identification Program which, in combination with the Saltwater Fishing License Program, will provide a complete listing of anglers fishing for marine and anadromous fish species in tidal waters.  The listing is used to contact fishermen as part of statistical surveys that estimate recreational fishing catches and effort. 

4VAC20-1240-20. Definitions.

The following words or terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Anadromous species" means any Striped bass Morone saxatilis, American shad Alosa sapidissima, hickory shad Alosa mediocris, blueback herring Alosa aestivalis, or alewife Alosa psuedoharengus.

4VAC20-1240-30. Registration Requirement; Exception; Procedures, Confidentiality.

A.  It shall be unlawful for any resident or nonresident, 16 years of age or older, to take or catch or attempt to take or catch any marine or anadromous fish species recreationally, in any tidal waters of the Commonwealth, without first obtaining, annually, a Fisherman Identification Program (FIP) number, except as provided in subsection B of this section. 

B.  Any person who purchases a Virginia saltwater recreational fishing license under Article 1.1 (§ 28.2-302.1 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia, or a saltwater recreational fishing license issued by the Potomac River Fisheries Commission, is not required to obtain a FIP number for the term of that license.  Any person fishing aboard a charter boat or head boat that is licensed by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission or the Potomac River Fisheries Commission is not required to obtain a FIP number.

C.  The FIP number may be obtained by the fisherman at no cost by calling a toll-free number and providing the required FIP information over the telephone or by entering the required information online via an Internet access portal designated by the Marine Resources Commission for that purpose.  The required FIP information shall include name, date of birth, address, and telephone number.  No person shall be considered as registered under the FIP unless all of that person's FIP-required information is a part of the commission's telephone or Internet database. 

D.  Any person registered in the Fisherman Identification Program must be able to produce his FIP number upon request by any police officer.  Failure to provide a valid FIP number for the current year shall constitute a violation of this regulation.

4VAC20-1240-40. Penalty.

As set forth in §28.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter committed by the same person within 12 months of a prior violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

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