Copies of the 1993 and 2009 Virginia, Maryland, and Potomac River Fisheries Commission reciprocal tidal license agreements:
MD/VA Reciprocity Agreement Amendment
Original MD/VA Reciprocity Agreement
Charter boat licensing and other permitting requirements:
In order to run charters in the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia coastal waters a captain must obtain their US Coast Guard Captain's license, a Virginia Charter/Head Boat License, and either a Class A or Class B Virginia Fishing Guide License. In order to catch certain species a charter boat captain may be required to obtain additional no-cost permits. These permits are designed to ensure that charter captains are aware of the rules associated with special management programs and to facilitate recreational harvest reporting.
As of August 2019, there is one recreational species permit available to charter captains: the Cobia Recreational Permit. Please see Section 4 VAC 20-510-15 of the cobia regulation for the specific legal requirements associated with the permit.
Charter boat captains are required to report to the Commission their daily catch and effort during the Virginia Cobia Season (June 1 - September 30) for both themselves and their customers. Captains may report online using the Virginia Saltwater Journal or by mailing in paper reports using this form. For additional information on Charter Boat Licenses or Permits, please e-mail Somers Smott or call (757) 247-2004.
All permits and licenses expire on December 31 for the year listed on the permit or license.
The form for head boat, charter boat, and fishing guide licenses for new license applicants, or existing licensees needing to renew, can be found here.
Other reciprocal licenses:
For more information on reciprocity please consult the DGIF website or the PRFC website.
Note that additional permits may be required while operating in federal waters. Please click here for federal permitting information.
Other links of interest to charter boat captains:
General fishing regulations for all recreational hook and line fishermen in Virginia's marine waters
Regulation prohibiting the sale of recreational hook and line caught fish and requiring charter boat captains to report catch if requested by personnel authorized by the Commission
Regulation prohibiting commercial hook and line fishing on charter vessels carrying passengers that are recreationally fishing
Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament: information on Citations, Rules of the Tournament, Weigh Stations, Current State Records, Plaque Winners, Fish Tagging Program, Handling and Releasing Fish, etc.
Virginia Saltwater Angler's Guide (full color PDF guide of saltwater angling in VA)
The VMRC Artificial Reef Program (online map or PDF version); click here for more information on reefs from our Virginia Saltwater Recreational Fishing Development Fund website
Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) Statistics from the National Marine Fisheries Service
Saltwater Angling and its Economic Importance to Virginia(1997 VIMS report)
U. S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Information