2005 What's New

December 2005

December 22, 2005: 2006 Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament Opening Press Release - several Changes Slated for Tournament in 2006.  Click here for more.

December 20, 2005:
The Commission heard ten habitat cases, adopted regulation amendments related to pound nets, horseshoe crabs, scup, crab license transfers, black sea bass, and Potomac River tributary oyster harvest. The Commission will hold hearings on the emergency provisions adopted this month, a proposal to open two areas in the James and Rappahannock Rivers to oyster harvest, and on American shad bycatch restrictions at its January 24, 2006 meeting. Click here for full results of the meeting.

December 1, 2005:
2006 Saltwater Recreational Fishing Licenses can be purchased beginning today. The DGIF sells all of the Commission's recreational licenses; check their license sales site to find out how to buy your license. Note that the 2006 boat license stickers have been delayed, so if you want to buy a boat license, buy your boat license online or by telephone, or visit one of the DGIF "automated" agents to get the boat license; licensees that buy from these agents will receive a license document that is valid for the boat and will be mailed a boat sticker when they are available. Call DGIF at (804) 367-1000 if you have questions about obtaining the boat sticker.

November 2005

November 30, 2005: 2006 Gamefish Tagging Program Registration begins December 1, 2005. More

November 22, 2005:Marine Police Officers John Croft, James Simpson, and Paul Newman were recognized for outstanding service. The Commission adopted changes to the rent and royalty schedule for State owned subaqueous bottom, commercial and recreational shark restrictions, and scup commercial trip limits. They also passed an emergency regulation allowing hand scrape harvest in the Coan, Nomini and Yeocomico Rivers. The Commission will hold hearings on crab license transfer procedures, fixed fishing device priority rights, and use of horseshoe crabs as bait at its December 20 meeting. Click here for full results of the meeting.

October 2005

October 25, 2005: The Commission recognized S. Lake Cowart Jr., recently retired Associate Commission member for his nine years of service. They adopted changes to the subaqueous guidelines and commercial striped bass, oyster, and black sea bass regulations. They also voted to urge the Commissioner to authorize the Virginia Seafood Council request to perform a non-native oyster project in the Piankatank River . The Commission will hold hearings on shark regulations and the permit royalty schedule at its November 22 meeting.  Click here for full results of the meeting.

October 11, 2005: A 20-lb., 12-oz. sheepshead caught on October 6th by Arun Nhek of Newport News has been certified as the new Virginia state record by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. More

September 2005

September 27, 2005: The Commission heard eight habitat cases and agreed to hold a hearing at the October Commission meeting to consider modification of the subaqueous guidelines. Regulations related to the 2005 Oyster season and shellfish relaying were finalized. Emergency regulations related to possession of tagged striped bass for research purposes and commercial black sea bass harvest were adopted. The Commission also agreed to hold a hearing on commercial striped bass restrictions at the October meeting. Click here for full results of the meeting.

September 14, 2005:  Commercial fisherman sentenced to 18 months in prison for illegally catching and selling fish.  

September 8, 2005:The Virginia Marine Resources Commission has received a request from the Virginia Seafood Council to delay its public hearing on the next phase of its non-native oyster program.  Originally the Council asked for a public hearing at the Commission's September meeting, but Frances W. Porter, Council Executive Director, asked for the delay until the Commission's October 25th meeting in order to have more time to work on the proposal. William A. Pruitt, Commissioner of Marine Resources, has granted the Council's request.

August 2005

August 23, 2005: At their regular monthly meeting, the Commission heard eight habitat permit cases, two items related to SAV restoration, and two items related to native and non-native oyster restoration projects.  They also finalized a clam season extension for the Hampton Roads clamming area and adopted new restrictions on recreational striped bass fishing (click here for new recreational rules summary).  The decision on changes to commercial striped bass restrictions was postponed to the September 27 meeting.  Click here for full results of the meeting.

July 2005

July 26, 2005: After a lengthy public review process, the Commission voted to increase the commercial and recreational license fees effective for 2006.  See the new fee schedule.  They also adopted minor changes to regulations on commercial crabbing, recreational use of cast nets, dip nets, and eel pots, and extended the Hampton Roads clam relay season to 9/30/2005.  New Commissioner, Mr. J. Carter Fox was introduced; he replaces Mr. Lake Cowart, whose term on the Commission had expired.   Click here for full results of the meeting.

June 2005

June 30, 2005: Read results of the June Commission meeting.

May 2005

May 24,2005: The Commission adopted changes to its Wetlands Mitigation/Compensation Policy, approved a VIMS proposal to experiment with non-native oysters, modified the lobster size limit, adjusted the commercial scup quota, added a safe harbor provision to the flounder regulation, and approved funding for eight Recreational Fishing Fund projects. Click here for full results of the meeting. May 16, 2005: Commissioner Pruitt has designated June 3, 4 and 5 as Free Fishing Days. Read the Public Notice.

May 6, 2005
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced the convictions of five commercial fishermen for illegal fishing.  The Law Enforcement Division's Special Investigative Unit  was instrumental in the collection of evidence leading to their prosecution. Click here for the story.

April 2005

April 26, 2005: The Commission heard eleven habitat cases, made five emergency regulations permanent relating to use of gillnets to protect sea turtles and dolphins. They also agreed to hold hearings at next month's meeting related to the Commission's Wetlands Mitigation/Compensation Policy and Subaqueous Guidelines, as well as, a VIMS request to deploy Crassostrea ariakensis oysters in Virginia waters for experimental purposes, proposed amendments to Regulation 4VAC20-110 to adjust size limits for lobster, and establishment of the summer period (May 1 through October 31) quota for Scup. Click here for full results of the meeting.

March 2005

March 22, 2005: The Commission approved a re-opening of the black sea bass recreational fishery, approved continuation of a non-native oyster experiment, and adopted five emergency regulations related to protection of sea turtles and marine mammals. Click here for full results of the meeting.

February 2005

February 22, 2005: The Commission adopted regulation amendments related to summer flounder and oysters. The Commission agreed to hold hearings at their next meeting related to non-native oysters and recreational black sea bass and scup restrictions. Click here for full results of the meeting.

January 2005

January 25, 2005: The Commission adopted regulation amendments related to striped bass, black sea bass, bluefish, scup and oysters. A regulation establishing a security zone in the vicinity of Plum Tree National Wildlife Refuge was also adopted. The Commission agreed to hold a hearing at the next meeting related to 2005 summer flounder restrictions. Click here for full results of the meeting.

January 24, 2005: Effective December 1, 2004, Regulation 4 VAC 20-25-10 ET SEQ., "Pertaining to Pound Net Siting Public Interest Review" requires that there be an opportunity for public comment on new pound net locations that are requested for licensing by commercial fishermen. Click here to view notices posted by date; the comment period for each specific notice ends approximately 30 days from the date posted. Links to the pound net siting public notice page will be regularly posted on our calendar page and public notice page.

January 3, 2005: A 63-lb., 8-oz. striped bass caught on January 2nd by Paul W. Kleckner of Greenbackville has been certified as a new Virginia state record by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. Click here for the story.

January 1, 2005: Recreational fishing rules for 2005 are posted. If you are having trouble obtaining a recreational fishing license from DGIF license agents, remember that you can also get your saltwater fishing license by phone at (800) 986-2628 or online. Click here to learn more. Note also that recreational saltwater boat stickers are mailed separately for online and phone sales; mailings of these stickers have been delayed because of a sticker supplier problem but should be available for mailout later in January.

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Important Links

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Fisherman Identification Program
VMRC Regulations
Recreational Fishing Regulations
Anglers Guide