Va saltwater regulations

Va saltwater regulations DEFAULT

Virginia

More details can be found in sections that follow this summary.

License Information & Fees

  • Beginning January 1, 2021, any person using a Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR)-owned or managed facility or boating access site must have a valid hunting, trapping, or freshwater fishing license, a Restore the Wild membership, an access permit or current certificate of boat registration issued by the Department to use the facility. This does not apply to persons under the age of 17 or passengers in a boat with a permitted operator. The operator must have a permit.

Creel (Harvest) and Length Limits

  • Flannagan Reservoir - No smallmouth bass less than 15”.
  • North Fork, South Fork, and mainstem Shenandoah River - No largemouth or smallmouth bass 11-14”.
  • No size or possession limits statewide, on spotted and Alabama bass, except South Holston Reservoir, which has a 15 spotted bass possession limit.
  • New River upstream of Buck Dam in Carroll County and the New River downstream from Claytor Dam - Statewide walleye regulations now apply.
  • Claytor Lake and the New River upstream of Claytor Lake Dam to Buck Dam in Carroll County - No walleye 19-28”, 2 walleye per day.
  • Lake Gaston - No white bass less than 14”, 10 white bass per day.
  • All coastal rivers of the Chesapeake Bay, below the fall line - No yellow perch less than 9”.
  • Rappahannock River and its tributaries below the fall line - No daily limit on blue catfish, except only one per day longer than 32”

Trout

  • A trout license is not required to fish designated stocked trout waters during Free Fishing Days, June 4-6, 2021. A permit is still required to fish at Clinch Mountain, Crooked Creek and Douthat State Park Fee Fishing Areas.
  • Hearthstone Lake (Augusta Co.) will be stocked in spring 2021.
  • The Delayed Harvest section of Passage Creek (Warren Co.) will be closed (not stocked) due to construction at the Front Royal Fish Hatchery.
  • The Delayed Harvest section on the Hardware River WMA (Fluvanna Co.) and Peak Creek (Pulaski Co.) have been removed from the stocking program.
  • Two new stream sections have been added to the Delayed Harvest Program, Hardy Creek (Lee Co.) and Piney River (Nelson/Amherst Co.)
  • Sections of Green Cove Creek (Washington Co.), Snake Creek (Carroll Co.), Smith Creek (Alleghany Co.), and Whitetop Laurel Creek (Washington Co.) have been changed from 12-inch minimum size to Catch and Release.

State Record Fish Program

  • New species will be recognized, including white crappie, black crappie, bluegill sunfish, redear sunfish, saugeye, a category for all other sunfish, and goldfish (archery only). White crappie, bluegill, saugeye, other sunfish, and goldfish categories are currently open until qualifying catches are submitted and approved. For qualifying minimum sizes and program rules, see page 54.

Online Angler Recognition Program

  • The angler recognition program is now online. Mail-in trophy fish applications will no longer be accepted and trophy fish certificates will no longer be mailed. Anglers can apply online and print their citations at home through Go Outdoors Virginia at www.gooutdoorsvirginia.com/
  • New species were added to the Angler Recognition Program including black crappie, white crappie, saugeye, fallfish, bluegill, redear sunfish, and other sunfish. For details on minimum lengths and weights see page 55.
Sours: https://www.eregulations.com/virginia/fishing

Virginia

Largemouth, Smallmouth Bass

5 per day in the aggregate (combined) No statewide length limits

Lakes

Briery Creek LakeNo largemouth or smallmouth bass 16 to 24 inches, only 1 per day longer than 24 inchesBuggs Island Lake/Kerr ReservoirOnly 2 of 5 largemouth or smallmouth bass less than 14 inchesClaytor LakeNo smallmouth less than 14 inchesFlannagan ReservoirNo largemouth bass less than 12 inches; no smallmouth bass less than 15 inchesLake GastonOnly 2 of 5 largemouth or smallmouth bass less than 14 inchesLeesville ReservoirOnly 2 of 5 largemouth or smallmouth bass less than 14 inchesLake MoomawNo largemouth or smallmouth bass less than 12 inchesPhilpott ReservoirNo largemouth or smallmouth bass less than 12 inchesQuantico Marine Base watersNo largemouth or smallmouth bass 12 to 15 inchesSmith Mt. Lake and its tributaries below Niagara DamOnly 2 of 5 largemouth or smallmouth bass less than 14 inchesSouth Holston ReservoirNo smallmouth less than 15 inches

Rivers

Clinch River–within the boundaries of Scott, Wise, Russell or Tazewell countiesNo largemouth or smallmouth bass less than 20 inches, only 1 per day longer than 20 inchesDan River and tributaries downstream from the Union Street Dam, DanvilleOnly 2 of 5 largemouth or smallmouth bass less than 14 inchesJames River–Confluence of the Jackson and Cowpasture rivers (Botetourt Cty) downstream to the 14th St. Bridge in RichmondNo largemouth or smallmouth bass 14 to 22 inches, only 1 per day longer than 22 inchesLevisa Fork River–within the boundaries Buchanan CountyNo largemouth or smallmouth bass less than 20 inches, only 1 per day longer than 20 inchesNew River–Fields Dam (Grayson County) downstream to the VA-WV state line and its tributaries Little River downstream from Little River Dam in Montgomery County, Big Walker Creek from the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge downstream to the New River and Wolf Creek from the Narrows Dam downstream to the New River in Giles County. (This does not include Claytor Lake which is delineated as: The upper end of the island at Allisonia downstream to the dam.)No largemouth or smallmouth bass 14 to 22 inches, only 1 per day longer than 22 inchesNorth Fork Holston River–Rt. 91 Bridge upstream of Saltville, Va. downstream to the VA-TN state lineNo largemouth or smallmouth bass less than 20 inches, only 1 per day longer than 20 inchesPotomac River – Virginia tidal tributaries above Rt. 301 bridgeNo largemouth or smallmouth bass less than 15 inches from March 1 through June 15Staunton (Roanoke) River–and its tributaries below Difficult Creek, Charlotte CountyOnly 2 of 5 largemouth or smallmouth bass less than 14 inchesNorth Fork, South Fork and mainstem Shenandoah RiverNo largemouth or smallmouth bass 11 to 14 inchesStaunton River–Leesville Dam (Campbell County) downstream to the mouth of Difficult Creek, Charlotte CountyNo smallmouth bass less than 20 inches, only 1 per day longer than 20 inches

Alabama, Spotted Bass

No statewide daily limit No statewide length limitSouth Holston Reservoir15 spotted bass per day

Striped Bass

Landlocked Striped Bass and Landlocked Striped Bass X White Bass Hybrids

4 per day in the aggregate No fish less than 20 inchesBuggs Island Lake/Kerr Reservoir including the Staunton (Roanoke) River to Leesville Dam and the Dan River to the Union Street Dam (Danville)October 1–May 31: 2 per day in the aggregate (combined) No striped bass or hybrid striped bass less than 20 inchesJune 1–September 30: 4 per day in the aggregate (combined) No length limitClaytor Lake and its tributariesSeptember 16–June 30: 2 per day in the aggregate, no striped bass or hybrid bass less than 20 inchesJuly 1–September 15: 4 per day in the aggregate; no length limitLake Gaston4 per day in the aggregate (combined)October 1–May 31: No striped bass or hybrid striped bass less than 20 inchesJune 1–September 30: No length limitSmith Mountain Lake and its tributaries, including the Roanoke River upstream to Niagara Dam2 per day in the aggregate (combined)November 1–May 31: No striped bass 30 to 40 inchesJune 1–October 31: No length limit

Anadromous (coastal) striped bass above the fall line in all coastal rivers of the Chesapeake Bay

Creel and length limits shall be as set by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission for recreational fishing in tidal watersNone applyNone apply

Striped bass in the Meherrin, Nottoway, Blackwater (Chowan Drainage), North Landing and Northwest rivers and their tributaries plus Back Bay

2 per day No striped bass less than 18 inchesNone applyNone apply

Walleye, Saugeye

5 per day in the aggregate No walleye or saugeye less than 18 inchesClaytor Lake and the New River upstream of Claytor Lake Dam to Buck Dam in Carroll County2 walleye per day; no walleye 19 to 28 inches

Sauger

2 per day No statewide length limitsNone applyNone apply

White Bass

5 per day No statewide length limitsSouth Holston ReservoirNo harvest or possession (catch and release only)Lake Gaston and Buggs Island Lake/Kerr Reservoir, including the Staunton River to Leesville Dam and the Dan River to Union Street Dam (Danville)10 per day; no white bass less than 14 inches

Chain Pickerel

5 per day No statewide length limitsLake Gaston and Buggs Island Lake/Kerr ReservoirNo daily limit

Northern Pike

2 per day No pike less than 20 inchesNone applyNone apply

Muskellunge

2 per day No muskellunge less than 30 inchesNew River-Fields Dam (Grayson County) downstream to Claytor Dam, including Claytor Lake1 per day No muskellunge less than 42 inchesNew River-Claytor Dam downstream to VA-WV state line1 per day June 1–last day of February: No muskellunge 40 to 48 inches March 1–May 31: No muskellunge less than 48 inches

Bluegill (bream) and other sunfish excluding Crappie, Rock Bass (redeye) and Roanoke Bass

50 per day in the aggregate (combined) No statewide length limitsLake Gaston and Buggs Island Lake/Kerr Reservoir and that portion of the New River from the VA–NC state line downstream to the confluence of the New and Little rivers in Grayson CountyNo daily limit

Crappie (black or white)

25 per day in the aggregate (combined) No statewide length limitsLake Gaston and that portion of the New River from the VA–NC state line downstream to the confluence of the New and Little rivers in Grayson CountyNo daily limitBuggs Island Lake/Kerr ReservoirNo crappie less than 9 inchesBriery Creek and Sandy River reservoirsNo crappie less than 9 inchesFlannagan and South Holston reservoirsNo crappie less than 10 inches; South Holston Res.–15 per day in the aggregate (combined)

Rock Bass (redeye)

25 per day in the aggregate with Roanoke bassNo statewide length limitsLake Gaston and Buggs Island Lake/Kerr Reservoir and that portion of the New River from the VA–NC state line downstream to the confluence of the New and Little rivers in Grayson CountyNo daily limitNottoway, Meherrin, Blackwater (Franklin County), Falling and Smith rivers and their tributaries5 per day in the aggregate (combined) with Roanoke bass No rock bass less than 8 inchesSouth Holston Reservoir20 per day

Roanoke Bass

25 per day in the aggregate with rock bass No statewide length limitsNottoway, Meherrin, and Blackwater (Franklin County), Falling and Smith rivers and their tributaries5 per day in the aggregate (combined) with rock bass No Roanoke bass less than 8 inches

Perch (yellow and white)

No statewide daily limit No statewide length limitLake Moomaw10 per dayTidal rivers of the Chesapeake Bay below the fall lineNo yellow perch less than 9 inches

Trout

6 per day 7 inch minimum sizeSee Trout Waters, pages 29-33No minimum size limitSouth Holston Reservoir7 fish per day—only 2 lake trout. No minimum size.

Catfish

Channel, White and Flathead

20 per day No length limitsAll rivers below the fall lineNo daily limit

Blue

20 per day No statewide length limitsBuggs Island Lake/Kerr Reservoir20 per day, except only 1 blue catfish per day longer than 32 inchesJames River and its tributaries below the fall line, Rappahannock River and its tributaries below the fall line, and York River and its tributaries (including the Pamunkey River and Mattaponi River) below the fall lineNo daily limit, except only 1 blue catfish per day longer than 32 inchesLake GastonNo daily limit, except only 1 blue catfish per day longer than 32 inchesAll rivers below the fall line other than the James River and its tributaries, the Rappahannock River and its tributaries, and the York River and its tributariesNo daily limit

Yellow, brown, black, flat, and snail bullhead

No daily limit No length limitsNone applyNone apply

All Catfish

South Holston Reservoir20 per day, only 1 catfish per day longer than 34 inches

Hickory Shad

Above and below the fall line in all coastal rivers of the Chesapeake Bay

Creel and length limits shall be the same as those set by the Virginia Marine Resources Comm. in tidal riversNone applyNone apply

Meherrin River below Emporia Dam, Nottoway River, Blackwater River (Chowan Drainage), North Landing and Northwest rivers, and their tributaries plus Back Bay

10 per day No length limitsNone applyNone apply

American Shad

No possession (catch and release only)

Anadromous (coastal) Alewife and Blueback Herring

Above and below the fall line in all coastal rivers of the Chesapeake Bay and their tributaries

Creel and length limits shall be the same as those set by the Virginia Marine Resources Comm. for these species in tidal riversThe Virginia Marine Resources Commission enacted a ban on the possession of river herring, effective January 1, 2012, due to the collapse of the stock, and to comply with an Atlantic States Marine Fisheries fishery management plan directive

Meherrin River, Nottoway River, Blackwater River (Chowan Drainage), North Landing and Northwest rivers and their tributaries, plus Back Bay

No possession

Other native or naturalized nongame fish

20 per day No length limitsStatewideSee pages 25–26 for exceptions

Threatened and endangered species

No possessionNone applyNone apply

Grass Carp

No statewide daily limit No statewide length limitAnglers may possess grass carp taken from inland public waters, except for public lakes and reservoirs. Anglers must ensure that harvested grass carp are dead.

Northern Snakehead

No statewide daily limit No statewide length limitAnglers may possess snakeheads taken from Virginia waters if they immediately kill the fish and notify the headquarters or a regional office of the department; notification may be made by calling (804) 367-2925.

Non-native (Exotic) Fish

See pages 25–26

Spotted Sea Trout

Back Bay and tributaries, including Brinson’s Inlet Lake (Lake Tecumseh), and the North Landing River and its tributaries

4 per day, no fish less than 14 inches

Red Drum

Back Bay and tributaries, including Brinson’s Inlet Lake (Lake Tecumseh), and the North Landing River and its tributaries

1 per day between 18 and 27 inches

Grey Trout

Back Bay and tributaries, including Brinson’s Inlet Lake (Lake Tecumseh), and the North Landing River and its tributaries

1 per day, no fish less than 12 inches

Southern Flounder

Back Bay and tributaries, including Brinson’s Inlet Lake (Lake Tecumseh), and the North Landing River and its tributaries

6 per day, no fish less than 15 inches

Longnose Gar

5 per day No statewide length limits

Bowfin

5 per day No statewide length limits

American Eel

25 per day; no eel less than 9 inchesBack Bay and North Landing RiverNo possession limit for those individuals possessing a permit obtained under 4VAC15-340-80

Saltwater Marine Species

See Virginia Marine Resources website: www.mrc.virginia.gov

Sours: https://www.eregulations.com/virginia/fishing/creel-length-limits
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Virginia’s Recreational Fishing Regulations For Marine Waters

It is the angler’s responsibility to know and abide by all current regulations and laws. Individuals must obtain a saltwater recreational fishing license which entitles them to use rod and reel (hook and line), spear or gig, and hand line, cast net, dip net or two eel pots; other rules may apply to these specific gears. For detailed fish identification information, download our Angler’s Guide Fish ID

Regulation Cards are available at most tackle/bait shops and available below.

2019 Finfish Regulation Card
2019 Striped Bass Regulation Card
Size/Possession Limits Summary Sheet

ALEWIFE

Alewife
Regulation 4 VAC 20-1260-10 et seq.

Moratorium on River Herring, illegal to possess.

AMBERJACK

Amberjack
Regulation 4 VAC 20-510-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: 32 IN.

Possession Limit: 2 per person

Capture Citation: RELEASE ONLY

Release Citation: 50 IN.

State Record: 118 lbs, 1986, Mark J. Roberts

AMERICAN EEL

American Eel
Regulation 4 VAC 20-500-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: 9 IN.

Possession Limit: 25 per person

BLACK DRUM (DRUM,DRUMFISH)

Black Drum
Regulation 4 VAC 20-320-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: 16 IN.

Possession Limit: 1 per person

Capture Citation: 80 Lbs

Release Citation: 46 IN.

State Record: 111 lbs, 1973, Betty D. Hall

BLACK SEA BASS (SEA BASS)

Black Sea Bass
Regulation 4 VAC 20-950-10 et seq.

Regulations for black sea bass caught in federal waters are subject to change. Please contact NMFS.

It shall be unlawful for any person fishing recreationally to take, catch, or possess any black sea bass, from February 1 through February 28, without first having obtained a Recreational Black Sea Bass Permit from the Marine Resources Commission. It shall be unlawful for any black sea bass permittee to fail to contact the Marine Resources Commission Operation Station at (800) 541-4646 before returning to shore at the end of the fishing trip during the February black sea bass season. The permittee shall provide the Operations Station with his name, VMRC ID number, the point of landing, a description of the vessel, and an estimated return to shore time. Permits can be obtained online here or at an MRC Licensing Agent. Reporting can be done online through the Saltwater Journal or using forms provided by the VMRC.

Minimum Size Limit: 12.5 IN.

Possession Limit: 15

Season: May 15 – 31; June 22 – Dec 31

Capture Citation: 5 Lbs

Release Citation: NOT ELIGIBLE

State Record: 10 lbs 4 oz, 2000, Allen P. Paschall

BLUEBACK HERRING

BLUEBACK HERRING
Regulation 4 VAC 20-1260-10 et seq.

Moratorium on River Herring, illegal to possess.

BLUE CATFISH – Applicable DGIF Regulations

Blue Catfish
Visit Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website (dgif.virginia.gov) for full regulations.

1 blue catfish per day over 32 inches

BLUEFISH

Bluefish
Regulation 4 VAC 20-450-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: None

Possession Limit: 10 per person

Capture Citation: 16 Lbs

Release Citation: 36 IN.

State Record: 25 lbs 4 oz, 1986, Gayle E. Cozzens

COBIA

Cobia
Regulation 4 VAC 20-510-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: 40 IN.

Possession Limit: 1 per person, 3 Per Vessel; whichever is more restrictive

Season: June 1 through Sept 30

Capture Citation: 55 Lbs

Release Citation: 50 IN.

State Record: 109 lbs, 2006, Joseph F. Berberich, II

Recreational cobia regulations are as follows: 40-inch, total length, minimum size limit; 1-fish daily possession limit or 3-fish-daily vessel limit, whichever is more restrictive; only one fish per vessel per day may be greater than 50 inches in total length; an open season of June 1 through September 30; and gaffing is now allowed to land a cobia while fishing recreationally. All anglers, captains, and guides fishing for cobia must obtain a Recreational Cobia Permit from the Commission and report all harvest and cobia fishing activity. Permits can be obtained online here or at an MRC Licensing Agent. Reporting can be done online through the Saltwater Journal or using forms provided by the VMRC.

CREVALLE JACK

Crevalle Jack
Capture Citation: RELEASE ONLY

Release Citation: 40 IN.

State Record: 48 lbs 12 oz, 1993, Charles McCaskill, III

CROAKER

Croaker
Capture Citation: 3 Lbs

Release Citation: 20 IN.

State Record: 8 lbs 11 oz, 2007, Norman T. Jenkins

DOLPHIN

Dolphin
Capture Citation: 25 Lbs

Release Citation: NOT ELIGIBLE

Info: Managed by SAFMC – http://www.safmc.net/

State Record: 71 lbs 8 oz, 1991, Don Dorey

GREY TROUT (WEAKFISH)

Grey Trout
Regulation 4 VAC 20-380-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: 12 IN.

Possession Limit: 1 per person

Capture Citation: 9 Lbs

Release Citation: 30 IN.

State Record: 19 lbs, 1983, Philip W. Halstead

GROUPERS

Grouper
Regulation 4 VAC 20-1120-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: None

Possession Limit: 1 per person

State Record: Snowy Grouper, 70 lbs 7 oz, 2011, Roger C. Burnley

KINGFISH (ROUNDHEAD)

Southern Kingfish
Capture Citation: 1 Lb 8 oz

Release Citation: 16 IN.

State Record: 2 lbs 13 oz, 2002, Chip Watters

KING MACKEREL

King Mackerel
Regulation 4 VAC 20-540-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: 27 IN.

Possession Limit: 3 per person

Capture Citation: 20 Lbs

Release Citation: NOT ELIGIBLE

State Record: 63 lbs 1 oz, 2007, Susan M. Smith

POMPANO

Pompano
Capture Citation: 1.5 Lbs

Release Citation: 16 IN.

State Record: 5 lbs 10 oz, 1992, Robert T. Long

RED DRUM (CHANNEL BASS, REDFISH)

Red Drum
Regulation 4 VAC 20-280-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: Min 18 IN. to Max 26 IN.

Possession Limit: 3 per person

Capture Citation: RELEASE ONLY

Release Citation: 46 IN.

State Record: 85 lbs 4 oz, 1981, Herman Moore

SCUP (PORGY)

Scup (Porgy)
Regulation 4 VAC 20-910-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: 8 IN.

Possession Limit: 30 per person

State Record: 5 lbs 5 oz, 1978, Charles B. Haines, Sr.

SHAD, AMERICAN

American Shad
Regulation 4 VAC 20-530-10 et seq.

Illegal to possess American shad.

SHARKS (All species except smooth and spiny dog sharks)*

Shark
NMFS Shark Identification

Regulation 4 VAC 20-490-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: 54 inches fork length **

Possession Limit: 1 per vessel ***

A non-boat assisted shore angler is entitled to a vessel possession limit

Season Closed May 15 – July 15

(Includes Blacktip, Bull, Great Hammerhead, Lemon, Nurse, Scalloped Hammerhead, Smooth Hammerhead, Spinner, and Tiger Shark)

Federal waters, beyond the Three Mile Limit governed by different regulations set by the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council.

*Recreationally Prohibited Species – It is illegal to take, catch or possess any shark from the “Recreationally Prohibited Species” list, as defined in Regulation 4 VAC 20-490-10 et seq., including but not limited to the following species commonly encountered in Virginia: Atlantic Angel, Dusky, Sand Tiger, Sandbar, White, and Bigeye Thresher Sharks. No size or possession limits apply to Dog Sharks.

**All sharks (All species except Spiny Dog Sharks) must be landed with head and fins attached; hammerhead sharks must be 78 inches fork length (FL) or greater, no minimum size applies to Atlantic Sharpnose, Bonnethead, Blacknose, and Finetooth Sharks.

***Possession limit for Atlantic Sharpnose and Bonnethead Sharks is 1 per person.

Sharks may only be taken by handline or rod and reel; Spearing and bowfishing illegal.

Capture Citation: RELEASE ONLY

Release Citation: 72 IN.

SHEEPSHEAD

Sheepshead
Regulation 4 VAC 20-1110-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: None

Possession Limit: 4 per person

Capture Citation: 10 Lbs

Release Citation: 24 IN.

State Record: 20 lbs 12 oz, 2005, Arun Nhek

SPADEFISH

Spadefish
Regulation 4 VAC 20-970-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: None

Possession Limit: 4 per person

Capture Citation: 8 Lbs

Release Citation: 22 IN.

State Record: 14 lbs 14 oz, 2009, Roland E. Murphy

SPANISH MACKEREL

SPANISH
Regulation 4 VAC 20-540-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: 14 IN.

Possession Limit: 15 per person

Capture Citation: 4 Lbs

Release Citation: 26 IN.

State Record: 9 lbs 13 oz, 1993, Everett Cameron

SPECKLED TROUT (SPOTTED SEATROUT)

Speckled Trout
Regulation 4 VAC 20-280-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: 14 IN.

Possession Limit: 5 per person

Season: 5 per Person, only 1 greater than 24″

Capture Citation: 5 Lbs

Release Citation: 24 IN.

State Record: 16 lbs, 1977, Bill Katko

SPOT

Spot
Capture Citation: 1 Lbs

Release Citation: 13 IN.

State Record: 2 lbs 6 oz, 1980, Nathan Dryden

STRIPED BASS (ROCKFISH, STRIPED)

Striped Bass
Regulation 4 VAC 20-252-10 et seq.

Virginia Coastal Seasons

January 1 through March 31
May 16 through December 31

Minimum Size Limit: 28 inches

Maximum Size Limit: 36 inches (Effective: 8/27/2019)

Possession Limit: 1 per person (Effective: 1/1/2015)

Coastal regulations apply in Virginia’s Territorial Sea, plus all of the creeks, bays, inlets, and tributaries on the seaside of Accomack County, Northhampton County (including areas east of the causeway from Fisherman Island to the mainland) and the City of Virginia Beach (including federal areas and state parks fronting on the Atlantic Ocean and east and south of the point where the shoreward boundary of the Territorial Sea joins the mainland at Cape Henry). Click here for map of coastal boundary near the CBBT.

At the April 23, 2019 Commission Meeting, the Commission unanimously approved adopting the emergency amendments to Chapter 4 VAC 20-252-10 ET SEQ. to eliminate the Spring Striped Bass Trophy Season and to advertise a May public hearing.

Chesapeake Bay Spring Season

May 16 through June 15

Minimum Size Limit: 20 inches
Maximum Size Limit: 28 inches
Possession Limit: 1 per person
Chesapeake Bay Fall Season

October 4 through December 31

Minimum Size Limit: 20 inches

Maximum Size Limit: 36 inches (Effective 8/27/2019)

Possession Limit – October 4 through December 31: 1 per person

Chesapeake Bay regulations for both the Spring and Fall seasons described above apply in the main stem of the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay tributary rivers, except for the tributary rivers emptying into the Potomac River (see note below for more information on Potomac River striper regulations).

Other Virginia restrictions: You may not combine possession limits when seasons overlap or you fish in multiple jurisdictions.

Gaffing striped bass or attempting to gaff striped bass is illegal in Virginia marine waters.

Federal water striped bass regulations: Atlantic Ocean waters beyond the 3 mile limit are closed to the taking and possession of striped bass all year.

Potomac River striped bass regulations: Different regulations apply in the Potomac River. These areas are subject to the rules and regulations of the Potomac River Fisheries Commission, P.O. Box 9, Colonial Beach, VA 22443, (804) 224-7148; (800) 266-3904; For further information on PRFC rules contact PRFC directly or visit PRFC.

Capture Citation: 40 Lbs

Release Citation: 44 IN.

State Record: 74 lbs, 2012, Cary Wolfe

STURGEON

Sturgeon
Code Section 28.2-303

Illegal to possess

SUMMER FLOUNDER

Summer Flounder
Regulation 4 VAC 20-620-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: 16 1/2 IN.

Possession Limit: 4 per person

Season: Open year-round

Capture Citation: 6 Lbs

Release Citation: 26 IN.

State Record: 17 lbs 8 oz, 1971, Charles E. Cross

The above flounder restrictions apply to Virginia tidal waters, except that in Virginia’s Potomac River tributaries the minimum size limit, closed season, and possession limit will be the same as established by the PRFC for the mainstem Potomac River.

SWORDFISH

Capture Citation: 100 Lbs

Release Citation: NO MIN

Info: Managed by NMFS – http://www.hmspermits.gov/

State Record: 446 lbs, 2012, Joseph T. Harris

TAUTOG

Tautog
Regulation 4 VAC 20-960-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: 16 IN.

Possession Limit: 4 per person

Season: Closed Season: May 16 – June 30

Capture Citation: 9 Lbs

Release Citation: 23 IN.

State Record: 24 lbs 3 oz, 2012, Ken Neill, III

TILEFISH, BLUELINE

Tile Fish
Regulation 4 VAC 20-1120-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: None

Possession Limit: * see below

Season: May 1 through Oct 31

Capture Citation: 10 Lbs

Release Citation: NOT ELIGIBLE

State Record: 23 lbs 5 oz, 2009, Michael Akins

Three (3) fish per person on a recreational vessel; five (5) fish per person on a USCG uninspected for-hire vessel; seven (7) fish per person on a USCG inspected for hire vessel.

TILEFISH, GOLDEN

Regulation 4 VAC 20-1120-10 et seq.

Minimum Size Limit: None

Possession Limit: 8 Golden Tilefish per person

Capture Citation: 30 LBS

Release Citation: NOT ELIGIBLE

State Record: 56 lbs 8 oz, 2008, Aaron Sledd

TUNA (BLUEFIN)

Bluefin Tuna
Capture Citation: 100 Lbs

Release Citation: 60 IN.

Info: Managed by NMFS – http://www.hmspermits.gov/

State Record: 606 lbs, 2015, Chase Robinson

TUNA (YELLOWFIN, BIGEYE)

Big Eye Tuna
Capture Citation: 70 Lbs

Release Citation: NOT ELIGIBLE

Info: Managed by NMFS – http://www.hmspermits.gov/

State Record: Bigeye Tuna, 311 lbs, 2013, Vic Gaspeny
Yellowfin Tuna, 203 lbs 12 oz, 1981, Bruce C Gottwald, Jr.

WAHOO

Wahoo
Capture Citation: 35 Lbs

Release Citation: NOT ELIGIBLE

Info: Managed by SAFMC – http://www.safmc.net/

State Record: 122 lbs 1 oz, 2012, Susan Nelson

Filed Under: Bottom, News

Sours: http://www.capecharlesmirror.com/news/virginias-recreational-fishing-regulations-for-marine-waters/
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2021 Virginia Cobia Regulations

cobia fish

In December, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) adjusted the 2021-2023 recreational cobia management measures to comply with the ASMFC Cobia Fishery Management Plan.

2021 management measures include:

  • a season of June 15-September 15
  • a 1 fish per person, 2 fish per vessel possession limit
  • a prohibition on gaffing
  • a minimum size of 40” total length with one allowed on a vessel >50” total length

The ASMFC Atlantic Cobia Benchmark Stock Assessment results indicate the stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring.

In 2016, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) voted to require recreational anglers to file catch reports for cobia. The 2021 Recreational Cobia Permit for Virginia is available online from VMRC.

For more information, visit the VMRC Recreational Cobia Fishing website.

sources: Virginia Marine Resources Commission, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

Related Information

Virginia Federal – State Fishing Regulations

Sours: https://www.virginia-saltwater-fishing.com/2020/12/26/2021-virginia-cobia-regulations/

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Surf Fishing Size Limits and Measure Rules

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