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Commissioner, John M.R. Bull

Commissioner’s Message

Welcome to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.  We serve as stewards of the Commonwealth’s marine and aquatic resources, and protectors of its tidal waters and homelands, for present and future generations.

We manage saltwater fishing, both recreational and commercial.  We work to create and maintain sustainable fisheries for the benefit of all anglers and the ecosystem.

We also manage water bottoms in public trust for the citizens of the Commonwealth.  Our Habitat Management Division works with those who wish to use them for piers or water-dependent projects.

Our Law Enforcement Division, the Virginia Marine Police, patrols the waterways to enforce the regulations and to assist citizens in need.

We take our duties seriously, striving always to serve the public in a professional, responsive and responsible way.

Please join us as protectors of our critical natural resources so that they remain for our children and grandchildren to enjoy them as we do.


Important Links

VMRC Regulations

Recreational Fishing Rules

Anglers Guide

What We Do


Agency News

January 27, 2015:  The Commission revoked ten commercial watermen’s licenses for their court convictions of harvesting oysters from polluted waters. However, the Commission suspended the revocations of nine of those watermen and put them on probation for a year. Any natural resources violations during that probation period will result in the automatic loss of their licenses for up to two years. In other action the Commission approved $120,000 to build a public fishing pier on the York River in King and Queen County. [Meeting Summary]

January 21, 2015: 
In collaboration with VA Department of Environmental Quality and the Elizabeth River Project, researchers at Duke University are conducting a study to test red drum and speckled trout from the Elizabeth River for PCBs, a cancer-causing chemical found in soil and sediment in the James River Basin. To find out how you can donate red drum to the project and win a Yeti cooler, check out the ERP website here! (Finding PCBs in fish tissue will NOT cause closures of any fisheries, but may cause consumption advisories to be issued.) They are also interested in finding out more about fishing behavior and knowledge of fish consumption advisories for the Elizabeth River watershed. Completing this survey takes about 15 minutes and may help influence how future health advisories are communicated. Follow this link to the survey. For more information on this study, please contact the researchers at superfund@duke.edu

January 9. 2015: 
Recreational Summer Flounder fishing management alternatives for 2015 will be discussed at a public hearing on January 14, 2015 at 6:00 PM at the VMRC Headquarters, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Va. 23607, 4th Floor Commission Hearing Room. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries is leading this hearing to discuss regional management options for 2015 and a coast-wide or conservation equivalency option (FMP status quo). Coast-wide means uniform management across all 9 participating states, whereas conservation equivalency means that states could have the option to form voluntary regions or states could set state-specific regulations to constrain the state’s harvest to the state’s share of the Recreational Harvest Limit (RHL), which is based on the 1998 allocation. This procedure was in place from 1999 through 2013. In 2014 the ASMFC mandated regional management. Information for where to send written comments is included in the attached document. Contact Sally.Roman@mrc.virginia.gov for additional information. [2015 Summer Flounder Recreational Fishing Options]

January 7, 2015:  The VIMS Virginia Marine Advisory Services is accepting proposals for the 2015 Fisheries Resource Research Grant program from January 5 through January 31, 2015. Grants are used to help those directly involved with fishing and aquaculture to undertake experiments and studies of innovative methods for enhancing or protecting fisheries in Virginia. For more information, see http://www.vims.edu/research/units/centerspartners/map/frg/ or contact Tom Murray at 804-684-7190 or tjm@vims.edu. [2015 Fisheries Research Grant Program]

January 5, 2015:
The Commission has added a web site feature that displays information regarding pending and complete permit applications submitted to our Habitat Management Division. For more recent projects you can view permit applications, the project status, a project description including dimensions, site photos and see an aerial photograph. This web feature will provide the public with easy way to access habitat permit application information and locations. [Habitat Management Permits and Applications Page] [Mobile Device Version]


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VMRC in the News

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