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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

October 5, 2015:  The Division of Shellfish Sanitation will be closing the James River effective 12:01am Monday morning October 5, 2015. This closure is being issued primarily due to inland heavy rains upstream in the James River watershed. [Closure Notice]

September 22, 2015: The Virginia Marine Resources Commission today repealed regulations that would have established a limited entry system for the public oyster fishery. As a result, watermen will be able to keep their oyster hand scrape or dredge licenses. A limited entry system will be examined further in the months to come. [Commission Meeting Summary ]

September 19, 2015:
Governor Terry McAuliffe has proclaimed September 18-26, 2015 as National Estuaries Week in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the North America. Its health plays a vital role in Virginia’s economy, culture and in our important recreational and commercial tidal fisheries. Read Governor McAuliffe’s proclamation here and view a VMRC-produced video here.

August 26, 2015:  To protect the oyster stocks, the stability of the oyster fishery and future productivity of the public oyster beds, the Commission voted to prohibit harvesting on Fridays during the October – December 2015 oyster season. The Commission established bushel limits for the current season. For the 2016-17 oyster season, the Commission voted to limit entry into the oyster fishery starting on January 1, 2016. Licensees that reported less than 20 days of harvest during the 2013-14 and/or 2014/15 oyster harvest seasons become ineligible to gear licenses. Additional gear restrictions were adopted for both the upcoming season and new season beginning in 2016. [Commission Meeting Summary ]

August 7, 2015:  The tilefish/grouper recreational landing permit required for all vessels to land tilefish and grouper in Virginia has been available for several years at MRC license agents and can continue to be obtained at our license agents. As of Spring 2015, the permit can also obtained by the angler directly via a new online process; once the appropriate information is provided the no-cost permit is issued immediately via email. Note that Tilefish and Grouper Landing Permittees are required to submit a monthly harvest report to the Commission no later than the fifth day of the following month of harvest or fishing; web links to the paper reporting form and the Saltwater Journal online harvest reporting system follow. Note too that there is a one fish possession limit for grouper and a 7 fish possession limit for tilefish; use our saltwater fishing rules page to check on current recreational fishing rules, citation sizes and state records. [Online No-Cost Permit Process | VMRC License Agent Locations | Add Un-Registered Vessel Form | Paper Harvest Reporting Form | SWJ Online Reporting System | Saltwater Fishing Rules | Tilefish-Grouper Regulation

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VMRC in the News


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