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EMERGENCY CHAPTER:  PERTAINING TO RESTRICTIONS ON OYSTER HARVEST

VIRGINIA MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION
"PERTAINING TO RESTRICTIONS ON OYSTER HARVEST"
EMERGENCY CHAPTER 4VAC 20-720-10 ET. SEQ.


PREAMBLE

This emergency chapter establishes times of closure and other restrictions, for conservation purposes, on the harvest of oysters from all oyster grounds in the tidal waters of the Commonwealth. This emergency chapter is promulgated pursuant to authority contained in §§ 28.2-201, 28.2-507, 28.2-210 and 28.2-518 of the Code of Virginia. This emergency chapter amends and re-adopts, as amended, previous Chapter 4 VAC 20-720-10 et seq., which was adopted August 25, 2015 and effective September 1, 2015. The effective date of this emergency chapter, as amended, is September 23, 2015.

4 VAC 20-720-10. Purpose.

The purpose of this emergency chapter is to conserve Virginia's oyster resources, especially oyster broodstock.

4 VAC 20-720-15. Control Date, and Agents.

A. The Commission hereby establishes July 1, 2014, as the control date for management of all public oyster fisheries in Virginia. Participation by any individual in any public oyster fishery after the control date will not be considered in the calculation or distribution of oyster fishing rights should entry limitations be established. Any individual entering the public oyster fishery after the control date will forfeit any right to future participation in the public oyster fishery should further entry limitations be established by the Commission.

B. No person shall serve as an agent for any public oyster gear licensee.

4 VAC 20-720-20. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this emergency chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

“Aid to navigation” means any public or private day beacon, lighted channel marker, channel buoy, lighted channel buoy, or lighthouse that may be at, or adjacent to, any Latitude and Longitude used in area descriptions.

“Clean culled oyster” means any oyster taken from natural public beds, rocks, or shoals that is 3 inches or greater in shell length.

"Coan River Area" means that area of the Coan River inside of Public Grounds 77 and 78 of Northumberland County.

Public Ground 77 of Northumberland County is located near the mouth of the Coan River, beginning at a point approximately 2,300 feet northeast of Honest Point and 1,300 feet southwest of Travis Point, said point being Corner 1, located at Latitude 37° 59.5257207’ N., Longitude 76° 27.8810639’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 2, Latitude 37° 59.3710259’ N., Longitude 76° 27.9962148’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 3, Latitude 37° 59.2953830’ N., Longitude 76° 28.0468953’ W.; thence northwesterly to Corner 4, Latitude 37° 59.3350863’ N., Longitude 76° 28.0968837’ W.; thence northeasterly to Corner 5, Latitude 37° 59.3965161’N., Longitude 76° 28.0287342’ W.; thence northwesterly to Corner 6, Latitude 37° 59.4758507’ N., Longitude 76° 28.1112280’ W.; thence north-northwesterly to Corner 7, Latitude 37° 59.5079401’ N., Longitude 76° 28.1230058’ W.; thence northeasterly to Corner 8, Latitude 37° 59.5579153’ N., Longitude 76° 27.9889429’ W.; thence southeasterly to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

Public Ground 78 of Northumberland County is located near the mouth of the Coan River, beginning at a point approximately 3,420 feet southeast of Travis Point and 3,260 feet northwest of Great Point, said point being Corner 1, located at Latitude 37° 59.4822275’ N., Longitude 76° 27.1878637’ W.; thence southeasterly to Corner 2, Latitude 37° 59.3824046’ N., Longitude 76° 27.1088650’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 3, Latitude 37°59.2283287’ N., Longitude 76° 27.8632901’ W.; thence northeasterly to Corner 4, Latitude 37° 59.4368502’ N., Longitude 76° 27.6868001’ W.; thence continuing northeasterly to Corner 5, Latitude 37° 59.5949216’ N., Longitude 76°27.5399436’ W.; thence southeasterly to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

“Deep Rock Area” means all Public Grounds and unassigned grounds, in that area of the Chesapeake Bay near Gwynn Island, beginning at Cherry Point at the western-most point of the eastern headland of Kibble Pond located at Latitude 37° 30.9802148’ N., Longitude 76° 17.6764393’ W.; thence northeasterly to the Piankatank River, Flashing Green Channel Light “3”, Latitude 37° 32.3671325’ N., Longitude 76° 16.7038334’ W.; thence east-southeasterly to the Rappahannock River Entrance Lighted Buoy G“1R”, Latitude 37° 32.2712833’ N., Longitude 76° 11.4813666’ W.; thence southwesterly to the southern-most point of Sandy Point, the northern headland of “The Hole in the Wall”, Latitude 37° 28.1475258’ N., Longitude 76° 15.8185670’ W.; thence northwesterly along the Chesapeake Bay mean low water line of the barrier islands of Milford Haven, connecting headland to headland at their eastern-most points, and of Gwynn Island to the western-most point of the eastern headland of Kibble Pond on Cherry Point, said point being the point of beginning.

“Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area” or “DWS” means that area in the James River near Mulberry Island, beginning at a point approximately 530 feet west of Deep Water Shoal Light, said point being Corner 1, located at Latitude 37° 08.9433287’ N., Longitude 76° 38.3213007’ W.; thence southeasterly to Corner 2, Latitude 37° 09.5734380’ N., Longitude 76° 37.8300582’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 3, Latitude 37° 08.9265524’ N., Longitude 76° 37.0574269’ W.; thence westerly to Corner 4, Latitude 37° 08.4466039 N., Longitude 76° 37.4523346’ W.; thence northwesterly to Corner 5, Latitude 37° 08.4491489’ N., Longitude 76° 38.0215553’ W.; thence northeasterly to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

“Great Wicomico River Area” means all public grounds and unassigned grounds, in that area of the Great Wicomico River, Ingram Bay, and the Chesapeake Bay, beginning at a point on Sandy Point, Latitude 37° 49.3269652’ N., Longitude 76° 18.3821766’ W.; thence easterly to the southern-most point of Cockrell Point, Latitude 37° 49.2664838’ N., Longitude 76° 17.3454434’ W.; thence easterly following the mean low water line of Cockrell Point to a point on the boundary of Public Ground 115 at Cash Point, Latitude 37° 49.2695619’ N., Longitude 76° 17.2804046’ W.; thence southeasterly to the gazebo on the pierhead at Fleets Point, Latitude 37° 48.7855824’ N., Longitude 76° 16.9609311’ W.; thence southeasterly to the Great Wicomico Lighthouse; thence due south to a point due east of the southern-most point of Dameron Marsh, Latitude 37° 46.6610003’ N., Longitude 76° 16.0570007’ W.; thence due west to the southern-most point of Dameron Marsh, Latitude 37° 46.6609070’ N., Longitude 76° 17.2670707’ W.; thence along the mean low water line of Dameron Marsh, north and west to Garden Point, Latitude 37° 47.2519872’ N., Longitude 76° 18.4028142’ W.; thence northwesterly to Windmill Point, Latitude 37° 47.5194547’ N., Longitude 76° 18.7132194’ W.; thence northerly along the mean low water to the western headland of Harveys Creek, Latitude 37° 47.7923573’N., Longitude 76° 18.6881450’ W.; thence east-southeasterly to the eastern headland of Harveys Creek, Latitude 37° 47.7826936’ N., Longitude 76° 18.5469879’ W.; thence northerly along the mean low water line, crossing the entrance to Towels Creek at the offshore ends of the jetties and continuing to Bussel Point, Latitude 37° 48.6879208’ N., Longitude 76° 18.4670860’ W.; thence northwesterly to the northern headland of Cranes Creek, Latitude 37° 48.8329168’ N., Longitude 76° 18.7308073’ W.; thence following the mean low water line northerly to a point on Sandy Point, said point being the point of beginning.

"Hand scrape" means any device or instrument with a catching bar having an inside measurement of no more than 22 inches, which is used or usable for the purpose of extracting or removing shellfish from a water bottom or the bed of a body of water.

“Hand tong” or “ordinary tong” means any pincers, nippers, tongs, or similar device used in catching oysters, which consist of two shafts or handles attached to opposable and complementary pincers, baskets or containers operated entirely by hand, from the surface of the water and has no external or internal power source.

“James River Area” means those Public Grounds of the James River and Nansemond River west of the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel (Route I-664), northeast of the Mills E. Godwin, Jr. Bridge (U.S. Route 17) on the Nansemond River, and south of the James River Bridge (U.S. Route 17).

“James River Seed Area” means all public grounds and unassigned grounds in that area of the James River and its tributaries with a southeastern boundary beginning at a point on the shore on the south side of the river at Rainbow Farm Point in Isle of Wight County located at Latitude 37° 00.1965862’ N., Longitude 76° 34.0712010’ W.; thence north-northeasterly to a VMRC Marker “STH”, Latitude 37° 00.9815328 N., Longitude 76° 33.5955842’ W.; thence to a VMRC Marker “SMT”, at Latitude 37° 01.3228160’ N., Longitude 76° 33.3887351’ W.; thence to the Flashing Green Channel Light #5, at Latitude 37° 02.3449949’ N., Longitude 76° 32.7689936’ W.; thence northeasterly to a VMRC Marker “NMT”, Latitude 37° 02.7740540’ N., Longitude 76° 32.0960864’ W.; thence to a VMRC Marker “NTH” located at Latitude 37° 03.2030055’ N., Longitude 76° 31.4231211’ W.; thence to a point on the north shore of the river at Blunt (Blount) Point, in the City of Newport News, located at Latitude 37° 03.3805862’ N., Longitude 76° 31.1444562’ W.; the northern boundary, being a straight line, beginning at a point on the shore on the east side of the river in the City of Newport News, at Latitude 37° 08.4458787’ N., Longitude 76° 37.2855533’ W., thence westerly to the southeast corner of the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area, Latitude 37° 08.4466039’ N., Longitude 76° 37.4523346’ W.; thence westerly to the southwest corner of the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area, Latitude 37° 08.4490472’ N., Longitude 76° 38.0215554’ W.; thence westerly to a point on the shore on the west side of the river at the mouth of Lawnes Creek in Isle of Wight County, Latitude 37° 08.4582990’ N., Longitude 76° 40.2816023’ W.

“Latitude and Longitude” means values that are based upon a geodetic reference system of the North American Datum of 1983 (NAD83). When Latitude and Longitude are used in any area description, in conjunction with any physical landmark, to include aids to navigation, the Latitude and Longitude value is the legal point defining the boundary.

“Little Wicomico River” means that area of the Little Wicomico River inside of Public Ground 43 of Northumberland County, located in the Little Wicomico River near Bridge Creek, beginning at a point approximately 150 feet north of Peachtree Point, said point being Corner 1, located at Latitude 37° 53.2910650’ N., Longitude 76° 16.7312926’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 2, Latitude 37° 53.2601877’ N., Longitude 76° 16.8662408’ W.; thence northwesterly to Corner 3, Latitude 37° 53.2678470’ N., Longitude 76°16.8902408’ W.; thence northeasterly to Corner 4, Latitude 37° 53.3113148’ N., Longitude 76° 16.8211543’ W.; thence southeasterly to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

“Milford Haven” means that area of Milford Haven inside of Public Ground 7 of Mathews County, beginning at a point approximately 1,380 feet east of Point Breeze, said point being Corner 1, located at Latitude 37° 28.3500000’ N., Longitude 76° 16.5000000’ W.; thence northeasterly to Corner 2, Latitude 37° 28.3700000’ N., Longitude 76° 16.4700000’ W.; thence southeasterly to Corner 3, Latitude 37° 28.3500000’ N., Longitude 76° 16.4200000’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 4, Latitude 37° 28.3200000’ N., Longitude 76° 16.4500000’ W.; thence northwesterly to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

“Mobjack Bay Area” means those areas of Mobjack Bay consisting of Public Ground 25 of Gloucester County (Tow Stake) and that portion of Public Ground 2 of Mathews County known as Pultz Bar described as:

Public Ground 25 of Gloucester County, known as Tow Stake, is located in Mobjack Bay, near the mouth of the Severn River, beginning at a point approximately 2,880 feet east-northeast of Tow Stake Point, said point being Corner 1, located at Latitude 37° 20.3883888’ N., Longitude 76° 23.5883836’ W.; thence northeasterly to Corner 2, Latitude 37° 30.5910482’ N., Longitude 76° 23.2372184’ W.; thence southeasterly to Corner 3, Latitude 37° 20.3786971’ N., Longitude 76° 22.7241180’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 4, Latitude 37° 19.8616759’ N., Longitude 76° 23.5914937’ W.; thence northwesterly to Corner 5, Latitude 37° 20.0284019’ N., Longitude 76° 23.7717423’ W.; thence northeasterly to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

Public Ground 2 of Mathews County, known as Pultz Bar, is located in Mobjack Bay, beginning at a point approximately 5,420 feet south of Minter Point, said point being Corner 1, located at Latitude 37° 21.2500000’ N., Longitude 76° 21.3700000’ W.; thence easterly to Corner 2, Latitude 37° 21.2700000’ N., Longitude 76° 20.9600000’ W.; thence southerly to Corner 3, Latitude 37° 21.0200000’ N., Longitude 76° 20.9400000’ W.; thence westerly to Corner 4, Latitude 37° 21.0500000’ N., Longitude 76° 21.3300000’ W.; thence northerly to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

“Nomini Creek Area” means that area of Nomini Creek inside of Public Grounds 26 and 28 of Westmoreland County.

Public Ground 26 of Westmoreland County is located in Nomini Creek, north of Beales Wharf and east of Barnes Point, beginning at a point approximately 1,400 feet north of Barnes Point, said point being Corner 1, located at Latitude 38° 07.2690219’ N., Longitude 76° 42.6784210’ W.; thence southeasterly to Corner 2, Latitude 38° 07.0924060’ N., Longitude 76° 42.4745767’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 3, Latitude 38° 06.8394053’ N., Longitude 76° 42.6704025’ W.; thence northwesterly to Corner 4, Latitude 38° 06.8743004’ N., Longitude 76° 42.7552151’ W.; thence northeasterly to Corner 5, Latitude 38° 07.0569717’ N., Longitude 76° 42.5603535’ W.; thence northwesterly to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

Public Ground 28 of Westmoreland County is located at the mouth of Nomini Creek, beginning at a point approximately 50 feet west of White Oak Point, said point being Corner 1, located at Latitude 38° 07.6429987’ N., Longitude 76° 43.0337082’ W.; thence south-southeasterly to Corner 2, Latitude 38° 07.2987193’ N., Longitude 76° 43.1101420’ W.; thence northwesterly to Corner 3, Latitude 38° 07.7029267’ N., Longitude 76° 43.3337762’ W.; thence west to the mean low water line, Latitude 38° 07.7031535’ N., Longitude 76° 43.3378345’ W.; thence northerly and westerly along the mean low water line of Nomini Creek to a point southwest of Cedar Island, Latitude 38° 07.8986449’ N., Longitude 76° 43.6329097’ W.; thence northeasterly to a point on the mean low water line at the southern-most point of Cedar Island, Latitude 38° 07.8986449’ N., Longitude 76° 43.6329097’ W.; thence following the mean low water line of the southern and eastern sides of Cedar Island to a point, Latitude 38° 08.0164430’ N., Longitude 76° 43.4773169’ W.; thence northeasterly to Corner 4, Latitude 38° 08.0712849’ N., Longitude 76° 43.4416606’ W.; thence northeasterly to a point on the northern headland of Nomini Creek at the mean low water line, said point being Corner 5, Latitude 38° 08.2729626’ N., Longitude 76° 43.3105315’ W.; thence following the mean low water line of White Point to a point northwest of Snake Island, Corner 6, Latitude 38° 08.4066960’ N., Longitude 76° 42.9105565’ W.; thence southeast, crossing the mouth of Buckner Creek, to a point on the mean low water line of Snake Island, Corner 7, Latitude 38° 08.3698254’ N., Longitude 76° 42.8939656’ W.; thence southeasterly following the mean low water line of Snake Island to Corner 8, Latitude 38° 08.2333798’ N., Longitude 76° 42.7778877’ W.; thence south-southwesterly, crossing the mouth of Buckner Creek, to Corner 9, Latitude 38° 08.2134371’ N., Longitude 76° 42.7886409’ W.; thence southeasterly to a point on the mean low water line of the southern headland of Buckner Creek, Corner 10, Latitude 38° 08.1956281’ N., Longitude 76° 42.7679625’ W.; thence southwesterly following the mean low water line of Nomini Creek, crossing the mouth of an un-named cove at the narrowest point between the headlands and continuing to follow the mean low water line to a point on White Oak Point, Latitude 38° 07.6428228’ N., Longitude 76° 43.0233530’ W.; thence west to Corner 1, said point being the point of beginning.

“Oyster” means any shellfish of the species Crassostrea virginica.

"Oyster dredge" means any device having a maximum weight of 150 pounds with attachments, maximum width of 50 inches, and maximum tooth length of four inches.

"Oyster patent tong" means any patent tong not exceeding 100 pounds in gross weight, including any attachment other than rope and with the teeth not to exceed four inches in length.

“Oyster resource user fee” means a fee that must be paid each calendar year by anyone who grows, harvests, shucks, packs or ships oysters, for commercial purposes.

“Pocomoke Sound Area” means that area of Pocomoke Sound inside of Public Grounds 9 and 10 of Accomack County.

Public Ground 9 of Accomack County is located in the Pocomoke Sound, beginning at a corner on the Maryland-Virginia state line, located in the Pocomoke Sound approximately 1.06 nautical miles north-northeast of the northern-most point of North End Point, said point being Corner 1, located at Latitude 37° 57.2711566’ N., Longitude 75° 42.2870790’ W. (NAD83); thence east-northeasterly along the Maryland-Virginia state line to Corner 2, Latitude 37° 57.2896577’ N., Longitude 75° 41.9790727’ W.; thence southerly to Corner 3, Latitude 37° 57.2574850’ N., Longitude 75° 41.9790730’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 4, Latitude 37° 57.2288700’ N., Longitude 75° 42.0077287’ W.; thence west-southwesterly to Corner 5, Latitude 37° 57.2034533’ N., Longitude 75° 42.1511250’ W.; thence south-southwesterly to Corner 6, Latitude 37° 57.0940590’ N., Longitude 75° 42.1935214’ W.; thence south-southeasterly to Corner 7, Latitude 37° 57.0551726’ N., Longitude 75° 42.1814457’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 8, Latitude 37° 56.9408327’ N., Longitude 75° 42.2957912’ W.; thence south-southwesterly to Corner 9, Latitude 37° 56.6574947’ N., Longitude 75° 42.3790819’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 10, Latitude 37° 56.5790952’ N., Longitude 75° 42.5228752’ W.; thence west-southwesterly to Corner 11, Latitude 37° 56.5712564’ N., Longitude 75° 42.5915437’ W.; thence south-southeasterly to Corner 12, Latitude 37° 56.5441067’ N., Longitude 75° 42.5869894’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 13, Latitude 37° 56.4575045’ N., Longitude 75° 42.7458050’ W.; thence west-southwesterly to Corner 14, Latitude 37° 56.2575123’ N., Longitude 75° 43.3791097’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 15, Latitude 37° 55.7408688’ N., Longitude 75° 43.7957804’ W.; thence westerly to Corner 16, Latitude 37° 55.7575327’ N., Longitude 75° 43.9458298’ W.; thence northwesterly to Corner 17, Latitude 37° 55.8908661’ N., Longitude 75° 44.1291309’ W.; thence north-northeasterly to Corner 18, Latitude 37° 55.9908639’ N., Longitude 75° 44.0791266’ W.; thence northeasterly to Corner 19, Latitude 37° 56.1241858’ N., Longitude 75° 43.8791328’ W.; thence north- northeasterly to Corner 20, Latitude 37° 56.4075136’ N., Longitude 75° 43.7291361’ W.; thence northeasterly to Corner 21, Latitude 37° 56.8241664’ N., Longitude 75° 43.2624601’ W.; thence north-northeasterly to Corner 22, Latitude 37° 57.0706006’ N., Longitude 75° 43.1480402’ W.; thence east-northeasterly along the Maryland-Virginia state line to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

Public Ground 10 of Accomack County is located in the Pocomoke Sound, beginning at a corner on the Maryland-Virginia state line, located in the Pocomoke Sound approximately 2.3 nautical miles westerly of the northern-most point of North End Point, said point being Corner 1, located at Latitude 37° 56.4741881’ N., Longitude 75° 45.7051676’ W. (NAD83); thence east-northeasterly along the Maryland-Virginia state line to Corner 2, Latitude 37° 56.9261140’ N., Longitude 75° 43.7679786’ W.; thence south-southwesterly to Corner 3, Latitude 37° 56.1241948’ N., Longitude 75° 44.3624962’ W. ; thence west-southwesterly to Corner 4, Latitude 37° 56.0820561’ N., Longitude 75° 44.5826292’ W.; thence northerly to Corner 5, Latitude 37° 56.1377309’ N., Longitude 75° 44.5817745’ W.; thence west-southwesterly to Corner 6, Latitude 37° 56.1259751’ N., Longitude 75° 44.6226859’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 7, Latitude 37° 56.1039335’ N., Longitude 75° 44.6692334’ W.; thence southerly to Corner 8, Latitude 37° 56.0643616’ N., Longitude 75° 44.6750106’ W.; thence west-southwesterly to Corner 9, Latitude 37° 55.9742005’ N., Longitude 75° 45.1458109’ W.; thence west-northwesterly to Corner 10, Latitude 37° 56.0741973’ N., Longitude 75° 45.8958329’ W.; thence north-northwesterly to Corner 11, Latitude 37° 56.2565760’ N., Longitude 75° 46.0000557’ W.; thence northeasterly along the Maryland-Virginia state line to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

"Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds Management Area” or “PTSMA" means the area as defined in §28.2-524 of the Code of Virginia.

“Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds Rotation Area 1” means all public grounds and unassigned grounds, within an area of the PTSMA, in Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds, bounded by a line beginning at a point on the Maryland-Virginia state line, located at Latitude 37° 54.6136000' N., Longitude 75° 53.9739600' W.; thence south to the house on Great Fox Island, Latitude 37° 53.6946500' N., Longitude 75° 53.8898800' W.; thence westerly to a point, Latitude 37° 53.3633500' N., Longitude 75° 56.5589600' W.; thence south to a point, Latitude 37° 48.4429100' N., Longitude 75° 56.4883600' W.; thence easterly to the north end of Watts Island, Latitude 37° 48.7757800' N., Longitude 75° 53.5994100' W.; thence northerly to the house on Great Fox Island, Latitude 37° 53.6946500' N., Longitude 75° 53.8898800' W.; thence southeasterly to Pocomoke Sound Shoal Flashing Light Red “8”, Latitude 37° 52.4583300' N., Longitude 75° 49.4000000' W.; thence southeasterly to Messongo Creek Entrance Buoy Green Can "1", Latitude 37° 52.1000000' N., Longitude 75° 47.8083300' W.; thence southeast to Guilford Flats Junction Light Flashing 2+1 Red "GF", Latitude 37° 50.9533300' N., Longitude 75° 46.6416700' W.; thence southerly to a point on a line from Guilford Flats Junction Light to the northern-most point of Russell Island, where said line intersects the PTSMA boundary, Latitude 37° 48.4715943’ N., Longitude 75° 46.9955932’ W.; thence clockwise following the PTSMA boundary to a point on the Maryland-Virginia state line, said point being the point of beginning.

“Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds Rotation Area 2” means all public grounds and unassigned grounds, within an area of the PTSMA, in Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds, bounded by a line beginning at the house on Great Fox Island, located at Latitude 37° 53.6946500' N., Longitude 75° 53.8898800' W.; thence southerly to the north end of Watts Island, Latitude 37° 48.7757800' N., Longitude 75° 53.5994100' W.; thence westerly to a point, Latitude 37° 48.4429100' N., Longitude 75° 56.4883600' W.; thence northerly to a point, Latitude 37° 53.3633500' N., Longitude 75° 56.5589600' W.; thence easterly to the house on Great Fox Island, said house being the point of beginning. Also, Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds Rotation Area 2 shall include all Public Grounds and unassigned grounds in the PTSMA in Pocomoke Sound bounded by a line beginning at a point on the Maryland-Virginia state line, Latitude 37° 54.6136000' N., Longitude 75° 53.9739600' W.; thence following the PTSMA boundary clockwise to a point on the line from the northern-most point of Russell Island to Guilford Flats Junction Light Flashing 2+1 Red "GF", where said line intersects the PTSMA boundary, Latitude 37° 48.4715943’ N., Longitude 75° 46.9955932’ W.; thence northerly to Guilford Flats Junction Light Flashing 2+1 Red "GF", Latitude 37° 50.9533300' N., Longitude 75° 46.6416700' W.; thence northwesterly to Messongo Creek Entrance Buoy Green Can "1", Latitude 37° 52.1000000' N., Longitude 75° 47.8083300' W.; thence northwesterly to Pocomoke Sound Shoal Flashing Light Red “8”, Latitude 37° 52.4583300' N., Longitude 75° 49.4000000' W.; thence northwesterly to the house on Great Fox Island, Latitude 37° 53.6946500' N., Longitude 75° 53.8898800' W.; thence northerly to a point on the Maryland-Virginia state line, said point being the point of beginning.

"Public oyster ground" means all those grounds defined in § 28.2-551 of the Code of Virginia or by any other acts of the General Assembly pertaining to those grounds, all those grounds set aside by court order, and all those grounds set aside by order of the Marine Resources Commission, and may be redefined by any of these legal authorities.

“Rappahannock River Area 7” means all public grounds, in that area of the Rappahannock River, bounded downstream by a line from Rogue Point, located at Latitude 37° 40.0400000' N., Longitude 76° 32.2530000' W.; thence west-northwesterly to Flashing Red Buoy “8”, Latitude 37° 40.1580000' N., Longitude 76° 32.9390000' W.; thence southwesterly to Balls Point, Latitude 37° 39.3550000' N., Longitude 76° 34.4440000' W.; and bounded upstream by a line from Punchbowl Point, Latitude 37° 44.6750000' N., Longitude 76° 37.3250000' W.; thence southeasterly to Monaskon Point, Latitude 37° 44.0630000' N., Longitude 76° 34.1080000' W.

“Rappahannock River Area 8” means all public grounds, in that area of the Rappahannock River, bounded downstream by a line from Monaskon Point, located at Latitude 37° 44.0630000' N., Longitude 76° 34.1080000' W.; thence northwesterly to Punchbowl Point, Latitude 37° 44.6750000' N., Longitude 76° 37.3250000' W.; and bounded upstream by a line from Jones Point, Latitude 37° 46.7860000' N., Longitude 76° 40.8350000' W.; thence north-northwesterly to Sharps Point, Latitude 37° 49.3640000' N., Longitude 76° 42.0870000' W.

“Rappahannock River Area 9” means all public grounds, in that area of the Rappahannock River, bounded downstream by a line from Sharps Point, located at Latitude 37° 49.3640000' N., Longitude 76° 42.0870000' W.; thence south-southeasterly to Jones Point, Latitude 37° 46.7860000' N., Longitude 76° 40.8350000' W.; and bounded upstream by the Thomas J. Downing Bridge (U.S. Route 360).

“Rappahannock River Rotation Area 1” means all public grounds, in that area of the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay, bounded by a line offshore and across the mouth of the Rappahannock River from a point on the mean low water line of Windmill Point, located at Latitude 37° 36.8200000' N., Longitude 76° 16.9460000' W.; thence southeast to Windmill Point Light, Latitude 37° 35.7930000' N., Longitude 76° 14.1800000' W.; thence southwesterly to Stingray Point Light, Latitude 37° 33.6730000’ N., Longitude 76° 16.3620000' W.; thence westerly to a point on the mean low water line of Stingray Point, Latitude 37° 33.6920000' N., Longitude 76° 17.9860000' W.; and bounded upstream by a line from the mean low water line west of Broad Creek, Latitude 37° 33.9520000' N., Longitude 76° 19.3090000' W.; thence northeasterly to a VMRC Buoy on the Baylor line, Latitude 37° 34.5310000’ N., Longitude 76° 19.1430000’ W.; thence northeasterly to a VMRC Buoy, Latitude 37° 34.6830000' N., Longitude 76° 19.1000000' W.; thence northwesterly to a VMRC Buoy, Latitude 37° 35.0170000' N., Longitude 76° 19.4500000' W.; thence northwesterly to Sturgeon Bar Light “7R”, Latitude 37° 35.1500000' N., Longitude 76° 19.7330000' W.; thence continuing northwesterly to Mosquito Point Light “8R”, Latitude 37° 36.1000000' N., Longitude 76° 21.3000000' W.; thence northwesterly to the southern-most corner of the house on Mosquito Point, Latitude 37° 36.5230000’ N., Longitude 76° 21.5950000' W.

“Rappahannock River Rotation Area 2” means all public grounds, in that area of the Rappahannock River, bounded downstream by a line from the southern-most corner of the house on Mosquito Point, located at Latitude 37° 36.5230000' N., Longitude 76° 21.5950000' W.; thence southeast to Mosquito Point Light "8R", Latitude 37° 36.1000000' N., Longitude 76° 21.3000000' W.; thence continuing southeasterly to Sturgeon Bar Beacon "7R", Latitude 37° 35.1500000’ N., Longitude 76° 19.7330000’ W.; thence west-southwesterly to a VMRC Buoy, Latitude 37° 34.9330000' N., Longitude 76° 21.0500000' W.; thence southwesterly to a VMRC Buoy, Latitude 37° 34.8830000' N., Longitude 76° 21.1000000' W.; thence southwesterly to a pier west of Hunting Creek at Grinels, Latitude 37° 34.4360000' N., Longitude 76° 26.2880000' W.; and bounded on the upstream by a line from Mill Creek Channel Marker "4", Latitude 37° 35.0830000' N., Longitude 76° 26.9500000' W.; thence northeasterly to Mill Creek Channel Marker "2", Latitude 37° 35.4830000' N., Longitude 76° 24.5670000' W.; thence northeasterly to the southern-most corner of the house on Mosquito Point, Latitude 37° 36.5230000' N., Longitude 76° 21.5950000'0 W.

“Rappahannock River Rotation Area 3” means all public grounds, in that area of the Rappahannock River, beginning from the north channel fender at the Robert O. Norris, Jr. Bridge, located at Latitude 37° 37.4830000' N., Longitude 76° 25.3450000’ W.; thence southeast to the southern-most corner of the house on Mosquito Point, Latitude 37° 36.5230000' N., Longitude 76° 21.5950000' W.; thence southwest to Mill Creek Channel Marker "2", Latitude 37° 35.4830000' N., Longitude 76° 24.5670000' W.; thence southwesterly to Mill Creek Channel Marker "4", Latitude 37° 35.0830000' N., Longitude 76° 24.9500000' W.; thence northeasterly to Parrotts Creek Channel Marker "1", Latitude 37° 36.0330000' N., Longitude 76° 25.4170000' W.; thence northerly to VMRC Buoy, Latitude 37° 36.3330000' N., Longitude 76° 25.2000000' W.; thence northerly to the north channel fender of the Robert O. Norris, Jr. Bridge, said point being the point of beginning.

“Rappahannock River Rotation Area 4” means all public grounds, in that area of the Rappahannock River, Corrotoman River and Carter Creek, beginning at the White Stone end of the Robert O. Norris, Jr. Bridge (State Route 3), located at Latitude 37° 38.1290000' N., Longitude 76° 24.7220000' W.; thence along said Bridge to the north channel fender, Latitude 37° 37.4830000' N., Longitude 76° 25.3450000' W.; thence westerly to the VMRC Buoy “5-4”, Latitude 37° 38.0050000' N., Longitude 76° 30.0280000' W.; thence northerly to Old House Point, Latitude 37° 39.1390000' N., Longitude 76° 29.6850000' W.; thence northeasterly to Ball Point, Latitude 37° 41.6600000' N., Longitude 76° 28.6320000' W.; thence southeasterly to VMRC reef marker “Ferry Bar – North”, Latitude 37° 40.3000000' N., Longitude 76° 28.5000000' W.; thence southwesterly to VMRC reef marker “Ferry Bar – South”, Latitude 37° 40.1670000' N., Longitude 76° 28.5830000’ W.; thence southeasterly to a duck blind west of Corrotoman Point, Latitude 37° 39.8760000' N., Longitude 76° 28.4200000' W.; thence southerly to VMRC Buoy “543”, Latitude 37° 39.2670000' N., Longitude 76° 27.8500000' W.; thence southerly to VMRC Buoy “Drumming-West”, Latitude 37° 38.8830000' N., Longitude 76° 27.6830000' W.; thence southerly to VMRC Buoy “Drumming-East”, Latitude 37° 38.8330000' N., Longitude 76° 27.5670000' W.; thence northeasterly to Orchard Point, Latitude 37° 38.9240000' N., Longitude 76° 27.1260000' W.

“Rappahannock River Rotation Area 5” means all public grounds, in that area of the Rappahannock River, beginning at the Greys Point end of the Robert O. Norris, Jr. Bridge (State Route 3), located at Latitude 37° 36.8330000' N., Longitude 76° 25.9990000' W.; thence northeasterly along the bridge to the north channel fender, Latitude 37° 37.4830000' N., Longitude 76° 25.3450000' W.; thence west-northwesterly to VMRC Buoy “5-4”, Latitude 37° 38.0050000' N., Longitude 76° 30.0280000' W.; thence westerly to Buoy “R6”, Latitude 37° 38.0330000' N., Longitude 76° 30.2830000' W.; thence south to the eastern headland of Whiting Creek, Latitude 37° 36.6580000' N., Longitude 76° 30.3120000' W.

“Rappahannock River Rotation Area 6” means all public grounds, in that area of the Rappahannock River, beginning on the eastern headland of Whiting Creek, located at Latitude 37° 36.6580000' N., Longitude 76° 30.3120000' W.; thence north to Buoy “R6”, Latitude 37° 38.0330000' N., Longitude 76° 30.2830000' W.; thence northwesterly to VMRC White House Sanctuary Buoy, Latitude 37° 38.1500000' N., Longitude 76° 30.5330000' W.; thence northwesterly to VMRC Towles Point Area Buoy, Latitude 37° 38.8330000' N., Longitude 76° 31.5360000' W.; thence northwesterly to Flashing Red Buoy “8” off Rogue Point, Latitude 37° 40.1580000’ N., Longitude 76° 32.9390000' W.; thence southwesterly to Balls Point, Latitude 37° 39.3550000' N., Longitude 76° 34.4440000' W.

“Seed Oyster” means any oyster taken by any person from natural beds, rocks, or shoals that is more than 30 days from harvest for human consumption.

“Thomas Rock Area” means all public grounds and unassigned grounds, in that area of the James River, with an eastern boundary being the upstream side of the James River Bridge (U.S. Route 17), and a western boundary being a line drawn from the south side of the river at Rainbow Farm Point, a point on the shore, in line with VMRC Markers “STH” and “SMT”, located at Latitude 37° 00.1965862’ N., Longitude 76° 34.0712010’ W.; thence north-northeasterly to a VMRC Marker “STH”, Latitude 37° 00.9815328 N., Longitude 76° 33.5955842’ W.; thence to a VMRC Marker “SMT”, at Latitude 37° 01.3228160’ N., Longitude 76° 33.3887351’ W.; thence to the Flashing Green Channel Light #5, at Latitude 37° 02.3449949’ N., Longitude 76° 32.7689936’ W.; thence northeasterly to a VMRC Marker “NMT”, Latitude 37° 02.7740540’ N., Longitude 76° 32.0960864’ W.; thence to a VMRC Marker “NTH” located at Latitude 37° 03.2030055’ N., Longitude 76° 31.4231211’ W.; thence to a point on the north shore of the river at Blunt (Blount) Point, said point being in line with VMRC Markers “NMT” and “NTH” and located at Latitude 37° 03.3805862’ N., Longitude 76° 31.1444562’ W.

"Unassigned ground" means all those grounds defined by any other acts of the General Assembly pertaining to those grounds, all those grounds set aside by court order, and all those grounds set aside by order of the Marine Resources Commission, and may be redefined by any of these legal authorities.

“Upper Chesapeake Bay - Blackberry Hangs Area” means all public grounds and unassigned grounds, in that area of the Chesapeake Bay, bounded by a line, beginning at a point approximately 300 feet east of the mean low water line of the Chesapeake Bay and approximately 1230 feet southwest of the end of the southern-most stone jetty at the mouth of the Little Wicomico River, said point being Corner 1, Latitude 37° 53.1811193’ N., Longitude 76° 14.1740146’ W.; thence east-southeasterly to Corner 2, Latitude 37° 52.9050025’ N., Longitude 76° 11.9357257’ W.; thence easterly to Corner 3, Latitude 37° 52.9076552’ N., Longitude 76° 11.6098145’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 4, Latitude 37° 52.8684955’ N., Longitude 76° 11.6402444’ W.; thence east-southeasterly to Corner 5, Latitude 37° 52.7924853’ N., Longitude 76° 11.0253352’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 6, Latitude 37° 49.4327736’ N., Longitude 76° 13.2409959’ W.; thence northwesterly to Corner 7, Latitude 37° 50.0560555’ N., Longitude 76° 15.0023234’ W.; thence north-northeasterly to Corner 8, Latitude 37° 50.5581183’ N., Longitude 76° 14.8772805’ W.; thence north-northeasterly to Corner 9, Latitude 37° 52.0260950’ N., Longitude 76° 14.5768550’ W.; thence northeasterly to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

“Yeocomico River Area” means that area of the North West Yeocomico River, inside Public Ground 8 of Westmoreland County and those areas of the South Yeocomico River inside Public Grounds 102, 104, and 107 of Northumberland County.

Public Ground 8 of Westmoreland County is located in the North West Yeocomico River, beginning at a point approximately 1455 feet northeast of Crow Bar and 1850 feet northwest of White Point, said point being Corner 1, located at Latitude 38° 02.7468214’ N., Longitude 76° 33.0775726’ W.; thence southeasterly to Corner 2, Latitude 38° 02.7397202’ N., Longitude 76° 33.0186286’ W.; thence southerly to Corner 3, Latitude 38° 02.6021644’ N., Longitude 76° 33.0234175’ W.; thence westerly to Corner 4, Latitude 38° 02.6006669’ N., Longitude 76° 33.0824799’ W.; thence northerly to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

Public Ground 102 of Northumberland County is located in the South Yeocomico River, beginning at a point approximately 630 feet south of Mundy Point and 1745 feet southwest of Tom Jones Point, said point being Corner 1, located at Latitude 38° 01.2138059’ N., Longitude 76° 32.5577201’ W,; thence east-northeasterly to Corner 2, Latitude 38° 01.2268644’ N., Longitude 76° 32.4497849’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 3, Latitude 38° 01.1091209’ N., Longitude 76° 32.5591101’ W.; thence northerly to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

Public Ground 104 of Northumberland County is located in the South Yeocomico River, beginning at a point approximately 670 feet north of Walker Point and 1900 feet northwest of Palmer Point, said point being Corner 1, located at Latitude 38° 00.8841841’ N., Longitude 76° 32.6106215’ W.; thence southeasterly to Corner 2, Latitude 38° 00.8609163’ N., Longitude 76° 32.5296302’ W.; thence southeasterly to Corner 3, Latitude 38° 00.6693092’ N., Longitude 76° 32.4161866’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 4, Latitude 38° 00.6418466’ N., Longitude 76° 32.5394849’ W.; thence northwesterly to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

Public Ground 107 of Northumberland County is located in the South Yeocomico River, beginning at a point approximately 1000 feet southwest of Barn Point and 1300 feet northwest of Tom Jones Point, said point being Corner 1, located at Longitude 38° 01.1389367’ N., Latitude 76° 32.3425617’ W.; thence east-southeasterly to Corner 2, Latitude 38° 01.4106421’ N., Longitude 76° 32.1077962’ W.; thence southwesterly to Corner 3, Latitude 38° 01.2717197’ N., Longitude 76° 32.2917989’ W.; thence north-northwesterly to Corner 1, said corner being the point of beginning.

“York River Rotation Area 1” means all public grounds in the York River, within Gloucester County, between a line from Upper York River Flashing Red Channel Marker “8”, Latitude 37° 17.8863666’ N., Longitude 76° 34.6534166’ W.; thence northeasterly to Red Day Marker “2” at the mouth of Cedar Bush Creek, Latitude 37° 18.6422166’ N., Longitude 76° 33.8216000’ W.; upstream to a line from the Flashing Yellow VIMS Data Buoy “CB”, Latitude 37° 20.4670000’ N., Longitude 76° 37.4830000’ W.; thence northeasterly to the inshore end of the wharf at Clay Bank.

“York River Rotation Area 2” means all public grounds in the York River, within Gloucester County, from the George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge (U.S. Route 17), upstream to a line from Upper York River Flashing Red Channel Marker “8”, Latitude 37° 17.8863666’ N., Longitude 76° 34.6534166’ W.; thence northeasterly to Red Day Marker “2” at the mouth of Cedar Bush Creek, Latitude 37° 18.6422166’ N., Longitude 76° 33.8216000’ W.

4 VAC 20-720-30. Standing stock criteria.

Any public oyster ground or unassigned ground may be closed to harvest by the Commissioner of Marine Resources, when it is determined by the Oyster Replenishment Department that the standing stock of oysters has been depleted by 50% or more. The initial estimate of standing stock for each area shall be the volume of oysters as of October 1 of the current year as determined by the Oyster Replenishment Department.

4 VAC 20-720-35. Public oyster ground harvest season.

The Commissioner of the Marine Resources shall be authorized to extend the public oyster harvest season in the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Area, but the extension shall not be established to go beyond June 30.

4 VAC 20-720-40. Open oyster harvest season and areas.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest oysters from public and unassigned grounds outside of the seasons and areas set forth in this section.

B. It shall be unlawful to harvest clean cull oysters from the public oyster grounds and unassigned grounds except during the lawful seasons and from the lawful areas as described in the following subdivisions of this subsection.

1. James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area: October 1, 2015, through April 30, 2016.

2. Milford Haven: December 1, 2015, through February 29, 2016.

3. Rappahannock River Area 9: November 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

4. Little Wicomico River: October 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

5. Coan River: October 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

6.Yeocomico River: October 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

7. Nomini Creek: October 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

8. Mobjack Bay Area: January 1, 2016, through January 31, 2016.

9. Rappahannock River Rotation Area 5: October 1, 2015, through November 30, 2015.

10. Rappahannock River Rotation Area 3: November 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

11. Great Wicomico River Area: December 1, 2015, through January 31, 2016.

12. Upper Chesapeake Bay - Blackberry Hangs Area: December 1, 2015, through January 31, 2016.

13. James River Area and the Thomas Rock Area (James River): November 1 2015, through December 31, 2015 and March 1, 2016, through March 31, 2016.

14. Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds Rotation Area 1: December 1, 2015, through February 29, 2016.

15. Deep Rock Area: December 1, 2015, through February 29, 2016.
16. Seaside of the Eastern Shore (for clean cull oysters only): November 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016.

C. It shall be unlawful to harvest seed oysters from the public oyster grounds or unassigned grounds except during the lawful seasons. The harvest of seed oysters from the lawful areas is described in the following subdivisions of this subsection.

1. James River Seed Area: October 1, 2015, through May 31, 2016.

2. Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area: October 1, 2015, through May 31, 2016.

4 VAC 20-720-50. REPEALED

4 VAC 20-720-60. Day and time limit.

A. It shall be unlawful to take, catch, or possess oysters on Saturday and Sunday from the public oyster grounds or unassigned grounds in the waters of the Commonwealth of Virginia, for commercial purposes, except that this provision shall not apply to any person harvesting no more than one bushel per day by hand or ordinary tong for household use only during the season when the public oyster grounds or unassigned grounds are legally open for harvest.

B. From October 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015, it shall be unlawful to take, catch, or possess oysters on any Friday from the public oyster grounds or unassigned grounds described in 4VAC 20-720-40, B 9 through B 14.

C. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest or attempt to harvest oysters prior to sunrise or after 2 p.m. from the areas described in 4 VAC 20-720-40 B 1 through 15 and 4 VAC 20-720-40 C. In addition, it shall be unlawful for any boat with an oyster dredge aboard to leave the dock until one hour before sunrise or return to the dock after sunset, and it shall be unlawful for any boat with a hand scrape aboard to leave the dock until one-half hour before sunrise or return to the dock after sunset.

4 VAC 20-720-70. Gear restrictions.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest oysters in the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area; the Rappahannock River Area 9; Milford Haven and Little Wicomico River, Coan River, Nomini Creek and Yeocomico River, except by hand tong. It shall be unlawful for any person to have a hand scrape on board a boat that is harvesting or attempting to harvest oysters from public grounds by hand tong.

B. It shall be unlawful to harvest oysters from the seaside of the Eastern Shore area by any gear except by hand.

C. It shall be unlawful to harvest oysters in the Rappahannock River Rotation Areas 3 and 5, James River Area, Thomas Rock Area, Upper Chesapeake Bay Blackberry Hangs Area, Mobjack Bay Area, and Great Wicomico River Area, by any gear except by hand scrape.

D. It shall be unlawful for any person to have more than one hand scrape on board any boat that is harvesting oysters or attempting to harvest oysters from public grounds. It shall be unlawful for any person to have a hand tong on board a boat that is harvesting or attempting to harvest oysters from public grounds by hand scrape.

E. It shall be unlawful to harvest oysters from the Pocomoke and Tangier Sound Rotation Area 1, except by an oyster dredge.

F. It shall be unlawful to harvest oysters from the Deep Rock Area, except by an oyster patent tong.

4 VAC 20-720-75. Gear license.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest shellfish, from the hand scrape areas in the Rappahannock River, James River, Upper Chesapeake Bay, Mobjack Bay Area, and Great Wicomico River, unless that person has first obtained a valid hand scrape license.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest shellfish with an oyster dredge from the public oyster grounds in the Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds Rotation Area 1, unless that person has first obtained a valid oyster dredge license.

C. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest shellfish, with a patent tong from the public oyster grounds in the Deep Rock Area, unless that person has first obtained a valid oyster patent tong license.

D. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest shellfish, with a hand tong from the public oyster grounds, as described in 4 VAC 20-720-70 A, unless that person has first obtained a valid hand tong license.

E. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest shellfish, by hand from the public oyster grounds on the Seaside of the Eastern Shore, as described in 4 VAC 20-720-70 B (16), unless that person has first obtained a valid oyster by hand license.

4 VAC 20-720-80. Quotas and harvest limits.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person who does not possess a valid commercial fisherman’s registration license and a valid gear license required by harvest area, as described in 4 VAC 20-720-75, and has not paid the current year’s oyster resource user fee to harvest or possess any oysters for commercial purposes. Any individual who possesses the valid licenses and paid the oyster resource user fee, as described in this subsection, shall be limited to a maximum harvest of eight bushels per day. It shall be unlawful for any vessel to exceed a daily vessel limit of 24 bushels clean cull oysters harvested from the areas described in 4 VAC 20-720-40 B 8 through 14.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person who does not possess a valid commercial fisherman’s registration license and a valid gear license required by harvest area, as described in 4 VAC 20-720-75, and has not paid the current year’s oyster resource user fee to harvest or possess any oysters for commercial purposes. Any individual who possesses the valid licenses and paid the oyster resource user fee, as described in this subsection, shall be limited to a maximum harvest of eight bushels per day. It shall be unlawful for any vessel to exceed a daily vessel limit for clean cull oysters harvested from the areas described in 4 VAC 20-720-40 B 2 through 7 and 15, whereby that vessel limit shall equal the number of registered commercial fisherman licensees on board the vessel, hold a valid gear license and have paid the oyster resource user fee multiplied by 8.

C. It shall be unlawful for any vessel to exceed a daily vessel limit for clean cull oysters harvested from the areas described in 4 VAC 20-720-40 B 1, whereby that vessel limit shall equal the number of registered commercial fisherman licensees on board the vessel, hold a valid gear license and have paid the oyster resource user fee multiplied by 12. It shall be unlawful for any person who does not possess a valid commercial fisherman’s registration license, hold a valid gear license required by harvest area, as described in 4 VAC 20-720-75, and has not paid the current year’s oyster resource user fee to harvest or possess any oysters for commercial purposes. Any individual who possesses the valid licenses and paid the oyster resource user fee, as described in this subsection, shall be limited to a maximum harvest of twelve bushels per day.

D. In the Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds Rotation Area 1, no blue crab bycatch is allowed. It shall be unlawful to possess on board any vessel more than 250 hard clams.

4 VAC 20-720-85. James River Seed Quota and Monitoring.

A. An oyster seed harvest quota of 120,000 bushels of seed is established for the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area. Once it has been projected and announced that the quota of seed has been attained, it shall be unlawful for any person to harvest seed oysters from these areas.

B. Of the 120,000-bushel seed quota described in subsection A of this section no more than 40,000 bushels of this quota may be harvested from October 1 through December 31. However, if it is projected and announced that 40,000 bushels of seed have been harvested before December 31, it shall be unlawful for any person to harvest seed oysters from that date forward until January 1.

C. Any person harvesting or landing oyster seed from the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area, shall report monthly on forms provided by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission all harvest of seed oysters. Reporting requirements shall consist of that person’s Commercial Fisherman Registration License number, daily number of bushels of seed oysters harvested, harvest rock location, planting location (any lease numbers), and buyer name.

D. It shall be unlawful for any person harvesting seed oysters from the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area, to fail to contact the Virginia Marine Resources Commission Interactive-Voice-Response (IVR) System within 24 hours of harvest or landing, and provide that person’s name, Commercial Fisherman Registration License number, time, date, daily number of bushels of seed oysters harvested, harvest rock location, the planting location (any lease numbers), and buyer name.

4 VAC 20-720-90. Harvest permit required for the James River Area and Thomas Rock Area.

A permit is required for the James River Area and the Thomas Rock Area. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest, or attempt to harvest, oysters from the James River Area and the Thomas Rock Area without first obtaining a harvest permit from the Marine Resources Commission as required by § 28.2-518 of the Code of Virginia.

4 VAC 20-720-91. Harvest Permit required for the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Area.

A harvest permit shall be required for the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area, for the harvesting of seed oysters. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest or attempt to harvest seed oysters from the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area, without first obtaining and having on board a harvest permit.

4 VAC 20-720-95. [Repealed.]

4 VAC 20-720-100. Seed oyster planting procedures.

A. The marine police officer at the point of seed harvest may require that a marine police officer be present during the seed planting. When this is required, it will be specified on the seed transfer permit. If a marine police officer is required to be present at planting, the planter shall notify the marine police officer in the area prior to planting. It shall be unlawful for the permittee or planter to plant the oysters without a marine police officer being present.

B. The planting of seed oysters shall consist of spreading the oysters loosely on the bottom of the planting area. It shall be unlawful to plant seed oysters in any manner except by spreading the oysters loosely on the bottom.

C. Seed oysters shall be placed on a designated and marked area of the private ground from which said oysters are not to be removed until after May 31. It shall be unlawful to reharvest these seed oysters prior to June 1.

4 VAC 20-720-105. [Repealed.]

4 VAC 20-720-106. [Repealed.]

4 VAC 20-720-110. Penalty.

A. As set forth in § 28.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter committed by the same person within 12 months of a prior violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. In addition to the penalty prescribed by law, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall destroy, in the presence of a marine police officer, all shellfish in his possession, or, at the direction of the marine police officer, shall place the shellfish overboard on the nearest oyster sanctuary or closed shellfish area, and shall cease harvesting on that day. All harvesting apparatus may be subject to seizure, and, pursuant to § 28.2-232 of the Code of Virginia, all licenses and permits may be subject to revocation following a hearing before the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

**************


This is to certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate copy of the emergency chapter passed by the Marine Resources Commission, pursuant to authority vested in the Commission by §§ 28.2-201, 28.2-507, 28.2-210 and 28.2-518, of the Code of Virginia, duly advertised according to statute, and recorded in the Commission's minute book, at the meeting held in Newport News, Virginia, September 22, 2015.

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