VIRGINIA MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION
"PERTAINING TO SPECKLED TROUT AND RED DRUM"
REGULATION 4 VAC 20-280-10 ET SEQ.
This chapter establishes minimum size limits for the taking or possession of speckled trout and red drum (channel bass) by commercial and recreational fishermen.
The minimum size limits will protect the spawning stocks and increase yield in the fishery.
This chapter is designed to assure that Virginia is consistent with all federal and interstate management measures for speckled trout and red drum.
In addition, this chapter establishes a commercial landings quota for speckled trout.
The goal of these management measures is to perpetuate the speckled trout and red drum resources in fishable abundance throughout their range and generate the greatest possible economic and social benefits from their harvest and utilization over time.
This chapter is promulgated pursuant to authority contained in §§28.2-201 and 28.2-304 of the Code of Virginia. This chapter amends and re-adopts, as amended, previous Chapter 4VAC20-280-10 et seq., which was adopted December 17, 2002, and effective January 1, 2003. The effective date of this chapter, as amended, is April 1, 2011.
4 VAC 20-280-10. Purpose.
The purpose of this chapter is to protect and rebuild the spawning stocks of speckled trout and red drum, minimizing the possibility of recruitment failure, and to increase yield in their fisheries.
4 VAC 20-280-20. Definitions.
The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
"Red drum" means red drum or channel bass and is any fish of the species Sciaenops ocellatus.
"Speckled trout" means speckled trout or spotted seatrout and is any fish of the species Cynoscion nebulosus.
4 VAC 20-280-30. Size limits.
A. It shall be unlawful for any person to take, catch, or possess any speckled trout less than 14 inches in length provided however, the catch of speckled trout by pound net or haul seine may consist of up to 5.0%, by weight, of speckled trout less than 14 inches in length.
B. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing with hook-and-line, rod-and-reel, or hand-line to possess more than one speckled trout 24 inches or greater from December 1 through March 31 of any year.
C. It shall be unlawful for any person to take, catch or possess any red drum less than 18 inches in length or greater than 26 inches in length.
D. Length is measured in a straight line from tip of nose to tip of tail.
4 VAC 20-280-40. Possession limits.
A. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing with hook-and-line, rod-and-reel, or hand-line to possess more than 10 speckled trout, from April 1 through November 30, in any year.
B. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing with hook-and-line, rod-and-reel, or hand-line to possess more than 5 speckled trout, from December 1 through March 31, in any year.
C. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess more than three red drum.
4 VAC 20-280-50. Commercial landings quota.
A. For each 12-month period of September 1 through August 31, the commercial landings of speckled trout shall be limited to 51,104 pounds.
B. When it is projected that the commercial landings quota will be met by a certain date within the above period, the Marine Resources Commission will provide notice of the closing date for commercial harvest and landing of speckled trout during that period; and it shall be unlawful for any person to harvest or land speckled trout for commercial purposes after such closing date for the remainder of that period.
4 VAC 20-280-60. Penalty.
A. Pursuant to §28.2-304 of the Code of Virginia, any person violating any provision of 4VAC20-280-40 C of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
B. Pursuant to §28.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, any person violating any provision of this chapter other than 4VAC20-280-40 C shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter, other than 4VAC20-280-40 C, committed by the same person within 12 months of a prior violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor.