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REGULATION: PERTAINING TO SPECKLED TROUT AND RED DRUM

VIRGINIA MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION
"PERTAINING TO SPECKLED TROUT AND RED DRUM"
REGULATION 4VAC 20-280-10 ET SEQ.

PREAMBLE

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 March 29, 2011, and effective April 1, 2011.  The effective date of this chapter, as amended, is April 1, 2014. 

4VAC 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.

4VAC 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.

4VAC 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 commercially, with commercial hook and line gear, or fishing recreationally, with any gear type, to possess more than one speckled trout 24 inches or greater, in any one day, from January 1 through December 31, except as described in 4 VAC 20-280-40 B.

C.  It shall be unlawful for any person fishing recreationally, with any gear type, to take, catch or possess any red drum less than 18 inches in length or greater than 26 inches in length.

D.  It shall be unlawful for any person fishing commercially, with any gear type, to take, catch or possess any red drum less than 18 inches in length or greater than 25 inches in length.

E.  Length is measured in a straight line from tip of nose to tip of tail.

4VAC 20-280-40. Possession limits.

A.  It shall be unlawful for any person fishing commercially, with commercial hook and line gear, or recreationally, with any gear type, to possess more than 5 speckled trout, in any one day, from January 1 through December 31, except as described in 4VAC20-280-40 B.

B.  It shall be unlawful for any person fishing commercially, with commercial hook and line gear, or recreationally, with any gear type, to take, harvest, or possess any speckled trout, from March 1 through July 31, 2014.

C.  It shall be unlawful for any person fishing recreationally, with any gear type, to possess more than three red drum.

D.  It shall be unlawful for any person fishing commercially, with any gear type, to possess more than five red drum.

4VAC 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 and announced that 80 percent of the commercial landings quota has been taken, it shall be unlawful, for any commercial fisherman registration licensee, to take, harvest, land or possess a daily bycatch limit of up to 100 pounds of speckled trout, and that daily bycatch landing limit of speckled trout shall consist of at least an equal amount of other fish species.

C. 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.

4VAC20-280-55. Seafood Buyer Reporting Requirements.

On each Monday, from August 1 through November 30, of an open commercial season for speckled trout, any licensed seafood buyer who purchased speckled trout during the previous 7 days shall contact the Commission’s Interactive Voice Recording System and report any purchases of speckled trout, in pounds, during the previous 7 days. 

4VAC 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.

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