Recreational Saltwater Fishing

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Android and Apple smartphone users can now take the SWJ with them when they go fishing at vasaltwaterjournal.com/mobile.

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Warning & Notice

This online reporting system is the property of the Commonwealth of Virginia and is intended for authorized users only. Unauthorized use of this system may subject you to State or Federal criminal prosecution and penalties.

Please be advised that we have taken numerous security precautions to ensure the data that is entered in this system is secure. However, the VMRC cannot guarantee against all possibilities of security breaches or unauthorized accesss. You may opt not to use this system and can manually report your trophy striped bass, tilefish or grouper with forms found here.

Virginia Fisherman Identification Program

As of Jan. 1, 2011, virtually every adult saltwater angler (16 and older) in Virginia will need either a valid saltwater fishing license or to register with the Fisherman Identification Program every year. This is part of a nationwide effort to collect contact information annually for everyone who fishes recreationally in the country's saltwaters. Doing so will help federal fishing effort surveyors improve their ability to contact anglers periodically and ask them how often they go fishing, where in general they go fishing and what they caught. You must register with the Fisherman Identification Program every year. To do so, register online or call toll-free 800-723-2728.

The Fisherman's Journal

The Fisherman's Journal has been used by recreational anglers since 2007. It is intended to benefit the individual angler, the fishing community, and fishery managers. It allows the individual angler to keep a record of their fishing experience that can be used to identify successful locations and conditions in the future. It allows the fishing community to share and learn about other anglers' experiences. Finally, it will benefit fishery managers by allowing them to assess fish populations by analyzing data provided by you, the recreational fisherman.

Striped Bass Trophy Season

Regulation 4VAC 20-252-10 ET SEQ. requires all striped bass kept during the trophy season be reported.

FISHING SEASONS:

Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries: May 1 - June 15
Coastal Virginia waters: May 1 - May 15
Potomac River tributaries: April 17 - May 15

TROPHY POSSESSION SIZE: 32 inch minimum size; except for Potomac River Tributaries, where a 28 inch minimum size is in effect.

POSSESSION LIMIT: 1 trophy-size fish per person. When fishing from a boat or vessel, where the entire catch is held in a common hold or container, the possession limit shall be for the boat or vessel and shall be equal to the number of persons on board, legally eligible to fish, multiplied by the applicable personal possession limit. The captain or operator of the boat or vessel shall be responsible for any boat or vessel possession limit.

GEAR: Hook and Line fishing only

Virginia Marine Resources Commission

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