Vol. 28 Iss. 14 - March 12, 2012

Chapter 620
Final Regulation

REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: The following regulation filed by the Marine Resources Commission is exempt from the Administrative Process Act in accordance with § 2.2-4006 A 11 of the Code of Virginia; however, the commission is required to publish the full text of final regulations.

Title of Regulation: 4VAC20-620. Pertaining to Summer Flounder (amending 4VAC20-620-50; repealing 4VAC20-620-75).

Statutory Authority: § 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Date: March 1, 2012.

Agency Contact: Jane Warren, Agency Regulatory Coordinator, Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, VA 23607, telephone (757) 247-2248, FAX (757) 247-2002, or email


The amendments (i) establish the minimum size as 16-1/2 inches for recreational harvest of Summer Flounder and (ii) repeal the research exemptions to possession and size limits.

4VAC20-620-50. Minimum size limits.

A. The minimum size for Summer Flounder harvested by commercial fishing gear shall be 14 inches, total length.

B. The minimum size of Summer Flounder harvested by recreational fishing gear, including but not limited to hook and line, rod and reel, spear and gig, shall be 17-1/2 16-1/2 inches, total length, except that the minimum size of Summer Flounder harvested in the Potomac River tributaries shall be the same as established by the Potomac River Fisheries Commission for the mainstem Potomac River.

C. Length shall be measured in a straight line from tip of nose to tip of tail.

D. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any Summer Flounder smaller than the designated minimum size limit.

E. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the landing of Summer Flounder in Virginia that were legally harvested in the Potomac River.

4VAC20-620-75. Research exemptions to possession and size limits. (Repealed.)

Nothing in this chapter shall preclude any person who is legally eligible to fish from possessing any Summer Flounder tagged by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) with two different types of tags in each of 260 Summer Flounder. One tag is a white data recording tag of 1/2-inch diameter and 1-1/2 inches in length that VIMS affixed to the Summer Flounder. That tag is inscribed with "VIMS $200 reward" and the VIMS telephone contact number. The second tag is a yellow "T-bar" or "spaghetti" type tag that VIMS affixed to the dorsal area of these double-tagged Summer Flounder. The yellow T-bar tag is inscribed with "reward" and the VIMS contact telephone number. Possession of these VIMS-tagged Summer Flounder shall not count towards the personal recreational possession limit of four Summer Flounder, 17-1/2 inches or greater in total length. Possession of any undersized flounder that has any affixed VIMS tag, as described above, shall not constitute a violation of the minimum size limit of 17-1/2 inches in total length. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove either type of tag from any caught or harvested Summer Flounder without having contacted VIMS. It shall be unlawful for any person to retain any of these VIMS-tagged Summer Flounder for a period of time that is longer than necessary to provide the VIMS-tagged Summer Flounder to a VIMS representative. Under no circumstances shall any VIMS-tagged flounder be stored for future use or sale or delivered to any person who is not a VIMS representative.

VA.R. Doc. No. R12-3117; Filed March 1, 2012, 10:36 a.m.