TITLE 4. CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: The
Board of Game and Inland Fisheries is claiming an exemption from the
Administrative Process Act pursuant to § 2.2-4002 A 3 of the Code of
Virginia when promulgating regulations regarding the management of wildlife.
Title of Regulation: 4VAC15-260. Game: Waterfowl and
Waterfowl Blinds (amending 4VAC15-260-160; adding
4VAC15-260-15, 4VAC15-260-35, 4VAC15-260-45, 4VAC15-260-115, 4VAC15-260-116; repealing
Statutory Authority: §§ 29.1-103, 29.1-351, and
29.1-501 of the Code of Virginia.
Public Hearing Information:
May 24, 2017 - 9 a.m. - Department of Game and Inland
Fisheries, 7870 Villa Park Drive, Suite 400, Henrico, VA 23228
Public Comment Deadline: May 10, 2017.
Agency Contact: Phil Smith, Regulatory Coordinator,
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, 7870 Villa Park Drive, Suite 400,
Henrico, VA 23228, telephone (804) 367-8341, or email
The proposed amendments (i) require reflective markers on
stationary waterfowl blinds that are located in the public waters and allow
such markers to be lowered or taken down when the blind is in use; (ii) clarify
that all hunting, including hunting from a float blind, hunting while standing
on the bottom of public waters, or any other type of hunting, is prohibited
within 500 yards of any licensed stationary blind or floating blind stake;
(iii) create float blind hunting areas in public waters in front of qualifying
state, federal, and municipal properties and public lands on an opt-in basis by
the public agencies, by prohibiting non-riparian stationary blinds in such
public waters; (iv) prohibit activities on the Department of Game and Inland
Fisheries Kittewan Creek refuge property that are not consistent with the
property's function as a refuge for waterfowl; (v) prohibit stationary blinds
in the public waters in front of national park and state park lands on the York
River; and (vi) allow the department to designate float blind hunting areas in
the Great Hunting Creek and Dyke Marsh areas using global positioning system
4VAC15-260-15. Reflective markers on stationary blinds.
Stationary blinds located in the public waters must be
marked with a stake or PVC pipe with at least 100 square inches of white or
amber reflecting material visibly from 360 degrees and at least three feet
above the high water mark. The requirement for reflective material on
stationary blinds is not in effect while the stationary blind is occupied by a
licensed hunter during legal shooting hours. In addition, any abandoned or
partial blind structures must be similarly marked until such time as they are
removed from the public waters.
4VAC15-260-35. Distance from a licensed stationary blind and
off-shore blind stake.
No person shall hunt migratory waterfowl in the public
waters of this Commonwealth within 500 yards of any legally licensed erected
stationary blind or legally licensed offshore blind stake site of another
without possessing the written consent of the licensee that is immediately
available upon request by any law-enforcement officer, except when in active
pursuit of a visible crippled waterfowl that was legally shot by the person.
Distance between floating blind and
stationary blind. (Repealed.)
It shall be unlawful to tie out or anchor a mat blind, or
other floating blind, within 500 yards of a stationary shore or stationary
water blind on which license has been paid for the season, except by the consent
of the owner of such stationary shore blind or water blind, whether the same be
occupied for shooting or not.
4VAC15-260-45. Float blind hunting areas established.
No licenses shall be issued for non-riparian stationary
waterfowl blinds or offshore blind stake sites in the public waters in front of
specified public, municipal, state, or federal properties in Virginia.
Waterfowl hunting in public waters in front of these lands shall be by licensed
floating blind only and shall occur only in designated waters and at designated
times and locations as prescribed by the riparian landowner and approved by the
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. This section applies to areas
where the managing agency has requested such in writing to the department by
April 1 of any given year. These privileges will remain in effect until the
managing agency requests termination in writing to the department by April 1 of
any given year. This section shall not alter in any respect the privileges for
landowners and their lessees and permittees prescribed in §§ 29.1-344 and
29.1-347 of the Code of Virginia.
4VAC15-260-115. Disturbing waterfowl on Kittewan Creek
refuge in Charles City County.
It shall be unlawful to hunt on the waters of Kittewan
Creek in Charles City County west (upstream) of the posted refuge boundary
markers (latitude-longitude coordinates 37.29831 - 77.05134) located
approximately one mile upstream from its mouth at the James River. In addition,
camping and other recreational activities that are not consistent with the
property's function as a refuge for waterfowl are not permitted.
4VAC15-260-116. Blinds adjacent to Werowocomoco National
Park and York River State Park.
No licenses shall be issued for stationary waterfowl
blinds in front of Werowocomoco National Park in Purtan Bay and on the York
River between Purtan Island and Barren Point in Gloucester County, and in front
of York River State Park between Taskinas Creek and the eastern boundary of
York River State Park in James City County. These prohibitions shall not alter
the privileges prescribed in §§ 29.1-344 and 29.1-347 of the Code of Virginia
for riparian owners and their lessees and permittees.
4VAC15-260-160. Great Hunting Creek and Dyke Marsh; floating
No license shall be issued for stationary waterfowl blinds on
the Potomac River in Fairfax County adjacent to National Park Service
lands in the Great Hunting Creek and Dyke Marsh areas. Waterfowl hunting
in Commonwealth waters adjacent to the above mentioned lands shall be by
licensed floating blind only. Such floating blinds (i) must be attached
securely to a post or buoy affixed to the river bottom by the department ,
or anchored at global positioning system (GPS) locations designated by the
department and (ii) are limited to one floating blind per post at
any time. Hunters in licensed floating blinds may hunt from designated
locations during legal shooting hours on Thanksgiving Day and on Mondays,
Wednesdays and Fridays during the open seasons for hunting waterfowl in
Virginia. Blind sites shall be occupied on a daily first-come basis, such sites
to be occupied no earlier than 4 a.m. or later than one-half hour after sunset.
All such blinds shall be removed each day.
VA.R. Doc. No. R17-5074; Filed March 29, 2017, 11:10 a.m.