Vol. 36 Iss. 15 - March 16, 2020

Chapter 450
Final Regulation

REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: The Marine Resources Commission is claiming an exemption 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: 4VAC20-450. Pertaining to the Taking of Bluefish (amending 4VAC20-450-15, 4VAC20-450-20).

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

Effective Date: March 1, 2020.

Agency Contact: Jennifer Farmer, Regulatory Coordinator, Marine Resources Commission, 380 Fenwick Road, Fort Monroe, VA 23651, telephone (757) 247-2248 or email


The amendments set the harvest and possession limits at three fish for recreational fishing and five fish for fishing from a charter or for-hire vessel.

4VAC20-450-15. Definitions.

The following word words or term terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meaning meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Bluefish" means any fish of the species Pomatomus saltatrix.

"Captain" means the person licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry passengers for hire who operates the charter boat or head boat.

"Charter vessel" or "for-hire vessel" means a vessel operating with a captain who possesses either a Class A Fishing Guide License, Class B Fishing Guide License, or Fishing Guide Reciprocity Permit.

4VAC20-450-20. Bluefish possession limit limits.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing with recreational hook and line, rod and reel, spear, gig, or other recreational gear recreationally to harvest and or possess more than 10 three bluefish, except as described in subsection B of this section. Any bluefish taken after the possession limit of 10 fish has been reached shall be returned to the water immediately.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing from a charter or for-hire vessel to harvest or possess more than five bluefish. Any bluefish taken after the possession limit has been reached shall be returned to the water immediately.

B. C. 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 who are legally licensed eligible to fish multiplied by 10 the personal possession limits as described in subsections A and B of this section. The captain or operator of the boat or vessel shall be responsible for any boat or vessel possession limit.

VA.R. Doc. No. R20-6325; Filed February 25, 2020, 2:16 p.m.