Vol. 40 Iss. 18 - April 22, 2024

Chapter 620



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: 4VAC20-620. Pertaining to Summer Flounder (amending 4VAC20-620-50).

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

Effective Date: April 1, 2024.

Agency Contact: Jennifer Farmer, Regulatory Coordinator, Marine Resources Commission, 380 Fenwick Road, Building 96, Fort Monroe, VA 23651, telephone (757) 247-2248, FAX (757) 247-2002, or email

Background: In December 2023, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Board (board) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (council) met jointly to set recreational measures for 2024 and 2025 for summer flounder and scup. The percent change approach, as implemented under Addendum XXXIV to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan was used in conjunction with the recreation demand model (RDM) to determine that summer flounder and scup require a 28% and 10% reduction in harvest in 2024, respectively. For summer flounder, the board and council continued the regional conservation equivalency process as outlined in Addendum XXXII, which requires each region to implement summer flounder regulations that will achieve the cumulative required harvest reduction by weight. In December, the board specified that each region must take a 28% reduction. In January 2024, the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Technical Committee used the RDM to recommend options for 2024 and 2025 recreational measures for summer flounder to achieve a 28% reduction for the 2024 and 2025 season adjustments. On February 14, 2024, the board reviewed and approved a range of state or regional options for 2024 and 2025 summer flounder as developed by the RDM. The approved options achieve the required reductions.


The amendment increases the recreational minimum size limit for summer flounder.

4VAC20-620-50. Minimum size limits.

A. The minimum size for summer flounder harvested by commercial fishing gear shall be 14 inches in total length.

B. The minimum size of summer flounder harvested by recreational fishing gear, including hook and line, rod and reel, spear, and gig, shall be 16 inches in total length January 1 through May 31 and 17.5 inches in total length June 1 through December 31, 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. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any summer flounder smaller than the designated minimum size limit.

D. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the landing of summer flounder in Virginia that were legally harvested in the Potomac River.

VA.R. Doc. No. R24-7808; Filed March 26, 2024