Vol. 26 Iss. 9 - January 04, 2010

Chapter 20
Final Regulation

Title of Regulation: 4VAC20-20. Pertaining to the Licensing of Fixed Fishing Devices (amending 4VAC20-20-50).

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

Effective Date: December 18, 2009.

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 amendment requires that pound net licensees set and fish pound nets at least once during two consecutive calendar years starting in 2009 to maintain their licenses and priority rights associated with those pound nets.

4VAC20-20-50. Priority rights; renewal by current licensee.

A. Applications for renewal of license for existing fixed fishing devices may be accepted by the officer beginning at 9 a.m. on December 1 of the current license year through noon on January 10 of the next license year providing the applicant has met all requirements of law and this chapter. Any location not relicensed during the above period of time shall be considered vacant and available to any qualified applicant after noon on January 10.

B. Except as provided in subsections C and D of this section, a currently licensed fixed fishing device must have been fished during the current license year in order for the licensee to maintain his priority right to such location. It shall be mandatory for the licensee to notify the officer, on forms provided by the commission, when the fixed fishing device is ready to be fished in the location applied for, by a complete system of nets and poles, except as provided in subsection D of this section, for the purpose of visual inspection by the officer. Either the failure of the licensee to notify the officer when the fixed fishing device is ready to be fished or the failure by the licensee actually to fish the licensed device, by use of a complete system of nets and poles, except as provided in subsection D of this section, shall terminate his right or privilege to renew the license during the period set forth in subsection A of this section of this chapter, and he shall not become a qualified applicant for such location until 9 a.m. on February 1. Any application received from an unqualified applicant under this subsection shall be considered as received at 9 a.m. on February 1; however, in the event of the death of a current license holder, the priority right to renew the currently held locations of the deceased licensee shall not expire by reason of failure to fish said locations during the year for which they were licensed, but one additional year shall be and is hereby granted to the personal representative or lawful beneficiary of the deceased licensee to license the location in the name of the estate of the deceased licensee for purposes of fishing said location or making valid assignment thereof.

C. During the effective period of 4VAC20-530, which establishes a moratorium on the taking and possession of American shad in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, any person licensed during 1993 to set a staked gill net who chooses not to set that net during the period of the moratorium may maintain his priority right to the stake net's 1993 location by completing an application for a fixed fishing device and submitting it to the officer. No license fee shall be charged for the application.

D. Current pound net licensees shall not be required to fish their pound nets or establish a complete system of nets and poles in 2008 in order to renew their licenses or maintain their priority rights to such locations for 2009. In order to maintain priority rights and renew a license to a specific pound net location, a pound net licensee shall be required to set and fish that pound net at least once during two consecutive calendar years starting with calendar year 2009.

VA.R. Doc. No. R10-2257; Filed December 17, 2009, 4:18 p.m.