Vol. 27 Iss. 4 - October 25, 2010

Chapter 1240
Final Regulation

Title of Regulation: 4VAC20-1240. Fisherman Identification Program (adding 4VAC20-1240-10 through 4VAC20-1240-40).

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

Effective Date: January 1, 2011.

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


This chapter establishes a Fisherman Identification Program (FIP) to comply with the federal National Marine Fisheries Service's Saltwater Angler Registry Program. Federal regulations establishing the program require all anglers fishing in federal waters, or fishing in state waters for anadromous fish species, to register with the federal registry. Persons who purchase a Virginia saltwater recreational fishing license are not required to register with the FIP because the Marine Resources Commission will send a listing of those licensees to the National Marine Fisheries Service. However, resident and nonresident anglers, age 16 and older, fishing in Virginia tidal waters who have not purchased a saltwater recreational fishing license will be required to register with the FIP.


4VAC20-1240-10. Purpose.

The purpose of this regulation is to establish a Fisherman Identification Program which, in combination with the Saltwater Fishing License Program, will provide a complete listing of anglers fishing for marine and anadromous fish species in tidal waters. The listing is used to contact fishermen as part of statistical surveys that estimate recreational fishing catches and effort.

4VAC20-1240-20. Definitions.

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

"Anadromous species" means any striped bass Morone saxatilis, American shad Alosa sapidissima, hickory shad Alosa mediocris, blueback herring Alosa aestivalis, or alewife Alosa psuedoharengus.

4VAC20-1240-30. Registration requirement; exception; procedures; confidentiality.

A. It shall be unlawful for any resident or nonresident, 16 years of age or older, to take or catch any marine or anadromous fish species recreationally in any tidal waters of the Commonwealth without first obtaining, annually, a Fisherman Identification Program (FIP) number, except as provided in subsection B of this section.

B. Any person who purchases a Virginia saltwater recreational fishing license under Article 1.1 (§ 28.2-302.1 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 28.2 of the Code of Virginia, or a saltwater recreational fishing license issued by the Potomac River Fisheries Commission, is not required to obtain a FIP number for the term of that license. Any person fishing aboard a charter boat or head boat that is licensed by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission or the Potomac River Fisheries Commission is not required to obtain a FIP number.

C. The FIP number may be obtained by the fisherman at no cost by calling a toll-free number and providing the required FIP information over the telephone or by entering the required information online via an Internet access portal designated by the Marine Resources Commission for that purpose. The required FIP information shall include name, date of birth, address, and telephone number. No person shall be considered as registered under the FIP unless all of that person's FIP-required information is a part of the commission's telephone or Internet database.

D. Any person registered in the Fisherman Identification Program must be able to produce his FIP number upon request by any police officer. Failure to provide a valid FIP number for the current year shall constitute a violation of this regulation.

4VAC20-1240-40. Penalty.

As set forth in § 28.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter committed by the same person within 12 months of a prior violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

VA.R. Doc. No. R11-2604; Filed September 29, 2010, 4:13 p.m.