Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 15. Department of Wildlife Resources
Chapter 320. Fish: Fishing Generally
6/29/2022

4VAC15-320-100. Department-owned or department-controlled lakes, ponds, streams, boat access sites, or hatcheries.

A. Motors and boats. Unless otherwise posted at each recognized entrance to any department-owned or department-controlled lake, pond, or stream, the use of boats propelled by a gasoline motor or sail is prohibited. Department employees and other government agency officials may use gasoline motors in the performance of official duties.

B. Method of fishing. Taking any fish at any department-owned or department-controlled lake, pond, or stream by any means other than by use of one or more attended poles with hook and line attached is prohibited unless otherwise posted in which case cast nets (subject to 4VAC15-360-10 B) may be used for collecting nongame fish for use as bait.

C. Hours for fishing. Fishing is permitted 24 hours a day unless otherwise posted at each recognized entrance to any department-owned or department-controlled lake, pond, stream, or boat access site.

D. Seasons; hours and methods of fishing; size and creel limits; hunting and trapping. The open seasons for (i) fishing, as well as fishing hours, methods of taking fish, and the size, possession, and creel limits and (ii) hunting and trapping for department-owned or department-controlled lakes, ponds, streams, or boat access sites shall conform to the regulations of the board unless otherwise excepted by posted rules by the director or his designee. Such posted rules shall be displayed at each lake, pond, stream, or boat access site, in which case the posted rules shall be in effect. Failure to comply with posted rules concerning seasons, hours, methods of taking, bag limits, and size, possession, and creel limits shall constitute a violation of this regulation.

E. Other uses. Camping overnight or building fires (except in developed and designated areas), swimming, or wading in department-owned or department-controlled lakes, ponds, or streams (except by anglers, hunters and trappers actively engaged in fishing, hunting, or trapping), is prohibited. All other uses shall conform to the regulations of the board unless excepted by posted rules.

F. Fishing tournaments, etc. A boat ramp special use permit is required to organize, conduct, supervise, or solicit entries for fishing tournaments, rodeos, or other fishing events on lakes, ponds, or streams owned by the department, for which prizes are offered, awarded, or accepted based on size or numbers of fish caught, either in money or other valuable considerations. Any fish captured and entered for scoring or consideration during a permitted fishing tournament, rodeo, or other fishing event on lakes, ponds, or streams owned by the department must be immediately released at the capture site. A boat ramp special use permit is not required for tournaments, rodeos, or other fishing events that occur on a statewide or nationwide basis and that do not have a designated meeting or gathering location.

Statutory Authority

§§ 29.1-103, 29.1-501, and 29.1-502 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-03-1 § 10, eff. January 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 1995; Volume 15, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 1999; Volume 17, Issue 6, eff. January 1, 2001; Volume 17, Issue 19, eff. July 4, 2001; Volume 21, Issue 1, eff. September 20, 2004; Volume 22, Issue 16, eff. May 17, 2006; Volume 37, Issue 7, eff. January 1, 2021.

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