Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 15. Department of Wildlife Resources
Chapter 360. Fish: Aquatic Invertebrates, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Nongame Fish

4VAC15-360-10. Taking aquatic invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and nongame fish for private use.

A. Possession limits. Except as otherwise provided for in § 29.1-418 of the Code of Virginia, 4VAC15-20-130, 4VAC15-320-40, and the sections of this chapter, it shall be lawful to capture and possess live for private use and not for sale no more than five individuals of any single native or naturalized (as defined in 4VAC15-20-50) species of amphibian and reptile and 20 individuals of any single native or naturalized (as defined in 4VAC15-20-50) species of aquatic invertebrate and nongame fish unless specifically listed below:

1. The following species may be taken in unlimited numbers from inland waters statewide: carp, mullet, yellow bullhead, brown bullhead, black bullhead, flat bullhead, snail bullhead, white sucker, northern hogsucker, gizzard shad, threadfin shad, blueback herring (see 4VAC15-320-25 for anadromous blueback herring limits), white perch, yellow perch, alewife (see 4VAC15-320-25 for anadromous alewife limits), stoneroller (hornyhead), fathead minnow, golden shiner, goldfish, and Asian clams. Grass carp may only be harvested in unlimited numbers from public inland waters of the Commonwealth other than department-owned or department-controlled lakes. Anglers taking grass carp must ensure that all harvested grass carp are dead.

2. See 4VAC15-320-25 for American shad, hickory shad, channel catfish, white catfish, flathead catfish, and blue catfish limits.

3. For the purpose of this chapter, "fish bait" shall be defined as native or naturalized species of minnows and chubs (Cyprinidae), salamanders (each under six inches in total length), crayfish, and hellgrammites. The possession limit for taking "fish bait" shall be 50 individuals in aggregate, unless said person has purchased "fish bait" and has a receipt specifying the number of individuals purchased by species, except salamanders and crayfish which cannot be sold pursuant to the provisions of 4VAC15-360-60 and 4VAC15-360-70. However, stonerollers (hornyheads), fathead minnows, golden shiners, and goldfish may be taken and possessed in unlimited numbers as provided for in subdivision 1 of this subsection.

4. The daily limit for bullfrogs shall be 15 and for snapping turtles shall be five. Snapping turtles shall only be taken from June 1 to September 30. Bullfrogs and snapping turtles may not be taken from the banks or waters of designated stocked trout waters.

5. The following species may not be taken in any number for private use: candy darter, eastern hellbender, diamondback terrapin, and spotted turtle.

6. Native amphibians and reptiles, as defined in 4VAC15-20-50, that are captured within the Commonwealth and possessed live for private use and not for sale may be liberated under the following conditions:

a. Period of captivity does not exceed 30 days;

b. Animals must be liberated at the site of capture;

c. Animals must have been housed separately from other wild-caught and domestic animals; and

d. Animals that demonstrate symptoms of disease or illness or that have sustained injury during their captivity may not be released.

B. Methods of taking species in subsection A of this section. Except as otherwise provided for in the Code of Virginia, 4VAC15-20-130, 4VAC15-320-40, and other regulations of the board, and except in any waters where the use of nets is prohibited, the species listed in subsection A of this section may only be taken (i) by hand, hook and line; (ii) with a seine not exceeding four feet in depth by 10 feet in length; (iii) with an umbrella type net not exceeding five by five feet square; (iv) by small minnow traps with throat openings no larger than one inch in diameter; (v) with cast nets; and (vi) with hand-held bow nets with diameter not to exceed 20 inches and handle length not to exceed eight feet (such cast net and hand-held bow nets when so used shall not be deemed dip nets under the provisions of § 29.1-416 of the Code of Virginia). Gizzard shad and white perch may also be taken from below the fall line in all tidal rivers of the Chesapeake Bay using a gill net in accordance with Virginia Marine Resources Commission recreational fishing regulations. Bullfrogs may also be taken by gigging or bow and arrow and, from private waters, by firearms no larger than .22 caliber rimfire. Snapping turtles may be taken for personal use with hoop nets not exceeding six feet in length with a throat opening not exceeding 36 inches.

C. Areas restricted from taking mollusks. Except as provided for in §§ 29.1-418 and 29.1-568 of the Code of Virginia, it shall be unlawful to take the spiny riversnail (Io fluvialis) in the Tennessee drainage in Virginia (Clinch, Powell, and the North, South, and Middle Forks of the Holston Rivers and tributaries). It shall be unlawful to take mussels from any inland waters of the Commonwealth.

D. Areas restricted from taking salamanders. Except as provided for in §§ 29.1-418 and 29.1-568 of the Code of Virginia, it shall be unlawful to take salamanders in Grayson Highlands State Park and on National Forest lands in the Jefferson National Forest in those portions of Grayson, Smyth, and Washington Counties bounded on the east by State Route 16, on the north by State Route 603 and on the south and west by U.S. Route 58.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-03-5 § 1, eff. January 1, 1992; amended, Volume 09, Issue 04, eff. January 1, 1993; Volume 11, Issue 05, eff. January 1, 1995; Volume 13, Issue 05, eff. January 1, 1997; Volume 15, Issue 05, eff. January 1, 1999; Volume 17, Issue 06, eff. January 1, 2001; Volume 19, Issue 05, eff. January 1, 2003; Volume 22, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2006; Volume 23, Issue 09, eff. January 15, 2007; Volume 24, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2008; Volume 27, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2011; Volume 31, Issue 09, eff. January 1, 2015; Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2017.

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