Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
Chapter 270. Pertaining to Blue Crab Fishery
10/31/2020

4VAC20-270-40. Season Limits.

A. In 2020, the lawful season for the commercial harvest of crabs by crab pot shall be March 17 through November 30. In 2021, the lawful season for the commercial harvest of crabs by crab pot shall be March 17 through November 30. For all other lawful commercial gear used to harvest crabs, as described in 4VAC20-1040, the lawful seasons for the harvest of crabs shall be April 1 through October 31.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest crabs or to possess crabs on board a vessel, except during the lawful season as described in subsection A of this section.

C. It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to place, set, fish, or leave any hard crab pot in any tidal waters of Virginia from December 1, 2020, through March 16, 2021. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly place, set, fish, or leave any lawful commercial gear used to harvest crabs, except any hard crab pot or any gear as described in 4VAC20-460-25, in any tidal waters of Virginia from November 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021.

D. It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to place, set, fish, or leave any fish pot in any tidal waters from March 12 through March 16, except as provided in subdivisions 1 and 2 of this subsection.

1. It shall be lawful for any person to place, set, or fish any fish pot in those Virginia waters located upriver of the following boundary lines:

a. In the James River the boundary shall be a line connecting Hog Point and the downstream point at the mouth of College Creek.

b. In the York River the boundary lines shall be the Route 33 bridges at West Point.

c. In the Rappahannock River the boundary line shall be the Route 360 bridge at Tappahannock.

d. In the Potomac River the boundary line shall be the Route 301 bridge that extends from Newberg, Maryland to Dahlgren, Virginia.

2. This subsection shall not apply to legally licensed eel pots as described in 4VAC20-500-50.

E. It shall be unlawful for any person to place, set, or fish any number of fish pots in excess of 10% of the amount allowed by the gear license limit, up to a maximum of 30 fish pots per vessel, when any person on that vessel has set any crab pots.

1. This subsection shall not apply to fish pots set in the areas described in subdivision D 1 of this section.

2. This subsection shall not apply to legally licensed eel pots as described in 4VAC20-500.

3. This subsection shall not apply to fish pots constructed of a mesh less than one-inch square or hexagonal mesh.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR 450-01-0036 § 4, eff. December 1, 1985; amended, Volume 04, Issue 20, eff. May 23, 1988; Volume 05, Issue 08, eff. January 1, 1989; Volume 05, Issue 19, eff. May 4, 1989; Volume 05, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1989; Volume 11, Issue 07, eff. January 1, 1995; Volume 11, Issue 14, eff. March 2, 1995; Volume 13, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1997; Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. March 30, 2000; Volume 17, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 2001; Volume 17, Issue 18, eff. May 1, 2001; Volume 18, Issue 14, eff. March 5, 2002; Volume 23, Issue 17, eff. March 30, 2007; Volume 24, Issue 19, eff. April 30, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 12, eff. February 1, 2009; Volume 25, Issue 16, eff. March 26, 2009; Volume 25, Issue 21, eff. June 1, 2009; Volume 29, Issue 08, eff. November 26, 2012; Volume 30, Issue 07, eff. November 21, 2013; Volume 30, Issue 24, eff. July 1, 2014; Volume 31, Issue 15, eff. March 1, 2015; Volume 31, Issue 21, eff. July 5, 2015; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. July 5, 2016; Volume 33, Issue 26, eff. August 1, 2017; Volume 34, Issue 23, eff. July 5, 2018; Volume 35, Issue 23, eff. July 5, 2019; Volume 36, Issue 23, eff. July 5, 2020.

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