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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
Chapter 720. Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest
4/20/2024

4VAC20-720-40. Open oyster harvest season, harvest areas, and harvest limits.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest oysters from public and unassigned grounds except within the dates and areas and with the harvest gears set forth in this section.

B. It shall be unlawful to harvest clean cull oysters from the public oyster grounds and unassigned grounds except within the seasons and areas and with the harvest gears as described in Table 1 in this subsection.

It shall be unlawful to exceed the daily individual bushel harvest limit or the daily vessel bushel limit of clean cull oysters in Table 1 in this subsection.

Table 1

Clean Cull Oyster Harvest Area, Harvest Dates, Harvest Gear, and Daily Bushel Limits

Harvest Area

Harvest Dates

Harvest Gear

Daily Individual Bushel Limit

Daily Vessel Bushel Limit

Great Wicomico River Rotation Area 1

December 1, 2023, through January 31, 2024, and February 15, 2024, through February 29, 2024

Hand Scrape

8

16

James River Area 1 and 2

October 15, 2023, through February 29, 2024, and March 16, 2024 through March 31, 2024

Hand Scrape

8

16

James River
Area 3

November 1, 2023, through March 15, 2024

Hand Scrape

8

16

Middle Ground

November 1, 2023, through November 15, 2023

Hand Scrape

8

16

Rappahannock River Rotation Area 1

March 1, 2024, through March 15, 2024

Hand Scrape

8

16

Rappahannock River Area 8

January 1, 2024, through February 14, 2024

Hand Scrape

8

16

Rappahannock River Area 7

December 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023

Hand Scrape

8

16

Rappahannock River Rotation Area 2

February 15, 2024, through February 29, 2024

Hand Scrape

8

16

Rappahannock River Rotation Area 6

November 1, 2023, through November 30, 2023

Hand Scrape

8

16

Upper Chesapeake Bay - Blackberry Hangs Area

February 1, 2024, through February 29, 2024

Hand Scrape

8

16

York River Rotation Area 1

November 1, 2023, through November 30, 2023, and February 15, 2024, through February 29, 2024

Hand Scrape

8

16

Coan River Area

October 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023

Hand Tong

14

28

Corrotoman Hand Tong Area

October 1, 2023, through March 31, 2024

Hand Tong

14

28

Indian Creek

March 1, 2024, through March 31, 2024

Hand Tong

14

28

James River Area 1 and 2

March 1, 2024, through March 15, 2024, and April 1, 2024, through April 30, 2024

Hand Tong

14

28

James River
Area 3

March 16, 2024, through April 30, 2024

Hand Tong

14

28

James River Seed Area, including the James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area

October 1, 2023, through May 31, 2024

Hand Tong

14

28

Little Wicomico River

October 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023

Hand Tong

14

28

Milford Haven

November 1, 2023, through March 31, 2024

Hand Tong

14

28

Nomini Creek ­Area

October 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023

Hand Tong

14

28

Pocomoke Sound Area Public Ground 9 and 10

November 1, 2023, through March 31, 2024

Hand Tong

14

28

Rappahannock River Area 9

October 1, 2023, through March 31, 2024

Hand Tong

14

28

Yeocomico River Area

October 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023

Hand Tong

14

28

York River Hand Tong Area

November 1, 2023, through March 31, 2024

Hand Tong

14

28

York River Rotation Area 1

October 1, 2023, through October 31, 2023, and December 1, 2023, through February 15, 2024, and March 1, 2024, through March 31, 2024

Hand Tong

14

28

Beasley Bay Area

March 1, 2024, through March 15, 2024

Oyster Dredge

8

16

California Rock Area

November 15, 2023, through November 30, 2023

Oyster Dredge

8

16

Pocomoke Sound Rotation Area 1

December 1, 2023, through February 29, 2024

Oyster Dredge

8

16

Tangier Sound Rotation Area 1

December 1, 2023, through March 15, 2024

Oyster Dredge

8

16

Larsons Bay Area

December 1, 2023, through February 29, 2024

Patent Tong

8

16

Deep Rock Area

November 1, 2023, through March 31, 2024

Patent Tong

8

16

Rappahannock River Rotation Area 1

October 15, 2023, through February 29, 2024

Patent Tong

8

16

Seaside Eastern Shore

November 1, 2023, through March 31, 2024

By Hand or Hand Tong

14

28

C. It shall be unlawful to harvest seed oysters from the public oyster grounds or unassigned grounds, except within the dates and areas and with the harvest gears described in Table 2 in this subsection.

Table 2.

Seed Oyster Harvest Area, Harvest Dates, and Harvest Gear

Harvest Area

Harvest Dates

Harvest Gear

James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area

October 1, 2023, through May 31, 2024

Hand Tong

D. In the Pocomoke and Tangier Sounds Rotation Areas, it shall be unlawful to possess on board any vessel more than 250 hard clams.

E. It shall be unlawful to possess any blue crabs on board any vessel with an oyster scrape or oyster dredge.

F. It shall be unlawful for any person or vessel to harvest oysters with more than one gear type in any single day from the public oyster grounds or unassigned grounds in the waters of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0095 § 4, eff. October 1, 1993; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 14, eff. February 23, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 3, eff. October 5, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 7, eff. December 1, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 16, eff. April 4, 1995; Volume 12, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 1995; Volume 13, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 1996; Volume 13, Issue 7, eff. December 1, 1996; Volume 14, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 1997; Volume 15, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 1998; Volume 15, Issue 20, eff. June 1, 1999; Volume 16, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 1999; Volume 16, Issue 12, eff. February 4, 2000; Volume 17, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 2000; Volume 18, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 2001; Volume 18, Issue 9, eff. January 1, 2002; Volume 19, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 2002; Volume 19, Issue 9, eff. December 27, 2002; Volume 20, Issue 4, eff. October 8, 2003; Volume 20, Issue 6, eff. November 1, 2003; Volume 20, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2004; Volume 20, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 2004; Volume 21, Issue 4, eff. October 1, 2004; Volume 21, Issue 8, eff. December 1, 2004; Volume 21, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 2005; Volume 22, Issue 4, eff. October 1, 2005; Volume 22, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2006; Volume 23, Issue 4, eff. October 1, 2006; Volume 24, Issue 4, eff. October 1, 2007; Volume 24, Issue 12, eff. February 1, 2008; Volume 25, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 2008; Volume 26, Issue 4, eff. October 1, 2009; Volume 26, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 2010; Volume 27, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 2010; Volume 28, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 2011; Volume 29, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 2012; Volume 30, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 2013; Volume 30, Issue 4, eff. November 1, 2013; Volume 31, Issue 2, eff. October 1, 2014; Volume 32, Issue 1, eff. September 1, 2015; Volume 32, Issue 4, eff. October 1, 2015; Volume 32, Issue 6, eff. November 1, 2015; Volume 32, Issue 12, eff. February 1, 2016; Volume 33, Issue 2, eff. August 31, 2016; Volume 34, Issue 2, eff. October 1, 2017; Volume 35, Issue 2, eff. October 1, 2018; Volume 35, Issue 9, eff. December 11, 2018; Volume 36, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 2019; Volume 37, Issue 2, eff. October 1, 2020; Volume 38, Issue 2, eff. October 1, 2021; Errata, 38:14 VA.R. 2113 February 28, 2022; amended, Virginia Register Volume 39, Issue 2, eff. October 1, 2022; Errata, 39:4 VA.R. 380 October 10, 2022; amended, Virginia Register Volume 39, Issue 15, eff. March 1, 2023; Volume 40, Issue 3, eff. October 1, 2023; Volume 40, Issue 13, eff. February 1, 2024.

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