Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 15. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
10/1/2020

Chapter 340. Fish: Seines and Nets

4VAC15-340-10. Haul seines to take fish for sale.

A. Authorization to take fish for sale. A haul seine permit shall authorize the person to whom issued to take fish for sale as specified with a haul seine from the waters designated in this section.

B. Permit holder to be present when seine operated. The holder of a haul seine permit must be present with the seine at all times when it is being operated. The holder, however, may have others to assist him and such persons assisting are not required to have a permit.

C. Length and size of nets. The length of haul seine nets shall not be more than 500 yards. The size of mesh shall be 1-1/2 inch bar mesh.

D. Season and fish to be taken in Virginia Beach City. In Back Bay and its natural tributaries (not including Lake Tecumseh and Red Wing Lake), North Landing River from the North Carolina line to Pungo Ferry (not including Blackwater River), the open season to take all fish, except game fish, alewife, and blueback herring, with a haul seine shall be from November 1 through March 31, both dates inclusive. The harvest limit for anadromous American and hickory shad shall be 10 per day, in the aggregate.

E. Labeling packages containing fish taken with haul seine. It shall be unlawful for any person to ship or otherwise transport any package, box or other receptacle containing fish taken under a haul seine permit unless the same bears a label showing the name and address of the owner of the seine and a statement of the kind of fish contained in it.

F. Reporting. The holder of a permit to take fish for sale by means of haul seines shall keep a record of the pounds of fish taken by species and location (name and county of water body), and the pounds of each species sold.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-03-3 § 1, eff. January 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 1995; Volume 22, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2006; Volume 24, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2008.

4VAC15-340-20. Haul seines to take fish for personal use.

A. Authorization to take fish for personal use. Pursuant to §§ 29.1-412 and 29.1-416 of the Code of Virginia, a permit to use a haul seine to take fish for personal use authorizes the holder of such permit to take nongame fish (except for those species listed in 4VAC15-20-130) with a haul seine for private table use, but not for sale in the counties of Franklin, Henry and Patrick, and in those waters as specified in § 29.1-531 of the Code of Virginia in the county for which such permit is issued, except as otherwise prohibited in 4VAC15-320-100, 4VAC15-330-60, 4VAC15-330-20 (Repealed), and in waters listed in subsection F of this chapter.

B. Holder to be present when seine operated. The holder of a permit to take fish with a haul seine for personal use must be present when the seine is being operated but may have other persons to assist him who are not required to have a permit. However, those assisting the permittee or handling live fish or both must meet the fishing license requirements of the Commonwealth.

C. Length and size of haul seines. The length of a haul seine to take fish for personal use shall not be more than 60 feet in length. The minimum size of mesh shall be 1-½-inch bar mesh (3-inch stretch mesh).

D. Season to take fish with a haul seine. The season to take fish with a haul seine for personal use shall be from July 1 through September 30, both dates inclusive.

E. Department notification required to use a haul seine. Persons permitted to use a haul seine for personal use must notify the regional law-enforcement office a minimum of 48 hours prior to use.

F. Haul seine use restricted in certain areas. The use of haul seines for personal use is prohibited in the following stream sections of Franklin and Patrick counties:

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Roanoke River from County Route 634 crossing upstream to the Roanoke/Franklin County line.

PATRICK COUNTY

Smith River from Philpott Lake upstream including headwaters.

Rock Castle Creek from its confluence with Smith River upstream, including headwaters.

Dan River from VA/NC state line upstream to County Route 631 crossing.

Poorhouse Creek from its confluence with North Fork Mayo River upstream including headwaters.

North Fork Mayo River from its confluence with Poorhouse Creek upstream.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-03-3 § 2, eff. January 1, 1992; amended, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 1995.

4VAC15-340-30. Gill nets.

A. Authorization to take fish. A gill net permit shall authorize the holder thereof to take nongame fish during the times and in the waters and for the purposes provided for in this section. Such gill net shall not be more than 300 feet in length. The mesh size shall be not less than one-inch bar or square mesh (three-inch stretch mesh). Applicants must annually purchase tags for each net the applicant intends to operate and attach a department tag to each net prior to use. A single permit will be issued to the permittee and shall list each tag number the permittee has been issued. All nets must be checked daily and all game fish returned to the wild.

B. Permit holder to be present when gill net is being set and checked for fish. The holder of a gill net permit must be present with the net at all times when it is being set and checked for fish. The holder may have others to assist him, and such persons assisting are not required to have a permit. However, those assisting the permittee must meet the fishing license requirements of the Commonwealth.

C. Times and places permitted in Virginia Beach City; fish which may be taken. Gill nets may be used in Virginia Beach City in Back Bay and its natural tributaries (not including Lake Tecumseh and Red Wing Lake) and North Landing River from the North Carolina line to Pungo Ferry (not including Blackwater River) for the taking of nongame fish, except alewife and blueback herring, for table use and also for sale from November 1 through March 31, both dates inclusive. The harvest limit for anadromous American and hickory shad shall be 10 per day, in the aggregate. Gill nets set in Back Bay waters shall be at least 300 feet from any other net and at least 300 feet from the shoreline. All such nets must be marked at both ends and at least every 100 feet along the length of the net with a five-inch by 12-inch minimum dimensions float.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-03-3 § 3, eff. January 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 1995; Volume 14, Issue 10, eff. March 4, 1998; Volume 22, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2006; Volume 24, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2008; Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2017.

4VAC15-340-40. Dip nets; generally.

A. Authorization to take fish with dip nets. A county dip net permit shall authorize the holder to take shad, herring, mullet, and suckers (daily creel (possession) limits for shad and herring are found in 4VAC15-320-25, there is no limit for mullet, and subsection D of this section provides limits for suckers), in the county named on the face of the permit with a dip net in inland waters, except where otherwise prohibited by local legislation or by the sections appearing in this chapter.

B. Persons required to have permit; inspection by conservation police officers. A dip net permit, or valid fishing license, shall be required for all persons using or assisting in the use of a dip net and permits, or licenses, shall be carried at all times while using such nets and shall be subject to inspection by conservation police officers.

C. Release of certain fish netted. All fish, except shad, herring, mullet, suckers and carp, when taken with a dip net shall be returned to the water alive with as little injury as possible.

D. Special provisions applicable only to suckers. The following special provisions shall apply only to the taking of suckers, with a dip net:

1. Not more than 20 may be taken by any person in one day;

2. The open season for taking same with a dip net shall be from February 15 through May 15, both dates inclusive; and

3. Dip nets for taking such fish shall not be more than six feet square.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-03-3 § 4, eff. July 1, 1969; amended, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 1995; Volume 13, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 1997; Volume 22, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2006; Volume 31, Issue 9, eff. January 1, 2015.

4VAC15-340-50. Dip nets; hedging prohibited.

It shall be unlawful to use hedging in connection with dip nets in the public inland streams.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-03-3 § 5; amended, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 1995.

4VAC15-340-60. Seines, traps, and nets prohibited in certain areas.

A. It shall be unlawful to use seines and nets of any kind for the taking of fish from the public waters of the Roanoke (Staunton) and Dan Rivers in Campbell, Charlotte, Halifax, and Pittsylvania Counties and in the City of Danville; provided, however, this section shall not be construed to prohibit the use of hand-landing nets for the landing of fish legally hooked or the taking of fish from these waters pursuant to the provisions of 4VAC15-360. In addition, this section shall not be construed to prohibit the use of cast nets, also known as throw nets, for the taking of bait fish.

B. In Lick Creek and tributaries in Smyth and Bland Counties, in Bear Creek and Hungry Mother Creek above Hungry Mother Lake in Smyth County, in Laurel Creek and tributaries upstream of Highway 16 bridge in Tazewell and Bland Counties, in Susong Branch and Mumpower Creek in Washington County and the City of Bristol, and in Timbertree Branch in Scott County, it shall be unlawful to use seines, nets, or traps; provided, however, this section shall not be construed to prohibit the use of hand-landing nets for the landing of fish legally hooked.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR325-03-3 § 6, eff. January 1, 1992; amended, Virginia Register Volume 11, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 1995; Volume 13, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 1997; Volume 15, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 1999; Volume 19, Issue 5, eff. January 1, 2003; Volume 31, Issue 9, eff. January 1, 2015; Volume 35, Issue 2, eff. January 1, 2019.

4VAC15-340-70. Eel pots for taking American eels for personal use.

A. The director may issue, deny, modify, suspend, or revoke annual eel pot permits for American eels designated for personal use. Such permits shall authorize the taking of American eels for personal use only (not for sale) with eel pots from waters designated in this section. Such permits shall be valid so long as the harvest of eels in the Commonwealth is not prohibited by other state or federal law or regulation.

B. It shall be unlawful for a permit holder to possess elvers.

C. It shall be unlawful for permit holders fishing eel pots to take any species other than American eels.

D. It shall be unlawful to place, set, or fish any eel pot that has a mesh less than 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch and does not contain at least one unrestricted 4-inch by 4-inch escape panel of 1/2-inch by 1-inch mesh. Buoys of all pots set must be marked by permanent means with the permit holder's name, address, and phone number.

E. American eels may be taken with eel pots in Back Bay and its natural tributaries (not including Lake Tecumseh and Red Wing Lake) and North Landing River and its natural tributaries from the North Carolina line to the Great Bridge locks.

F. It shall be unlawful for any permit holder to possess more than 25 eels daily. When fishing from a boat or vessel where the entire catch is held in a common hold or container, the daily possession limit shall be for the boat or vessel and shall be equal to the number of permit holders on board multiplied by 25. The captain or operator of the boat or vessel shall be responsible for any boat or vessel possession limit. Any eel taken after the daily possession limit has been reached shall be returned to the water immediately. Possession of any quantity of eels that exceeds the daily possession limit described in this subsection shall be presumed to be for commercial purposes.

G. For the purposes of this section, the term "elver" shall mean any American eel of less than nine inches in total length.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. August 15, 2013; amended, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2017.

4VAC15-340-80. Eel pots for taking American eels for sale.

A. The director may issue, deny, modify, suspend, or revoke annual eel pot permits designated for the sale of American eels. Such permits shall authorize the taking of American eels for sale, as specified, with eel pots from waters designated in this section. Such permits shall be valid so long as the harvest of American eels in the Commonwealth is not prohibited by other state or federal law or regulation. To be eligible, applicants must document harvest of at least one pound of American eels from Back Bay or North Landing River or their tributaries via reports submitted through the Virginia Marine Resources Commission Mandatory Harvest Reporting Program during the period January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2012, both dates inclusive. Applicants must document the reported harvest occurred while the applicant held a valid commercial fish pot or eel pot license issued by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

B. It shall be unlawful for permit holders to possess any American eel less than nine inches in total length.

C. It shall be unlawful for permit holders fishing eel pots to take any species other than American eels.

D. It shall be unlawful to place, set, or fish any eel pot that has a mesh less than 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch and does not contain at least one unrestricted 4-inch by 4-inch escape panel consisting of 1/2-inch by 1-inch mesh.

E. The permit holder's last name and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries American eel pot number must be permanently attached to buoys of all eel pots set. The maximum number of pots authorized per permit holder under this permit shall be 300.

F. American eels may be taken with eel pots in Back Bay and its natural tributaries (not including Lake Tecumseh and Red Wing Lake) and in North Landing River and its natural tributaries from the North Carolina line to the Great Bridge locks.

G. It shall be unlawful for any person to ship or otherwise transport any package, box, or other receptacle containing fish taken under an eel pot permit unless the same bears the permit holder's name and address.

H. Failure to comply with the daily harvest and sales reporting requirements as detailed in conditions of the permit shall be unlawful and may result in immediate permit revocation. It shall be the permit holder's responsibility to report "No Activity" when no activity occurs during a monthly reporting period.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 25, eff. August 15, 2013; amended, Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2017.

Forms (4VAC15-340)

County or city fresh water dip net permit.

Haul seine permit; permit to catch shad, herring, mullet or suckers for sale.

Haul seine permit report of pounds taken.

Haul seine permit for sale catch report.

Application for haul seine permit; permit to take fish for personal use. (eff. 6/94).

Permit to catch fish for table use with haul seine.

Application for gill net permit. (eff. 6/94).

Gill net permit.



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