Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
4/4/2020

Chapter 280. Pertaining to Speckled Trout and Red Drum

4VAC20-280-10. Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to protect and rebuild the spawning stocks of speckled trout and red drum, minimizing the possibility of recruitment failure, and to increase yield in their fisheries.

Statutory Authority

§§ 28.2-201 and 28.2-304 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0037 § 1, eff. June 1, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 8, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 1992; Volume 8, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 17, eff. April 14, 1995.

4VAC20-280-20. Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Red drum" means red drum or channel bass and is any fish of the species Sciaenops ocellatus.

"Snout" means the most forward projection from a fish's head that includes the upper and lower jaw.

"Speckled trout" means speckled trout or spotted seatrout and is any fish of the species Cynoscion nebulosus.

"Total length" means the length of a fish measured from the most forward projection of the snout, with the mouth closed, to the tip of the longer lobe of the tail (caudal) fin, measured with the tail compressed along the midline, using a straight-line measure, not measured over the curve of the body.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0037 § 2, eff. June 1, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 8, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 1992; Volume 8, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 17, eff. April 14, 1995; Volume 35, Issue 2, eff. September 1, 2018.

4VAC20-280-30. Size limits.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to take, catch, or possess any speckled trout less than 14 inches in total length, provided however the catch of speckled trout by pound net or haul seine may consist of up to 5.0%, by weight, of speckled trout less than 14 inches in total length.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing commercially with commercial hook and line gear, or fishing recreationally with any gear type to possess more than one speckled trout 24 inches or greater in any one day from January 1 through December 31, except as described in 4VAC20-280-40 B.

C. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing recreationally with any gear type to take, catch, or possess any red drum less than 18 inches in total length or greater than 26 inches in total length.

D. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing commercially with any gear type to take, catch, or possess any red drum less than 18 inches in total length or greater than 25 inches in total length.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0037 § 3, eff. June 1, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 8, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 1992; Volume 8, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 17, eff. April 14, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2003; Volume 27, Issue 16, eff. April 1, 2011; Volume 30, Issue 17, eff. April 1, 2014; Volume 35, Issue 2, eff. September 1, 2018.

4VAC20-280-40. Possession limits.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing commercially with commercial hook and line gear or recreationally with any gear type to possess more than five speckled trout in any one day from January 1 through December 31, except as described in subsection B of this section.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing commercially with commercial hook and line gear or recreationally with any gear type to take, harvest, or possess any speckled trout from March 1 through July 31, 2014.

C. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing recreationally with any gear type to possess more than three red drum.

D. It shall be unlawful for any person fishing commercially with any gear type to possess more than five red drum.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0037 § 4, eff. June 1, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 8, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 1992; Volume 8, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 17, eff. April 14, 1995; Volume 19, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2003; Volume 27, Issue 16, eff. April 1, 2011; Volume 30, Issue 17, eff. April 1, 2014.

4VAC20-280-50. Commercial landings quota and daily bycatch limit.

A. For each 12-month period of September 1 through August 31, the commercial landings of speckled trout shall be limited to 51,104 pounds.

B. When it is projected and announced that 80% of the commercial landings quota has been taken, it shall be unlawful for any commercial fisherman registration licensee to take, harvest, land, or possess a daily bycatch limit of greater than 100 pounds of speckled trout, and that daily bycatch landing limit of speckled trout shall consist of at least an equal amount of other fish species.

C. When it is projected that the commercial landings quota will be met by a certain date within the above period, the Marine Resources Commission will provide notice of the closing date for commercial harvest and landing of speckled trout during that period, and it shall be unlawful for any person to harvest or land speckled trout for commercial purposes after such closing date for the remainder of that period.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0037 § 5, eff. August 3, 1995; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 17, eff. April 1, 2014; Volume 31, Issue 10, eff. January 1, 2015.

4VAC20-280-55. Seafood buyer reporting requirements.

On each Monday, from August 1 through November 30, of an open commercial season for speckled trout, any licensed seafood buyer who purchased speckled trout during the previous seven days shall contact the commission's interactive voice recording system and report any purchases of speckled trout, in pounds, during the previous seven days.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 17, eff. April 1, 2014.

4VAC20-280-60. Penalty.

Pursuant to § 28.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter committed by the same person within 12 months of a prior violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0037 § 6, eff. June 1, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 8, Issue 14, eff. March 1, 1992; Volume 8, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1992; Volume 11, Issue 17, eff. April 14, 1995; Volume 11, Issue 25, eff. August 3, 1995; amended, Volume 32, Issue 1, eff. September 1, 2015.



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