Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 28.2. Fisheries and Habitat of the Tidal Waters
3/22/2019

Article 4. Restrictions.

§ 28.2-634. Nonresidents; taking, planting oysters prohibited; penalty.

If any person other than a resident, as defined in § 28.2-200, takes or catches oysters or clams in any of the waters of this Commonwealth, or in any of the waters under the Commonwealth's jurisdiction, for market or profit, he is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If any person other than a resident, as defined in § 28.2-200, or a corporation authorized to occupy and hold oyster-planting grounds, rents any oyster-planting grounds or plants oysters or clams in any of the waters of the Commonwealth, or waters under the Commonwealth's jurisdiction, he is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, and such rental, lease or assignment is void. The burden of proof of residency under this section is the defendant's. This section shall not apply to any oyster-planting ground against which foreclosure proceedings have been instituted or title to which is acquired because of the lessee's death. Any property interest so acquired shall not extend longer than twelve months from the time the title vests.

Code 1950, § 28-139; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-122; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-635. Residents not to be associated with nonresident.

Any resident who is associated for market or profit with any nonresident in taking or catching oysters or clams in any of the waters of the Commonwealth, or in waters under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, or in planting oysters or clams, or who knowingly participates with any nonresident in any such business in his name for market or profit, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The residence restrictions in this section shall not prevent a resident from owning stock in a corporation in which nonresidents are stockholders, if such corporation is authorized by law to occupy oyster-planting grounds.

Code 1950, § 28-140; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-123; 1983, c. 307; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-636. Leasing of certain bottoms in Rappahannock River prohibited.

No part of the bottom of the Rappahannock River, lying in or near the center of the river and running from the mouth of the river to and including Morattico bar, which is designated on the Baylor survey and resurveys as assignable bottom and is commonly known as "deep water planting grounds," may be leased or assigned. The bottom is declared to be a part of the public oyster beds and rocks of the Rappahannock River.

Code 1950, § 28-201; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-144; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-637. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1993, c. 217.

§ 28.2-638. Authority of Governor to authorize dredging of channel in navigable waters.

When the approval, consent, or authorization of the Commonwealth is necessary or expedient for any person to dredge a channel of any navigable stream, the bed of which is owned by the Commonwealth, for the purpose of deepening, widening, or relocating such channel and making related improvements, the Governor may, on behalf of the Commonwealth, grant such approval upon such terms and conditions as he deems appropriate after the receipt of advisory reports from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the State Water Control Board, the Commission, the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, the Director of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Director of the Department of Historic Resources, the State Port Authority, and the Commonwealth Transportation Board.

Code 1950, § 28-201.3; 1958, c. 302; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-147; 1964, c. 350; 1989, c. 656; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-639. Certain public oyster rocks in Rappahannock River.

Russ' Rock and Little Carter's Rock are declared to be public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals and unassignable to any person for private use, in the same manner and to the same extent as if the rocks, beds, and shoals had been within the original Baylor survey.

Code 1950, § 28-203; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-149; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-640. Declaring certain grounds in Mobjack Bay public oyster rocks.

The following grounds in Mobjack Bay, in the County of Gloucester, to wit: First, a lot of oyster-planting ground containing 218.75 acres surveyed by Fred E. Reudiger, civil engineer, and assigned to F. W. Darling by George B. Taliaferro, oyster inspector, by an assignment recorded in oyster plat book number 4, page 31, in the clerk's office of Gloucester County, Virginia; second, those portions of a lot of oyster ground surveyed by Fred E. Reudiger, civil engineer, and assigned to J. Weymouth by George B. Taliaferro, oyster inspector, by his assignment recorded in oyster plat book number 4, page 35, in the clerk's office of Gloucester County, Virginia, and a lot of oyster ground surveyed by Fred E. Reudiger, civil engineer, and assigned to S. J. Watson by George B. Taliaferro, oyster inspector, by an assignment recorded in oyster plat book number 4, page 31, in the clerk's office of Gloucester County, Virginia, which 2 portions of the 2 plats adjoin the 218.75-acre lot of oyster ground above described, which was assigned to F. W. Darling and which portions are cut off from the residue of the Weymouth and Watson lots of oyster ground above described, by a line beginning where the boundary of J. Weymouth's ground, which runs north 47°, 32' east, 78.61 chains, intersects the boundary of F. W. Darling's ground, which runs south 42° east, 30 chains, and from this point of intersection running south 42° east, until it intersects with the line of S. J. Watson's ground, which runs south 51°, 26' west, 113.79 chains (these portions of the Weymouth and Watson lots of oyster ground are cut off by the boundary line previously described without regard to acreage; the acreage is estimated not to exceed 50 acres), are declared public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals as if the same had originally been included within the limits and boundaries of the Baylor survey of the public rocks, beds, and shoals in the waters of the Commonwealth, and subject in all respects to the laws of the Commonwealth in relation to public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals, and the taking of oysters. Such grounds shall be subject, also, to the existing rights of any lessees.

Code 1950, § 28-204; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-150; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-641. Declaring certain areas in Hill's Bay, Mathews County, public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals.

The following ground in Hill's Bay on the west side of Gwynn's Island, Mathews County, contained within the following boundaries is declared to be public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals and unassignable to any person for private use: Beginning at corner No. 8, Public Ground No. 5 of Mathews County; thence along Public Ground line to corners Nos. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 in a northeasterly direction; thence a due east course to the low-water mark on the west side of Gwynn's Island; thence following the meanders of the low-tide line in a southwesterly direction to corner No. 5 of J. R. Forrest's oyster lease of 2.01 acres; thence following said oyster lease in a westerly direction to corner No. 4 of said lease; thence in a westerly direction to the point of beginning. The oyster lease of O. V. Sparrow's 10.51 acres, near Cherry Point, is excluded from the previously described area.

Code 1950, § 28-204.1; 1954, c. 63; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-151; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-642. Declaring certain other areas in Hill's Bay, Mathews County, public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals.

The following ground in Hill's Bay, Mathews County, contained within the following boundaries is declared to be public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals and unassignable to any person for private use.

The point of beginning is located at the low-tide line on the west side of the Gwynn's Island Bridge, said bridge connecting the mainland and Gwynn's Island; thence following the west right-of-way of said Gwynn's Island Bridge to a point on the south side of Public Ground No. 5, Mathews County; thence along the south side of Public Ground No. 5 in a southwest direction to Public Ground corner No. 2; thence in a generally west direction along said Public Ground corner No. 3; thence in a generally northwest direction along said Public Ground to Public Ground corner No. 4; thence in a generally northwest direction along said Public Ground to Public Ground corner No. 5; thence in a generally northwest direction on the west side of Public Ground No. 5 to a point; thence in a northwest direction along the south side of C. M. Forrest's 4.10-acre oyster ground lease to a point; thence in a northwesterly direction along the southwest side of J. E. Forrest's 10.17-acre oyster ground lease to a point; thence in an easterly direction along the northern side of J. E. Forrest's 10.17-acre oyster ground lease to a point on the south side of Public Ground No. 5, Mathews County; thence in a northwesterly direction along the south side of Public Ground No. 5 to Public Ground corner No. 6; thence in a generally north direction along the western side of said Public Ground No. 5 to Public Ground corner No. 5; thence in a northerly direction along said Public Ground to Public Ground corner No. 4; thence in a northerly direction along the west side of Public Ground No. 5 to a point; thence following the south edge of Shelton Rowe's, Julian Rowe's and Robert Callis' oyster ground lease of 100 acres in a generally west direction to a point, said point being due north of survey station "Burton," located on Burton's Point to low-tide line; thence following the low-tide line in a generally southeasterly direction to the west side of the mouth of Queen's Creek; thence in a southeasterly direction across the mouth of Queen's Creek to a point; thence along the low-tide line in a generally easterly direction to the point of beginning.

Code 1950, § 28-204.1:1; 1958, c. 299; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-152; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-643. Declaring certain areas in Chesapeake Bay, Mathews County, public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals.

The following ground in Chesapeake Bay, Mathews County, contained within the following boundaries is declared to be public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals and unassignable to any person for private use:

Beginning, as a point of reference, at survey station "Sand," located near the south end of Gwynn's Island; thence due east to the low-water mark on the east side of Gwynn's Island to the true point of beginning; thence due east along the south end of Gwynn's Island; thence due east to the low-water mark on the east Public Ground No. 6, Mathews County; thence following the west side of Public Ground No. 6, Mathews County, in a northerly direction to Public Ground corner No. 8; thence following said Public Ground in a northerly direction to Public Ground corner No. 7; thence following said Public Ground in a northerly direction to Public Ground corner No. 6; thence in a northerly direction, following said Public Ground to Public Ground corner No. 5; thence in a northerly direction following said Public Ground to Public Ground corner No. 4; thence in a northerly direction following said Public Ground to Public Ground corner No. 3; thence in a generally west direction following the south side of Public Ground No. 6 to Public Ground corner No. 2; thence in a generally westerly direction following said Public Ground to Public Ground corner No. 1; thence in a southwesterly direction to the intersection of Public Ground No. 5, Mathews County; thence following the northeast side of Public Ground No. 5 in a southeasterly direction to the low-tide line at Cherry Point on the north side of Gwynn's Island; thence following the low tide on the north side of Gwynn's Island to a point; thence following the low-tide line on the east side of Gwynn's Island in a southerly direction to the true point of beginning.

Code 1950, § 28-204.1:2; 1958, c. 204; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-153; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-644. Declaring certain areas near Hole in the Wall, in Mathews County, public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals.

The following ground near Hole in the Wall, Mathews County, contained within the following boundaries is declared to be public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals and unassignable to any person for private use:

1. Beginning at Virginia Marine Resources Commission's survey Station Marsh, located in the marsh on the south side of Hole in the Wall; thence in a northeasterly direction to corner No. 3 of Carroll Lee Forrest and Vernon Rowe, Junior's, oyster lease of 13.02 acres; thence in a northwesterly direction along said lease to corner No. 2; thence along the east side of R. Herbert Callis' lease of 6.69 acres to corner No. 3 of said lease; thence along the north side of said lease in a westerly direction to corner No. 2, said corner No. 2 in on line of Public Ground No. 7, Mathews County; thence in a northerly direction to Public Ground corner No. 11; thence in a northwesterly direction along Public Ground line to a point opposite corners Nos. 8 and 9 of Maywood L. Callis' 24.69 acres; thence in a northeasterly direction to corner No. 9 of said lease; thence to corner No. 10 of said lease; thence in a northeasterly direction to Virginia Marine Resources Commission's survey Station Sand; thence in a due east course to the intersection of Public Ground No. 6, Mathews County; thence following along west side of said Public Ground in a southeasterly direction to a point due east of Station Marsh; thence due west to Station Marsh, or point of beginning.

2. Beginning at the northeast corner of Haufler's survey No. 6565; thence in an easterly direction along the line of Milford Haven to a point which is on Public Ground No. 7; thence in a southerly direction along the boundary line of Public Ground No. 7 to a point; thence due west to a point which is the southeastern corner of Callis Ground No. 7222; thence in a northerly direction along Callis Ground No. 7222 and Callis Ground No. 10447 to a point where the eastern boundary of Callis Ground No. 10447 intersects the eastern boundary of Haufler's Ground No. 6565; thence in a northerly direction to the point of beginning.

Code 1950, § 28-204.2; 1954, c. 111; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-154; 1981, c. 128; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-645. Declaring certain areas in Pocomoke Sound, Accomack County, public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals.

The following area in Pocomoke Sound, Accomack County, contained within the following boundaries is declared to be public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals and unassignable to any person for private use:

Beginning at a point on the low-water mark on the north end of Saxis Island, said point being due south from the low-water mark and marked by a concrete marker designated as survey point "B" on a map of Pocomoke Sound; thence from the true point of beginning at low water following in a southwesterly direction the low-water mark on the northwest side of Saxis Island to a point, said point being the northeast side of Starling Creek; thence southwesterly across the mouth of Starling Creek to a point; thence following the low-water mark in a southwesterly direction to a point on the northeast side of the mouth of Fishing Creek; thence in a generally westerly direction across the mouth of Fishing Creek to a point; thence following the low-water mark around Drum Bay to a point due north of a concrete survey marker named "Drum"; thence due north to Public Ground No. 11; thence easterly to Public Ground corner No. 13; thence southeasterly to Public Ground corner No. 14; thence easterly to Public Ground corner No. 15; thence southeasterly to Public Ground corner No. 16; thence easterly to Public Ground corner No. 17; thence northeasterly to Public Ground corner No. 18; thence northwesterly to Public Ground corner No. 19; thence northeasterly to Public Ground corner No. 1; thence in a northerly direction to Public Ground corner No. 14 of Public Ground No. 9; thence northerly to Public Ground corner No. 15; thence northeasterly to Public Ground corner No. 16; thence northeasterly toward Public Ground corner No. 17 to a point due north to the true point of beginning; thence due south to the point of beginning.

However, nothing in this section shall prohibit the assignment of a portion of such area to riparian owners under Article 1 (§ 28.2-600 et seq.) of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 28-204.3; 1956, c. 135; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-155; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-646. Declaring certain areas in Piankatank River near Stove Point, Middlesex County, public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals.

The following area, in the Piankatank River around and near Stove Point, Middlesex County, is declared to be public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals and unassignable to any person for private use:

Beginning at survey station "R" on extreme southern tip of Stove Point as a point of reference; thence in a southerly direction to the low-water mark on the southern tip of Stove Point; thence in a northerly direction following the low-water mark on the west side of Stove Point to a point due west of survey station "Billy"; thence in a due west course to Public Ground No. 3, Middlesex County; thence in a southerly direction to Public Ground corner No. 6 of said Public Ground; thence in a southerly direction to Public Ground corner No. 5; thence in an easterly direction to Public Ground corner No. 4; thence in a southeasterly direction to Public Ground corner No. 3; thence in a southeasterly direction to a point, said point being on Public Ground No. 5, of Mathews County; thence in a northeasterly direction, following Public Ground No. 5, Mathews County, to a point; thence in a northwesterly direction to Public Ground corner No. 14 of Public Ground No. 2, Middlesex County; thence in a north-northwesterly direction to Public Ground corner No. 13 of said Public Ground; thence in a westerly direction to corner No. 4 of J. T. Ward's 57.48-acre lease; thence in a northerly direction following the west side of said J. T. Ward's lease to corner No. 5 of the hereinabove mentioned lease; thence in a due west course to the low-water mark on the eastern side of Stove Point; thence following in a southerly direction the low-water mark of the east side of Stove Point to the point of beginning.

However, nothing in this section shall affect any oyster ground assignments that are now in effect or prohibit assignment of a portion of such area to riparian owners under Article 1 (§ 28.2-600 et seq.) of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 28-204.4; 1956, c. 142; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-156; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-647. Declaring certain areas near the mouth of the Poquoson River, in York County, public oyster rocks, beds and shoals.

The following ground near the mouth of the Poquoson River in York County, contained within the following boundaries is declared to be public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals and unassignable to any person for private use.

Tract No. 1. Beginning at low-water mark on the extreme east side of Goodwin Islands at a point known as Tues Point; thence following the low-water mark on the eastern side of Goodwin Islands in a general southerly direction to the extreme southern point of said Goodwin Islands; thence in a southerly direction to corner No. 7 of the 27.72 acre oyster lease of C. E., W. T. and J. T. Crockett, H. H. Hansford and S. E. Wescott; thence in a general easterly direction to corner No. 6 of said oyster lease; thence in a southerly direction to corner No. 5 of said oyster lease; thence in a general westerly direction to corner No. 4 of said oyster lease; thence due south to the low-water mark on the east side of Crab Neck; thence following the low-water mark on the east side of said Crab Neck in a general southerly direction to the extreme tip of said Crab Neck, known as York Point; thence in a general south-southwesterly direction to corner No. 3 of Public Ground No. 9, York County; thence in a southeasterly direction along the northeast side of said Public Ground to Public Ground corner No. 4; thence in a general southerly direction on the east side of said Public Ground to corner No. 1 of said Public Ground; thence in a general southeasterly direction to Public Ground corner No. 3 of Public Ground No. 8, York County; thence in a northeasterly direction following the west side of Public Ground No. 8 to Public Ground corner No. 2; thence in an easterly direction along the northern side of Public Ground No. 8 to Public Ground corner No. 1; thence in a southwest direction along the east side of Public Ground No. 8 to Public Ground corner No. 4; thence in a due east course to the low-water mark on the east side of the mouth of Bennett's Creek; thence following the low-water mark in a general easterly direction to Marsh Point, said point is located at the extreme southeast side of the mouth of the Poquoson River; thence in a general northwesterly direction on a line toward Tues Point to a point on the southeast side of Public Ground No. 7, York County; thence in a southwest direction along the southeast side of Public Ground No. 7 to Public Ground corner No. 4; thence in a northwesterly direction along the southwest side of said Public Ground No. 7 to Public Ground corner No. 1; thence in a northeasterly direction along the northwest side of said Public Ground No. 7 to a point; thence following the south line of the oyster ground of C. E. Crockett and A. P. Thomas, said lease containing 12.70 acres, in a general westerly direction to corner No. 3 of said oyster lease; thence following the west side of said oyster lease in a general northerly direction to corner No. 2 of said lease; thence in a northeasterly direction along the northwest side of said oyster lease to a point, said point being located on a line from Tues Marsh to Marsh Point; thence in a northwesterly direction to the low-water mark to Tues Point, or the point of beginning.

Tract No. 2. Beginning at the low-water mark on the extreme east side of Plumtree Point, said point located on the north side of the mouth of Back River, said point is the eastmost point on said side of river; thence in a general north-northwesterly direction toward corner No. 3 of Public Ground No. 7, York County, to a point on the south side of M. F. Quinn's 90.40 acre oyster ground lease; thence in a westerly direction along the south line of M. F. Quinn's oyster lease to a point, said point being located on the southeast side of York County, Public Ground No. 7; thence in a southwesterly direction along the southeast side of Public Ground No. 7, York County, to a point, said point is located along a line from Tues Point to Marsh Point; thence in a general southeasterly direction along the heretofore described line to the low-water mark on Marsh Point, said Marsh Point being the extreme east point of the south side of the mouth of Poquoson River; thence in a general southeasterly direction along the low-water mark to the point of beginning.

Code 1950, § 28-204.5; 1958, c. 175; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-157; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-648. Declaring certain ground in Mobjack Bay, in Gloucester and Mathews Counties, to be public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals.

The following grounds in Mobjack Bay, Gloucester-Mathews Counties, contained within the following boundaries are declared to be public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals and unassignable to any person for private use, in the same manner and to the same extent as if the rocks, beds, and shoals had been within the original Baylor survey:

Beginning at the westmost corner of W. E. Belvin's 79.25 acre oyster ground lease, designated as corner No. 2 of said lease, said point of beginning also being the northmost corner of additional Public Ground area of 1928, Gloucester County (Deep Rock); thence in a northerly direction along the west side of the said Belvin lease to corner No. 1 of said lease, corner No. 1 also being the southmost corner of John Carr's 84.85 acre oyster ground lease; thence in a northwesterly direction along the southwest side of John R. Carr's 84.85 acre oyster ground lease to corner No. 1 of said oyster ground lease; thence in a general northeasterly direction along the northwest side of John R. Carr's oyster lease to corner No. 2 of said lease, said corner also being the westmost corner of W. E. Belvin's 27.71 acre oyster ground lease; thence in a northeasterly direction along the northwest side of W. E. Belvin's oyster ground lease to corner No. 10 of said lease; thence in a southeasterly direction along the northeast side of W. E. Belvin's oyster ground lease to corner No. 6 of said lease; thence in a northeasterly direction to the southwest side of Public Ground No. 2, Mathews County; thence in a northwesterly direction along the southwest side of Public Ground No. 2, Mathews County, to a point, said point being the intersection of an additional area of Public Clamming Grounds, Gloucester County, with Public Oyster Ground No. 2, Mathews County; thence in a southwest course along additional area of Public Clamming Grounds, Gloucester County; thence in a southwesterly direction along the edge of additional area of Public Clamming Grounds in Gloucester County to a point; thence in a southeasterly direction along the additional area of Public Clamming Grounds, Gloucester County, to the point of beginning.

Code 1950, § 28-204.6; 1958, c. 475; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-158; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-649. Acts which remain in force.

The following acts of the General Assembly are continued in force:

Chapter 632 of the Acts of Assembly of 1901-1902, relating to the natural oyster rocks, beds, and shoals in Nomini and Currioman Bays, in the County of Westmoreland.

Chapter 294 of the Acts of Assembly of 1901-1902, declaring certain grounds in the James River, in the County of Isle of Wight, known as Day's Point Long Rock, to be a natural oyster bed, rock or shoal.

Chapter 319 of the Acts of Assembly of 1901, including Surry County within the oyster territory of the Commonwealth, etc.

Chapter 855 of the Acts of Assembly of 1895-1896, and Chapter 263 of the Acts of Assembly of 1897-1898, declaring certain portions of ground in York River to be natural oyster rocks.

Chapter 862 of the Acts of Assembly of 1897-1898, relating to the natural oyster rocks, beds, and shoals in York River in King and Queen County.

Chapter 279 of the Acts of Assembly of 1930, relating to certain natural oyster beds, rocks and shoals in Mathews County.

Code 1950, § 28-205; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-159; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-650. Dredging clams in polluted areas for replanting in public clamming grounds.

The Commissioner may dredge clams or have the clams dredged in polluted areas for the purpose of replanting them in public clamming grounds.

Code 1950, § 28-179; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-161; 1992, c. 836.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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