Freshwater/Saltwater License Lines on Tidal Waters
Virginia Freshwater Fishing
Persons fishing upstream of the designated lines on the following waters must have a valid freshwater fishing license, while those fishing below the lines must have a valid saltwater fishing license:
- Elizabeth River: The Great Bridge Locks
- James River: A line connecting Hog Point on Hog Island (Surry County) and the downstream point of the mouth of College Creek (James City County)
- Piankatank River/Dragon Run: The first set of power lines immediately upriver of Anderson Point
- Potomac River*: Rt. 301 Bridge
- Rappahannock River: Rt. 360 Bridge
- York River System (including the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers): Rt. 33 Bridges.
Below these designated lines a freshwater or saltwater license will be valid on any tidal portion of any tributary entering the above mainstem waters.
The following waters are entirely freshwater and require a freshwater fishing license throughout: Meherrin River; Nottoway River; Blackwater River (Chowan drainage); Back Bay, Northwest River, and North Landing River and Intracoastal Waterway upstream to Great Bridge Locks; and Dismal Swamp Canal below (or south) of Deep Creek Locks.
* See reciprocal license section.