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Virginia

Fishing


Welcome to 2022 Virginia Fishing

2022 Virginia Fishing Regulations Cover

What’s New for 2022

More details can be found in sections that follow this summary.

License Information & Fees

  • A Nonresident 1-Day Freshwater Fishing License is no longer valid in designated stocked trout waters.
  • A Resident 5-Day Freshwater Fishing License is valid in designated stocked trout waters with a Resident Trout Fishing License.
  • The cost for a nonresident trout license to fish in designated stocked trout waters has been reduced to the same price as a resident trout license ($23.00).

Fish Bait Information

  • As of July 1, 2021, salamanders can no longer be used as bait in Virginia. This action was taken to help restore and protect Virginia’s native salamander species, many of which are threatened or endangered.

FishLocalVA

  • DWR’s FishLocalVA initiative focuses on creating and maintaining quality fishing opportunities near population centers. Our website, located at dwr.virginia.gov/fishing/fish-local/, provides information on FishLocalVA program waters. The website also includes information on other outdoor activities and opportunities at these sites — so take the entire family and make a day out of it!

Trout

  • As a reminder, a trout license is not required to fish designated stocked trout waters during Free Fishing Days. A daily permit is still required to fish at Clinch Mountain, Crooked Creek, and Douthat State Park Fee Fishing Areas.
  • The Delayed Harvest section of Passage Creek (Warren Co.) will be closed (not stocked) due to construction at the Front Royal Fish Hatchery.

State Record Fish Program

  • New species were recognized, including white crappie, black crappie, bluegill sunfish, redear sunfish, saugeye, a category for all other sunfish, and goldfish (archery only). White crappie, bluegill, saugeye, and other sunfish categories are currently open until qualifying catches are submitted and approved. For qualifying minimum sizes and program rules, see Record Freshwater Fish.

Online Angler Recognition Program

  • As of January 1, 2021, the angler recognition program went entirely online. Mail-in trophy fish applications are no longer accepted and trophy fish certificates are no longer mailed. Anglers can apply online and print their citations at home through Go Outdoors Virginia at www.gooutdoorsvirginia.com/
  • New species added to the Angler Recognition Program in 2021 include black crappie, white crappie, saugeye, fallfish, bluegill, redear sunfish, and other sunfish. For details on minimum lengths and weights see Online Recognition Program.
  • A photo of the fish is now required for every application. For more details see Online Recognition Program.

Virginia Boaters Guide—Engine Cutoff Switch

  • A new federal law requires that vessel operators of boats less than 26 feet use (attach to person) the engine cutoff switch when traveling on plane or above displacement speed. See Required Boat Equipment.

Boat Ramps and Access Points