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Welcome to 2023 Virginia Fishing

2023 Virginia Fishing Regulations Cover

What’s New for 2023

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

Clean, Drain, and Dry

Before leaving the area where your watercraft has been removed from the water, all aquatic vegetation must be removed from the vessel, trailer, and equipment. At the same time, you must also remove or open drain plugs from the bilge of your watercraft. See General Information.

Collecting Minnows and Chubs

  • Collection of minnows and chubs for sale is no longer allowed and the permit to do so is no longer available. Anglers are still allowed to collect minnows and chubs for personal use. See Freshwater Fish Regulations.

Creel and Length Limits

  • The creel limit for longnose gar and bowfin is now 1 per day from April 15 to June 30. It is 5 per day from July 1 to April 14. Creel limits for longnose gar and bowfin are not in aggregate (for example, you can keep 1 longnose gar and 1 bowfin from April 15 to June 30).
  • From October 1 to May 31, an angler can only harvest striped bass between 20 and 26 inches on Kerr Reservoir (creel limit of 2 per day).
  • Only 2 walleye per day (no walleye between 19 and 28 inches) can be harvested in the New River from Claytor Lake Dam to Fries Dam in Grayson County. Previously, this regulation only applied up to Buck Dam in Carroll County. See Creel & Length Limits.

Crayfish Restrictions

  • An angler may only have 20 crayfish in their possession at a given time. All crayfish collected for bait may only be used for bait in the water in which they were captured. Collection of crayfish is not allowed in the Big Sandy River drainage basin (Russell Fork, Pound River, Cranes Nest River, McClure River, Levisa Fork, Dismal Creek, Knox Creek, and tributaries). See Freshwater Fish Regulations.


  • Tiger trout are now being stocked throughout the state. Any regulations for trout, including size and creel limits, apply to tiger trout.
  • The North Fork Moormans River and its tributaries from the head of Sugar Hollow Reservoir upstream 0.3 miles to the Shenandoah National Park Boundary are now catch and release only, requiring single hook artificial lures.


  • Any common carp, grass carp, northern snakehead, goldfish, catfish, longnose gar or bowfin taken with bow and arrow must be retained and must not be released back into or disposed of into the water. These fishes may not be disposed of on property abutting the body of water of capture.


Move Over

  • Motorboats are required to slow to no-wake speed within 200 feet of a law enforcement or emergency services vessel when displaying blue or red flashing lights. See Safe Boating.

Fire Extinguishers

  • In addition to meeting the carriage requirements for the correct number of extinguishers for the size of your boat, fire extinguishers on boats built after 2017 must be Marine Type - USCG Approved 5-B, 10-B, or 20-B. Fire extinguishers on boats built 2017 or earlier may carry USCG Marine Type B1 or BII.
  • Extinguishers must not be more than 12 years old according to the date of manufacture stamped on the bottle. See Required Boat Equipment.