Virginia’s Department of Wildlife Resources has opened the public comment period for proposed fishing and boating regulation changes.

These comments will be reviewed in August and considered when the Board votes to adopt these regulations – which would then go into effect on January 1st, 2023. Public comment will be open from June 11 to July 26.

All comments that are received are reviewed and considered by the staff of the Aquatic Wildlife Resources Division and are presented to the Board. Input is extremely useful, and very little input is received on fishing regulations.

During this comment period, the Board is proposing regulations that focus on a few items that may be of interest to Shore residents, including, requiring retention of any fish harvested with bow and arrow, no longer allowing collection of minnows and chubs from the wild for sale (private use and collection still allowed), requiring vessels, trailer and equipment to be cleaned of aquatic vegetation after removal from water, and require bilge plug to be opened upon removal from water and requiring that limblines be removed completely from the water, the shoreline, and tree limbs when not in use.

Additionally, there have been administrative changes to the life jacket and fire extinguisher regulations and the “move over” law when vessels are operating in close proximity to law enforcement or emergency vessels while their emergency lights are energized.

The proposals can be viewed in greater detail at http://dwr.virginia.gov/regulations.

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