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Rules and Regulations



  • PRFC's Striped Bass Options for 2020.
    The Potomac River Fisheries Commission has 3 options it is considering to implement for the 2020 season to comply with ASMFC's Striped Bass Addendum VI requirements.The following options will be discussed at the March 6, 2020 meeting of the PRFC, and one of the options will be selected. Stakeholder input for preference is requested on the following options (approved by ASMFC's Striped Bass Technical Committee and Management Board):
    • Option #1: ASMFC Default measure
      *Recreational Fishery – 18% reduction
      Spring Season 35” TL min; 1 fish/person/day (incl. charter capt); Downstream of Rt. 301 Bridge May 1 – 15
      Potomac River Fall Fishery 18” min 1 fish/person/day May 16 – Dec. 31 *Commercial fishery 18% reduction
    • Option #2: Conservation Equivalency
      *Recreational Fishery – 20.5% reduction
      Spring Season 35” TL min; 1 fish/person/day (incl. charter capt); Downstream of Rt. 301 Bridge; May 1 – 15
      Summer/Fall Fishery - 20” min 2 fish/person/day with No direct targeting during closed season, open May 16 – July 6, closed July 7 through Aug. 20, open Aug. 21 - Dec. 31
      *Commercial fishery 1.8% reduction
    • Option #3: Conservation Equivalency
      *Recreational Fishery – 20.5% reduction
      Spring Season 35” TL min 1 fish/person/day (incl. charter capt) Downstream of Rt. 301 Bridge Open May 1 – 15
      Summer/Fall Fishery with targeting allowed 20” min 2 fish/person/day Open May 16 - June 30, closed July 1 - August 31, Open Sept. 1 - Dec. 31
      *Commercial fishery 1.8% reduction

    Please submit your preference for one of the above listed options and any comments to Martin Gary via e mail no later than 5 PM on March 3rd, 2020 to:

    All comments will be forwarded to our Commissioners for their consideration in deciding which option to implement for the coming season.

  • Bluefish....the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) recommended and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) approved new recreational fishing regulations for the 2020 Atlantic bluefish fishery from Florida to Maine. These measures, which include a 3-fish bag limit for private anglers and shore-based fishermen and a 5-fish bag limit for for-hire fishermen, represent a substantial reduction compared to the federal 15-fish bag limit that has been in place since 2000. The Commission’s actions are final and apply to state waters (0-3 miles from shore). This includes the waters under of the tidal Potomac River. The most recent operational assessment of the Atlantic bluefish stock concluded that the stock is overfished but not experiencing overfishing. During their joint meeting in October, the Council and Commission adopted a recreational harvest limit (RHL) of 9.48 million pounds for 2020 and 2021, which is an 18% decrease compared to the 2019 RHL. Using the current regulations, the recreational sector is projected to land 13.27 million pounds, which will exceed the RHL by 28.56%. Therefore, the Council and Commission met last week to approve new recreational management measures to constrain harvest to the reduced RHL.
  • Attention Blue Catfish commercial harvesters. The following letter was sent out to fish trot line and fish pot licensees to allow them to identify prospective buyers of commercially caught Blue Catfish in PRFC waters. This list includes those buyers we are aware of, but there may be others. We can add others to the list if their information is made available to us.

PRFC History
and Mission Statement

fishing at sunset
The states of Maryland and Virginia are both vitally interested in conserving and improving the valuable fishery resources of the tidewater portion of the Potomac River, maintaining law and order and peace and safety on the river, and recognizing that certain provisions of the Maryland-Virginia Compact of 1785 had become obsolete, agreed in 1958 that such conservation and improvement could be best achieved by a commission comprised of representatives of both Maryland and Virginia. Read more