Get a PRFC Sportfishing License

Rules and Regulations



  • The Potomac River Fisheries Commission is now accepting applications for a (1) Summer 2019 College Fisheries Management Internship. The internship runs from 5/15/19 to 8/14/19 (may end sooner if student needs to return to school). The internship location is in Colonial Beach, VA. The selected undergraduate may work up to 29 hours per week. The internship is paid at the rate of $12/hour, and field work travel expenses are compensated for via per diem rates. The intern will perform a variety of tasks, including in office work that includes data entry, research, and other work as needed. Field work may involve time on commercial or law enforcement vessels. PRFC will make an effort to utilize the Interns' talents to match with priority projects in the realm of data analysis, field or marketing/communications related to managing Potomac River fisheries resources. Candidates majoring in Fisheries Science, Marine Science or Biology are preferred. A cover letter and resume are required to be considered for an internship. They may be e mailed to: Martin Gary at The deadline for submitting a cover letter and resume is April 19, 2019 at 4:30 PM
  • The annual Fall Oyster Survey in the Potomac River was conducted October 23-25th. The survey found the following: *Salinities remain very low river wide. *There was no significant reproduction found at any of the sampled bars. *Extremley high levels of mortality (>90%) were experienced on all of the Special Management Areas planted with wild seed (Lower Cedar Point, Pascahanna, Bluff Point Bar, Old Farms/Green Hill Bar and Gum Bar. *High levels of mortality on the wild population of oysters on Beacon and Pope's Creek Bars above the Rt. 301 Bridge. *Low mortality, but slowed growth on the lower river bars including Cornfield Harbor, Jones Shore Bar SMA, Kitt's Point, St. George's Island and Tall Timbers Bar. For further information on the survey, please contact Ellen in the PRFC office.
  • The PRFC approved the opening of the oyster season for hand tongs starting at sunrise on Monday, October 15th, and running Mondays through Fridays through March 31, 2019 from sunrise to 3 PM. There is a bushel limit of 8 bushels per licensee per day and 16 bushels per vessel per day (with two licensees) aboard. All areas of the river are open with the exception of the following areas: Knott’s Hollow SMA, Lower Cedar Point SMA, Bluff Point SMA, Gum Bar SMA, Green Hill/Old Farms SMA, Bluff Point Lumps Sanctuary, Heron Island Sanctuary, and Chotank Lumps Sanctuary. All oyster harvesters are required to call in thier catch daily to a toll free number that is provided to them when they purchase their license. Weekly written harvest reports are also required. The oyster season for hand scrapes will open in applicable areas on November 1st. Jones Shore Special Management Area #3 will open on Friday, November 2nd and will be open M-W-F through February, 2019 and then M-F in March.
  • NEW: In collaboration with The Virginia Marine Resources Commission through the working agreement of the Bi State Compact of 1958, the Jones Shore Special Management Area has been charted on VMRC’s mobile app that uses smartphone GPS to show the users position relative to shellfish areas and other map features. For PRFC jurisdictional waters, only the Jones Shore SMA is charted at this time, but depending on feedback from the public, we hope to chart other oyster bars and fixed fishing gear. The app is available for free from the Apple or Google app stores. Simply search for "VMRC Maps" on your smartphone to install, or click on the following link to learn more: Go to "PRFC Jones Shore Area" on the main menu. A couple of screenshots are shown below of the newly charted Jones Shore SMA. Give it a try and let us know your thoughts!
  • The Maryland Department of General Services (DGS)—in partnership with the departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources—has awarded contracts to Jessup-based Reliant Fish Co. and Congressional Seafood Co. for a program that will create sales of Maryland-harvested blue catfish to state institutions providing food services. The program also helps the state reduce the blue catfish’s negative impact on the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay ecosystems by creating a reliable market for the non-native species." For more information see the full press release
  • Attention Recreational and Charter Boat anglers, the summer-Fall Striped bass season runs from May 16th through December 31, 2018. 2 fish/person/day, 20" minimum length, one of which may be 28"
  • 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