History and Mission Statement of the

Potomac River Fisheries Commission

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.

Northern Snakehead
Invasive specie

Recently, a non-native air breathing freshwater fish known as a Snakehead has generated national media attention as the latest invasive species to threaten native fish and wildlife resources and the economic sectors that depend on them.


Attention Striped bass fishermen. Be on the lookout for yellow streamer tags attached to the left side of the fish near the dorsal fin.

Photo of the tag

These fish are research fish implanted with acoustic sonar tags that help scientists determine the migratory pathways of the tagged fish. The sonar tags are equipped with batteries that can provide feedback on the movements of the fish for up to three years. Please consider releasing these fish back into the water to help scientists learn more about the migratory patterns of Striped bass.

Fishing the Tidal Potomac

The tidal Potomac River offers some of the finest fishing, crabbing and shell fishing on the Atlantic coast.