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Rules and Regulations

Fin Fish Advisory Committee

Oyster / Clam Advisory Committee

Blue Crab Advisory Committee



  • The 2020 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey results are in. PRFC's Blue Crab Advisory Committee will be discussing the results via Zoom tomorrow evening (5.21) at 6 PM. See the events tab for how to attend the virtual meeting. The following are quotes from and links to Virginia and Maryland's Press Releases.....
    • “The recent blue crab winter dredge survey shows us we have a healthy and robust blue crab population in the Chesapeake Bay” said Commissioner Steven G. Bowman. “However, it also tells us we need to continue with our precautionary, science based management approach to ensure we do not see further decreases. We don’t expect this will change our 2020 management measures for blue crab, and we will continue to manage blue crabs based on the best available science”
      See the Commonwealth of Virginia's Press Release
    • “While there are some expected fluctuations, our collective management efforts continue to enable the population to stay resilient and sustainable,” Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio said. “Maryland blue crabs remain an iconic part of our heritage and our environment.”
      See the State of Maryland's Press Release

  • Special Notice: Covid-19 response: Due to the evolving conditions related to the spread of the Novel Corona Virus and the disease it creates, Covid-19, the Potomac River Fisheries Commission office is closed to the public, and the closure will remain in place until the State of Emergencies in Maryland and Virginia are lifted, or until the Commission deems it safe to do so. The closure is being conducted consistent with actions taken in MD & VA, and is intended to minimize impacts of the disease to both PRFC staff, and our customers. PRFC will conduct business transactions only via mail during this time. Any questions should be directed to a special HOTLINE: 804-742-0174. Questions can also be e mailed to

  • PRFC has received inquiries related to.........Is fishing is allowed in PRFC jurisdictional waters? A: Fishing from shore or boats are allowed, so long as there are no more than 10 individuals on the boat or group. This is related to activities for subsistence. All applicable PRFC fishery management rules and regulations apply. PRFC regulates the fishery resources and exploitation of those resources for its defined geographical jurisdiction, but not the actual efficacy of the physical activities on the water (fishing, boating etc.). The activities are dictated by the State of Maryland which owns the Potomac River to the MLW on the Virginia shoreline. Consistent with the statutory ownership of the Potomac River by the State of Maryland, all rules related to fishing activity should follow Maryland procedures during Covid-19 measures. For a list of frequently asked questions related to Covid-19 activities, see:

  • 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