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Regulations Book

Commission Orders and Policies

Fin Fish Advisory Committee

Oyster / Clam Advisory Committee

Blue Crab Advisory Committee



  • Breaking……Emergency Closure to Potomac River adjacent to St. George Island, St. Mary's County
    Closure Map

    Due to a sewage spill that occurred between November 24 - 28, 2021, the Maryland Department of the Environment has issued an emergency closure to the Potomac River adjacent to St. George Island effective immediately. The closure is necessary to protect public health and will remain in effect until December 20, 2021 when it will be reopened.

    Closure letter

  • Volunteers Needed!

    The Potomac River Fisheries Commission has vacancies for the following positions.

    Fin Fish Advisory Committee (6)
    • Upper River Commercial - Maryland Charter Boat / For Hire - Maryland
    • Recreational at large - Maryland Lower River Commercial - Virginia
    • Lower River Recreational At Large - Virginia Charter Boat / For Hire - Virginia
    Blue Crab Advisory Committee
    • Upper River - Maryland At Large Member - Maryland
    • Recreational Crabber - Maryland Upper River - Virginia
    • At Large Member - Virginia
    Oyster / Clam Advisory Committee
    • At Large Member - Virginia
    • Upper River - Maryland Upper River - Virginia

    Applications will be accepted through November 15, 2021. The Potomac River Fisheries Commission will consider filling vacancies at the December 2, 2021 meeting. Application forms may be found at:

  • The PRFC has one (1) commercial hook & line license available to any qualified individual who registers in the PRFC lottery by the last business day of January 2022. Each individual wishing to get into the lottery, must submit their information, including full name and address, and to be received by the PRFC no later than the close of business on January 31, 2022; along with the non-refundable entrance fee of $50.00. Entries can be submitted either in person at the Commission office during regulation business hours or mailed in. Postmarks are not counted and late deliveries will not be accepted. Each individual may enter the lottery only once. The winner of the lottery will be notified by mail on or after February 8, 2022. For more information on a PRFC license lottery, please refer to Regulation I, Sec. 1(d)(1) Obtaining a Limited Entry Fishery License by Random Drawing and Order 2021-09 Random Drawing Regulation Fee. Any questions should be directed to the Commission office during normal business hours.

  • Oyster Map

  • PRFC's commercial oyster season for hand tongs opens tomorrow (10.1) in all areas except for Knotts Hollow Bar SMA, Heron Island, Cobb Point Bar, Bluff Point Lumps Bar, Gum Bar, Bluff Point Bar, and Lower Cedar Point SMA (see map). Hours are sunrise to 3 PM, Monday through Friday, with a bushel limit of 8/person or 16/vessel with two licensees onboard. Daily call-ins are required by licensed vessel owners for the total number of bushels harvested on their vessel. Note that Jones Shore SMA Areas 1, 2 and 3 are all open to hand tongs.

    The season for Hand Scrapes will begin on November 1, 2021.

  • We are Open

  • PRFC Office Status: The Potomac River Fisheries Commission office has reopened to the public as of July 6, 2021 at 8:30 AM. Operating hours have returned to pre pandemic status, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. In addition, all meetings will now be held in person at the Carpenter Building. If you are entering the PRFC building or attending a meeting in the building and you are not vaccinated against Covid-19, we ask that you please wear a mask. We will continue to use the Hotline for any inquiries you may have at: 804-742-0174.

  • You may have noticed that we added a new feature to our website. The PRFC Chat box is now available for you to use during normal PRFC business hours. Designated staff will respond to your chat request as soon as we see it. If we are not available to receive a chat message, or if received over the weekend or on a holiday, please leave your email, inquiry, and phone number if desired, and we will get back to you shortly.

  • Important Notice....New Harry Nice/Mac Middleton Bridge update. Please reference the attached map. Effective immediately (7.16.20), per USCG, an exclusionary zone has been set up for bridge construction activities. All boaters are required to use the main shipping channel for transit up and down river from the bridge(s).

    Map - Click to enlarge

    Additionally, boaters need to remain at least 500 feet north of the existing bridge as indicated by the horizontal red line running across the river and parallel to the existing bridge. Boaters should exercise extreme caution around the four mooring buoys on the map (M1 - M4). Cables run from the mooring buoys to barges and equipment. Any questions related to bridge activities can be directed to 888-994-1415. Calls will be responded to within 24 hours.

  • 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