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Rules and Regulations

Fin Fish Advisory Committee

Oyster / Clam Advisory Committee

Blue Crab Advisory Committee



  • PRFC Office Status: Due to the continued evolving conditions related to the spread of the Novel Corona Virus and the disease it creates, Covid-19, the Potomac River Fisheries Commission office remains closed to the public until the Potomac River Fisheries Commission deems it safe to open the office and is intended to minimize impacts of the disease to both PRFC staff, and our customers. Staff is in the office on a limited basis and for essential work only. The PRFC will continue to conduct business transactions via mail during this time. Any questions should be directed to a special HOTLINE: 804-742-0174. Leave your name and number and someone will call you back within 24 hours. Questions can also be emailed to: Please continue to monitor our website, or our Facebook page, for any update.

  • Commercial License Renewals All 2021 commercial license renewals are being done by mail or drop off ONLY. Any applications dropped off in our drop slot or received via the mail, will be processed within 2 business days once they are received. An appointment will be made for any fixed location license that need to be moved or any commercial licenses that need to be transferred to another person. Please call our hotline phone number 804.742.0174 for appointments and any questions you may have or contact us via email at DO NOT call the office as there may not be a staff member in the office to answer the phone. If you need to return striped bass tags, you may do so either by calling the hotline number and setting up an appointment, dropping them off in our drop slot located on the side of the front door, or mail them to us. Please remember that limited entry licenses MUST be received in our office no later than January 29, 2021 to avoid any late penalities. Postmarks do not count.

  • 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.

  • 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