Commercial Fishing
Summar of Potomac River Regulations Pertaining to Longline Crabbing

Regulation VII

Sec. 1(i) Crab Pot Longline

A method of fishing crab pots wherein individual crab pots are attached in a series to a single line that is marked on each end with a spar buoy.

Sec. 3 Display of Decal and Identification of Pots

a) Display of Decal. Before setting any crab pots, each licensee shall firmly attach his Potomac River Fishery Commission issued decal to the vessel named on the license. The decal must be displayed in a clearly visible position on the outside starboard side of the boat or vessel.

b) Identification of Pots. Licensees may set crab pots singularly or attached to a crab pot longline, or both. The marking requirements are as follows:

i) For singularly set pots - Each crab pot set singularly in the water shall be marked with a buoy easily visible on the surface which must legibly display the boat decal number herein provided in not less than one (1) inch numbers in contrasting color. All crab pot buoys with the same decal number must be painted alike and a sample buoy shall be displayed aboard the licensed vessel. Each buoy shall have only one Potomac River boat decal number displayed and all such buoys set in the Potomac shall be deemed to be crab pots.

ii) For pots attached to a crab pot longline - Each longline shall be identified with a spar buoy that has an 18 inch square flag legibly displaying the letters ā€œCPā€ and the decal number provided with the license in not less than 4 inch letters/numerals. The bottom of such flag shall be at least 4ā€™ above the water.

Any crab pot or crab pot longline in the water not identified in this manner may be seized by the duly authorized enforcement officers and shall be subject to forfeiture.

Sec. 5(d) Crab Pot Longlines

Each longline shall contain either up to 15 crab pots or no more than 30 crab pots and each line will be counted as either 15 pots or 30 pots when determining compliance with the license limitation. A spar buoy shall be placed at each end of the longline with a flag at least 12 inches square, which shall be identified by legibly displaying the assigned decal number and either 15 pots or 30 pots. Any licensee using crab pot longlines, will, at the direction of any authorized enforcement officer, pull the line for inspection. No longline shall be set in waters less than 20ā€™ MLW.

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The Potomac River Fisheries Commission coordinates regulations with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, (DGIF) and with the other Atlantic coastal states through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).