virginia beach virginia

Articles

Maryland and Virginia Fishing Guide Reciprocal License Agreement

Published: May 11, 2009
New for 2009, Maryland and Virginia have entered into a reciprocal agreement honoring certain fishing guide licenses in both states’ waters. Maryland will honor the Virginia Class A Fishing Guide License in Maryland tidal waters and Virginia will honor both the Maryland Resident Fishing Guide License and the Maryland Nonresident Fishing Guide License in Virginia tidal salt-waters. These license holders are automatically entitled to take advantage of the reciprocal agreement without any additional fees.

"Maryland and Virginia share a common set of fisheries management and water quality goals and are interested in expanding fishing opportunities for our fishermen, said Harley Speir, Assistant Director of Policy and Regulatory Division for DNR Fisheries Service. “This reciprocal agreement will give each state’s fishermen the opportunity for unique fishing experiences in the other state’s waters."

Maryland Fishing Guides that wish to fish in Virginia must apply for the free Fishing Guide Reciprocity Permit for Virginia. Application forms are available on the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s (VMRC) website at www.mrc.virginia.gov/forms/. Along with the application, the captain must provide a copy of their current Maryland Fishing Guide License (or TFL) and a copy of their U.S. Coast Guard license to carry passengers for hire (Captain’s License). Those fishing guides that wish to participate in the Virginia striped bass fishery should apply for the free striped bass permit at the same time. For questions about the Fishing Guide Reciprocity Permit, please contact Sonya Davis at 757-247-8155 or sonya.davis@mrc.virginia.gov.

Virginia Fishing Guides that wish to fish in Maryland must apply for the free Fishing Guide Reciprocity Permit for Maryland. Application forms are available on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/. Along with the application, the captain must provide a copy of their current Virginia Class A Fishing Guide License and a copy of their U.S. Coast Guard license to carry passengers for hire (Captain’s License). The application and attachments may be mailed to Connie Lewis or Belinda Gray at Maryland DNR Fisheries Service, Tawes Building, 580 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis, Md 21401. You may ask them questions at either clewis@dnr.state.md.us or bgray@dnr.state.md.us or 410-260-8296.

Maryland and Virginia fishing guides with these licenses and reciprocal permits may guide fishing trips in Maryland and Virginia waters as long as their customers are also licensed in either Maryland or Virginia. An earlier reciprocal agreement between Maryland and Virginia honors the Maryland and Virginia sport fishing boat licenses that cover all persons fishing on a charter boat or head boat in both Maryland and Virginia waters. Therefore, in most cases, fishing guides will not be required to obtain any additional licenses for their customers. All required licenses must be in the possession of the fishing guide during any fishing trip.

Fishing guides must report their catch to the appropriate jurisdiction. Fish caught in Maryland need to be reported to the Maryland DNR on a form provided by the Maryland DNR. Fish (currently, only striped bass) caught in Virginia need to be reported to the VMRC on a form provided by the VMRC. Fishing guides must obtain the appropriate form from the relevant agency to report their catch. These forms are available upon request , along with the Fishing Guide Reciprocity Permit, from VMRC and Maryland DNR.

Maryland catch reports must be submitted to Connie Lewis by mail within 15 days following the end of a month. Virginia catch reports (currently, only striped bass) must be submitted to the Plans and Statistics Department at the VMRC, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor Newport News, VA 23607 within 15 days of the close of any open striped bass season (6). Fishing Guides with any questions should contact Connie Lewis at the Maryland DNR or Bethany Eden at the VMRC by phone at 757-247-2116 or by email at bethany.eden@mrc.virginia.gov.