Fisheries and Habitat of the Tidal Waters

P Passed

P HB1484
Recreational boats; saltwater recreational fishing licenses. Allows such boat licenses, which covers all of the boat's passengers, to be issued to operators of boats. Currently, the license may be issued only to the owner of a boat.
Patron - Morgan

P HB1485
Saltwater recreational fishing licenses. Allows any individual to apply for and receive from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission a lifetime saltwater recreational fishing license. The fee for the lifetime license is $250, except that the license fee varies based on the age of the license applicant as follows: for persons ages 45 through 50, the license fee is $120; for persons 51 through 55, $90; for persons 56 through 60, $60; and for persons 61 through 64, $30. This declining fee structure, based on the age of the applicant, is similar to the one currently provided for those individuals purchasing Department of Game and Inland Fisheries lifetime hunting and fishing licenses.
Patron - Morgan

P HB1634
Commercial fishery grants. Establishes the Fishery Resource Grant Fund. Grants will be awarded by the Graduate Marine Science Consortium, upon the advice of a seven-member Fishery Resource Grant Advisory Board. Grants funds can be expended for new fisheries equipment, environmental pilot studies, aquaculture of marine-dependent species, or seafood technology. The consortium is made up of graduate marine education departments at The College of William and Mary, Old Dominion University, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Patron - Diamonstein

P HB2221
Removal of property from waters; penalty. Makes it a Class 3 misdemeanor for the owner of a vessel to allow his boat to be abandoned, left in danger of sinking, or in disrepair for more than a week after notification by the Marine Resources Commission or a law enforcement official. In the case of a natural disaster or act of God, owners of abandoned, sunken or damaged vessels would receive notification 60 days after the storm event that they have one week to remove their boats from the waterway.
Patron - Behm

P HB2266
Submerged aquatic vegetation. Requires the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, in consultation with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, to develop criteria to aid in (i) defining existing beds of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and (ii) delineating potential areas for SAV restoration.
Patron - Murphy

P HB2272
Impact of piers on oyster grounds. Allows the construction of non-commercial piers of less than 100 feet in length, measured from the mean low water mark, without a permit. Those wishing to construct a private pier are to provide the Commissioner of Marine Resources with information regarding the proposed pier's size and location. The 12 month waiting period for encrouchment on leased oyster grounds by those wishing to build a wharf, channel or bulkhead is eliminated when the VMRC Commissioner finds that commercially productive oyster grounds will not be impacted. The bill contains technical amendments.
Patron - Murphy

P HB2279
Crab and peeler pots. Allows the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to establish the appropriate size for the mesh in crab pots and peeler pots. The regulations may also allow for the interchangeable use of the two types of pots provided they are appropriately marked and proper cull rings are installed. Currently the Code establishes mesh size for crab pots but not peeler pots.
Patron - Morgan

P HB2306
Marine Resources Commission member qualifications. Requires that the person filling the position on the Marine Resources Commission that is to be filled by one who, at the time of his appointment, has earned his livelihood for at least five years by working on Virginia waters, is also someone who is licensed and registered as a commercial fisherman.
Patron - Davis

P HB2401
Estuarine and Coastal Research Reserve System. Creates the Virginia Estuarine and Coastal Research Reserve System which will be administered by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). The purpose of establishing the reserve system is to conduct research on and long-term monitoring of protected lands in Tidewater. The system will consist of areas voluntarily dedicated to VIMS or areas acquired by gift, grant or purchase. Public entities may enter into agreements with VIMS to dedicate areas under their jurisdiction as reserve system sites.
Patron - Morgan

P HB2514
Saltwater recreational fishing licenses. Clarifies that the saltwater recreational fishing license purchased by a charterboat or headboat captain to cover his customers also covers the captain and mate of the vessel.
Patron - Bloxom

P HB2590
Permanent easement. Authorizes the Marine Resources Commission to grant a permanent easement to the U.S. Forest Service for .76 acres of subaqueous land in the James River in Amherst and Bedford County. A pedestrian bridge would be constructed over this land and would be part of the Appalachian Trail. If the easement ceases to be used as provided for in the bill, it would revert to the Commonwealth.
Patron - Wilkins

P HB2601
Recreational saltwater fishing. Authorizes the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to establish a fishing guide license for charterboat and headboat captains. The Commission may limit the sale of such licenses to nonresidents when deemed necessary by the Commission for effective fisheries management.
Patron - Bloxom

P SB582
Wetlands mitigation banks. Allows for the compensation required to be made for adverse impacts to wetlands to be made by the use of wetlands mitigation bank credits including those from a wetlands mitigation bank that may be owned by the person causing the damage. Mitigation banks must comply with state and federal laws, regulations, and guidance in order to be approved for use. Currently, only compliance with federal guidance is necessary for approval. Additional conditions under which mitigation banks may be used are specified.
Patron - Whipple

F Failed

F HB1471
Commercial fishermen fees. Reduces the annual registration fee for commercial fisherman under the age of 70 from $150 to $100 and for commercial fishermen 70 years of age or older from $75 to $50.
Patron - Davis

F HB1472
Emergency regulations. Requires the Secretary of Natural Resources to make a determination that an emergency exists before any emergency regulations adopted by the Marine Resources Commission can be submitted to the Registrar of Regulations or can become effective.
Patron - Davis

F HB1473
Oyster reefs. Prohibits the construction of oyster reefs on state bottomlands and in the Baylor Survey area. Under this legislation, the Marine Resources Commission is required to hold a public hearing before closing public oyster rocks. The bill also designates the Commission as the sole authority for deciding when to open and close a public oyster ground. Such a decision could not be delegated to agency staff.
Patron - Davis

F HB1838
Fishing license, registration or permit revocation. Clarifies that any person engaged in commercial fishing who has had his license, permit or registration revoked cannot serve as a mate or assistant on his own boat. The bill would also prohibit such persons from fishing operations which involve (i) taking or catching, (ii) using or setting gear, or (iii) transporting or preparing for market fish, shellfish, or marine organisms. Any person who fishes during the period in which his license, permit or registration has been revoked is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. If he is found guilty of a similar offense within 12 months of his prior violation, he is subject to a Class 1 misdemeanor penalty.
Patron - Bloxom

F HB2156
Division of Internal Affairs established. Establishes a Division of Internal Affairs within the Marine Resources Commission and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The purpose of each Division is to initiate investigations of possible violations by the law-enforcement officers of the two agencies. The conduct of these investigations will be reviewed by a citizen advisory board, which shall report its findings to the agency head.
Patron - Grayson

F HB2282
Property conveyance. Authorizes the Marine Resources Commission to convey a causeway and a manmade island in the Rappahannock River in Middlesex County to a private party.
Patron - Morgan

F HB2304
Oyster Fund. Requires general fund money that has been appropriated for oyster replenishment to be deposited in the Public Oyster Rocks Replenishment Fund. The salary and expenses of the person responsible for administering the oyster replenishment program are to be paid from the fund. Money cannot be expended from the fund until a public hearing has been held.
Patron - Davis

F SB1080
Taking of certain crabs. Makes it unlawful for any person to take or have in their possession more than ten peeler crabs per bushel which measure less than three inches across.
Patron - Barry


© 1999 by the Division of Legislative Services.