What's New

The following regulation changes are new for 2015. More details can be found in sections that follow this summary.

License Information and Fees

  • Children younger than 12 years old can fish without a daily permit if under direct supervision of a permitted adult at all three fee fishing areas.

General Information

  • Blue catfish and their hybrids cannot be stocked in privately owned ponds and lakes.
  • Seines, traps, and nets are prohibited in Lick Creek and its tributaries (Smyth & Bland counties), Laurel Creek and its tributaries upstream of Highway 16 bridge (Tazewell & Bland counties), Susong Branch and Manpower Creek (Washington & City of Bristol), and Timbertree Branch (Scott County).
  • Remove all trotlines, juglines, or set poles from public waters when not in use.
  • Marking fish with tagging equipment for personal information or research requires agency permission.

Creel and Length Limits

  • On the Clinch River, no bass less than 20 inches, only one bass per day longer than 20 inches.
  • On the New River, no bass 14-22 inches, only one per day longer than 22 inches from Fields Dam (Grayson County) to VA/WV state line and its tributaries. The regulation actually only includes 3 tributaries, all of which are downstream from Claytor Dam (Little River from the Little River Dam downstream (Montgomery County), Walker Creek from the Norfolk and Southern Railroad Bridge downstream (Giles County), and Wolf Creek from the Wolf Creek Dam downstream (Giles County).
  • On Smith Mountain Lake and its tributaries, no striped bass 30-40 inches from Nov. 1 - May 31.
  • Statewide, walleye and saugeye 5 per day in aggregate, no walleye or saugeye less than 18 inches.
  • No possession of American shad and hickory shad in Virginia waters of Lake Gaston and Buggs Island (Kerr) Reservoir and tributaries to include Dan and Staunton rivers.
  • No daily limit or size limit on snakehead.


  • New special regulation trout waters (Catch-and-Release Only) include Big Stony Creek (Wise & Scott counties), Little Stony Creek (Scott County) and Little Tumbling Creek (Smith & Tazewell counties).

Nongame Fish/Reptile/Amphibian, and Aquatic Invertebrates

  • Snapping turtles for private use shall only be taken from June 1 to September 30.