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.
  • 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.