Virginia.gov

Reciprocal Licenses

All reciprocal license agreements listed below refer to both boat and bank anglers.

Waterbody Agreement
Buggs Island (Kerr) and Gaston Virginia or North Carolina state fishing licenses and permits are honored on those waters lying east of Union Street Dam on the Dan River in Virginia and the mouth of Difficult Creek on the Staunton River of Kerr Reservoir to the Gaston Dam on the Roanoke River, including all tributary waters accessible by boat from the main bodies of the reservoirs, or from the Island Creek subimpoundment. (Note: North Carolina regulations apply on North Carolina portions of these waters. Virginia regulations apply in Virginia waters.)
Blue Ridge Parkway Virginia and North Carolina licenses are honored on all Parkway waters. (Note: Virginia regulations apply in Parkway waters in Virginia except where noted herein or in federal regulations.)
New River Virginia or North Carolina state fishing licenses and permits are honored on the mainstream portion lying between the confluence of the North and South Forks of the New River in North Carolina (Alleghany County) downstream to the confluence of the New and Little Rivers in Virginia (Grayson County).
Potomac River Virginia has reciprocal license agreements for three sections of the Potomac River, one above the District of Columbia and two below the District of Columbia. License requirements are different for these sections.
Upper Potomac River [above Little Falls (upper border with the District of Columbia) to the West Virginia border/state line]: Resident anglers with state freshwater licenses in Virginia or Maryland may fish the Potomac River and from both banks.
Middle Potomac and its Tidal Freshwater Tributaries (between Woodrow Wilson Bridge and Rt. 301) Valid Virginia freshwater and saltwater (excluding county icenses), Potomac River Fisheries Commission, and Maryland Bay sport licenses are all honored on the mainstem Potomac and Maryland tributaries up to the demarcation lines (see below); all of these same licenses, except the Virginia saltwater licenses, are honored on the Virginia tributaries up to demarcation lines (see below):

Virginia tributaries up to the following demarcation lines:
  • Accotink Creek: Rt. 1 Bridge
  • Aquia Creek: First bridge above Aquia Harbor Marina
  • Chopawansic: Rt. 1 Bridge
  • Chotank: Causeway
  • Dougue Creek: Rt. 235, Mt. Vernon Memorial Parkway
  • Four Mile Run: Rt. 1 Bridge
  • Hunting Creek: Rt. 1 Bridge
  • Little Hunting Creek: Rt. 1 Bridge
  • Neabsco: Rt. 1 Bridge
  • Occoquan River: Fall Line
  • Pohick Creek: Rt. 611 (Colchester Road)
  • Potomac Creek: Rt. 608 Bridge
  • Powells Creek: Rt. 1 Bridge
  • Quantico Creek: Rt. 1 Bridge
  • Unnamed bays and tributaries accessible by gas-powered boats.
Maryland tributaries up to the following demarcation lines:
  • Anacostia River: downstream of Northeast Branch Bridge at northbound lane of Alternate Rt. 1
  • Bladensburg Road, and Northwest Branch Bridge at southbound lane of Rhode Island Avenue
  • Piscataway Creek: Downstream of Rt. 224 Bridge (Livingston Rd.)
  • Henson Run: Downstream of Oxon Hill Road Bridge
  • Nanjemoy Creek: Downstream of Rt. 6 (Trappe) Bridge
  • Port Tobacco Creek: Downsteam of Rt. 6 Bridge
  • Mattawoman Creek: Downstream of Rt. 225 Bridge
  • Unnamed bays and tributaries accessible by gas-powered boats.
Lower Potomac River (between its mouth and the Rt. 301 Bridge) Valid Virginia saltwater (excluding County licenses), Maryland Bay sport, or Potomac River Fisheries Commission licenses are honored in the main stem. In Virginia tributaries below 301, Virginia fresh - water and saltwater, and Potomac River Fisheries Commission licenses are honored.
South Holston Reservoir Any person possessing a valid Tennessee or Virginia resident freshwater fishing license, or who is legally exempt from those license requirements, and possessing the South Holston Reservoir License may fish in the Tennessee and Virginia impounded waters of South Holston Reservoir. Virginia residents fishing in South Holston Lake in Tennessee must have a Virginia resident license and South Holston Reservoir Permit (or Tennessee nonresident fishing license); under the age of 13—no license or permit required. The annual cost of the South Holston License is currently $21. The South Holston License is valid in all impounded portions of the reservoir below full pool elevation of 1,730 feet, including the confluence of the Middle Fork and South Fork Holston rivers and the South Fork Holston River upstream to the Route 710 Bridge at Alvarado, Virginia. The South Holston License is not valid for possession of trout.

A valid resident Tennessee trout fishing license or a valid resident Virginia trout fishing license is required to fish for trout and to possess trout on South Holston Reservoir. All anglers shall abide by the laws of the state in which they are fishing as to manner and means of taking fish. Size restrictions and creel limits shall be as follows:
Species Restrictions Creel (Harvest) Limit
Black bass No smallmouth less than 15 inches
Spotted bass
5 per day
15 per day
Walleye No walleye less than 18 inches 5 per day
Crappie No crappie less than 10 inches 15 per day
Trout No minimum size-only 2 lake trout per day 7 per day
White bass No harvest-all White bass must be released
Catfish Only 1 catfish over 34 inches 20 per day
Bluegill No miminum size 50 per day
Rock bass No minimum size 20 per day
Trotlines* 100 hooks per angler
Jugs* 50 per angler
Limb-lines* 15 per angler
*All trotlines, limb-lines, and jugs must be tagged with angler's name/address or license number.

Note: Maryland regulations apply for the Upper Potomac River and the Maryland Potomac River tributaries (call 1-800-688-3467 for current Maryland regulations).

Note: Potomac River Fisheries Commission regulations are enforced in the Potomac mainstem between the lower District of Columbia border and the mouth of the Potomac (call 1-804-224-7148 or 1-800-266-3904 for current PRFC regulations). Waters between the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and Little Falls are controlled by D.C., and a D.C. fishing license is required.

Fall Line

The Fall Line is defined as the following landmarks:

  • Chickahominy River: Walkers Dam;
  • James River: 14th Street Bridge;
  • Mattaponi River: Rt. 360 Bridge;
  • Pamunkey River: Rt. 360 Bridge;
  • Potomac River: Little Falls;
  • Occoquan River: I-95 Bridge.
  • Rappahannock River: Rt. 1 Bridge;