Virginia.gov

River Herring Possession Information

Q: Can I collect shad (gizzard, threadfin) and herring (alewife, blueback) from a VA reservoir and use these for bait in the same reservoir?

A: Yes

Q: Can I collect shad (gizzard, threadfin) and herring (alewife, blueback) from a river to use for bait in a reservoir or river?

A: Yes and no. Gizzard and threadfin shad can be collected and used in any of Virginia's water but there are geographical limitations for herring. There are no restrictions for herring in Virginia waters that are within the Roanoke, New or Tennessee River drainages. However, it is unlawful to possess herring in all coastal rivers of the Chesapeake Bay, Meherrin River, Nottoway River, Blackwater River (Chowan Drainage), North Landing, and Northwest rivers and their tributaries plus back bay.