Virginia.gov

Rules for Certifying a State Record Fish

  1. The fish must be caught in Virginia waters or the Potomac River bordering Virginia by legal hook and line, non-commercial methods. The angler must identify the specific waters from which the fish was caught.
  2. A Department employee must witness the official weighing. Only the weight observed by the Department employee will be used to certify the fish. The fish must be unfrozen, in whole condition and be made available to the Department employee for a thorough examination. The fish may also be made available to the department employee for further examination if deemed necessary by the Department representative.
  3. The species of the fish must be confirmed by a Department Fish Biologist who must inspect the fish in whole condition. (This can be accomplished subsequent to the weighing if the Department witness is not a fish biologist.)
  4. An application must be made within 60 days of the catch. A clear, side view photograph of the fish should accompany the application.
  5. Weighing scales must be appropriate to the size of the fish and be certified for legal commercial trade. Fish under 25 pounds must be weighed on a scale capable of weighing to the ounce. Fish over 25 pounds should be weighed on scales having no greater graduations than one-half pound. Whenever scales of 8 ounce graduations are used, the fish weight will always be rounded down to the nearest one-half pound.
  6. Any potential state record fish found to contain artificial food in the stomach will not be recognized as a new record.
  7. No fish caught within the boundaries of a public or private aquaculture facility or private fee fishing area will be recognized as a state record.
  8. If there is reasonable doubt regarding any aspect of the application it may be rejected.
  9. One appeal to the State Record Fish Committee's decision may be made within 60 days of notification. The appeal must be in writing to: Chairman, State Record Fish Committee, 4010 W Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia 23230; Telephone: (804) 367-6796