Chickahominy River

Moratorium on Possession of River Herring

It is now illegal for any person fishing tidal rivers to have river herring in their possession - this includes blueback herring and alewife. All river herring inadvertently caught by anglers must be immediately released back into the water. In Virginia, regulations regarding the harvest and possession of river herring are set by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. On January 1st, 2012, VMRC enacted a regulation which makes it unlawful to be in possession of river herring while on tidal waters. Anglers with concerns or questions should contact the Virginia Marine Fisheries Commission (VMRC) in Newport News at 1-800-541-4646. Additional information can be found on the VMRC website (

With broad expanses of open marshes, cypress trees along much of its shoreline, and a diversity of fish species to choose from, the Chickahominy River provides the angler with tidal river fishing at its finest.

This river supports a nationally recognized largemouth bass fishery, and in recent years anglers have been reporting excellent bass fishing in the tidal Chickahominy. Generally anglers can expect good numbers of largemouth in the 1 - 3 pound range, with relatively few largemouth weighing over 5 pounds. This fishery is characterized by high angler catches. Of all Virginia tidal rivers, the tidal Chickahominy typically has the highest largemouth catch rates.

Yellow perch, white perch, and black crappie all provide excellent fishing. Yellow perch can be found along the edges of “grass beds”, whereas crappie fishing is best around structure on steep channel drop-offs. Other species available to anglers include: chain pickerel, bowfin, blue catfish and channel catfish. Common carp and long-nose gar are large and plentiful; several anglers who enjoy a good fight have learned to capitalize on these under-utilized species.