By Dr. Michael Bednarski/DWR
Photos by Meghan Marchetti/DWR
Every other year, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) takes a deep look at existing freshwater fishing regulations and determines which regulations need to be added, changed, or eliminated to best meet the needs of Virginia anglers. As part of this process, we solicit comments from the general public during our scoping period, which will run from January 11 through February 25. This is the best time to weigh in on changes you’d like to see.
As an Aquatics Division, we take public input very seriously, and any comments that you make will be considered in the process, summarized, and presented at our Wildlife and Boat Committee meeting on March 20. As Chief of Fisheries, I personally review every comment that we receive and share them with appropriate members of our staff for consideration.
I encourage you to participate in this process because, to be honest, we don’t get as much feedback as we’d like from the general public. Are there issues that you see that need to be addressed? Do you think DWR’s fisheries management program is going in the wrong direction? Are you satisfied with a particular fishery? Please, weigh in. In addition to informing this specific process, the comments are vital for implementing and modifying management plans that we have in place for fishes such as trout, walleye, musky, and catfish.
And if you don’t comment during the scoping period, you will have another chance to comment after draft regulations are presented at the May 24 meeting of the Wildlife and Boat Committee. At this point, potential regulatory changes will be drafted, discussed with the Committee, and then released for public comment.
You can submit comments via this link: https://dwr.virginia.gov/regulations
Or via mail at:
Department of Wildlife Resources
Attn: Fisheries Division – Board Proposals 2024
P.O. Box 90778
Henrico, VA 23228-0778