INTERSTATE AGENCIES

POTOMAC RIVER FISHERIES COMMISSION


[photo, Fishermen on Potomac River near Point of Rocks Bridge, Point of Rocks, Maryland] A. J. Erskine, Virginia, Chair (chosen by Commission in Feb., 1-year term), 2017

Maryland members appointed by Governor with Senate advice & consent to 4-year terms: Dennis C. Fleming, 2015; Phil L. Langley, 2017; William L. Rice, Sr., 2017.

Ex officio: Mark J. Belton, Secretary of Natural Resources

Fishermen on Potomac River near Point of Rocks Bridge, Point of Rocks, Maryland, October 2003. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Martin L. Gary, Executive Secretary

P. O. Box 9
222 Taylor St., Colonial Beach, VA 22443 - 0009
(804) 224-7148; 1-800-266-3904 (toll free); fax: (804) 224-2712
e-mail: prfc@verizon.net
web: www.prfc.state.va.us/

The Potomac River Fisheries Commission is a bi-state commission of Maryland and Virginia, authorized by the U.S. Congress under the Potomac River Compact of 1958. Maryland ratified the Compact in 1959 (Chapter 269, Acts of 1959).

The Commission regulates and licenses the fisheries of the main stem of the tidal Potomac River from the Maryland-District of Columbia boundary line (near Woodrow Wilson Bridge) to the mouth of the River at Point Lookout, Maryland, and Smith Point, Virginia.

Moreover, Commission work seeks to conserve and improve seafood resources of the Potomac River. Indeed, the Commission is responsible for reseeding and replanting oysters bars in the Potomac. In addition, the Commission regulates the dredging of soft-shell clams in the Potomac River. From the sale of crab, oyster, fish and clam licenses, and an oyster inspection tax, the Commission receives proceeds. Annually, each state appropriates $175,000 to Commission work.

While the Commission is a semi-autonomous agency, its work and policies are coordinated closely with the Fisheries Service of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the Marine Resources Commission of Virginia. Fishery agencies of both states provide law enforcement on the Potomac River for the Commission.

Eight members constitute the Commission. Four are from Maryland, and four from Virginia. Maryland members include the Secretary of Natural Resources and three persons named to four-year terms by the Governor (Code Natural Resources Article, sec. 4-306).

The Commission has three advisory committees whose members are private citizens involved in commercial or recreational fishing. Appointed to four-year terms by the Commission, they recommend to the Commission modifications of regulations, licensing, or other issues.

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