GUIDELINES FOR FISHING AND RECREATIONAL BOATING — COVID-19 (4.3.2020)
General: The governors of both Maryland and Virginia have issued executive orders to limit the spread of COVID-19 and relevant agencies have issued guidance regarding fishing and recreational boating in the waters surrounding the Glebe Harbor and Cabin Point community. Maryland has jurisdiction over and statutory ownership of the Potomac River to the MLW mark along the Virginia shoreline. Virginia has jurisdiction on the Lower Machodoc Creek and most community creeks.
Potomac River (Maryland): The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has provided answers to Frequently Asked Questions related to fishing and boating activities in Maryland waters. Effective April 2, this guidance permits limited fishing and prohibits recreational boating. This guidance is subject to change throughout the duration of the public health emergency.
- Limited recreational fishing and crabbing is allowed if you are seeking food for you or your family, but social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed (e.g., no more than 10 individuals on the boat and persons stay at least six feet away from others not of their household).
- Recreational boating is NOT allowed on the Potomac River.
- Kayaking and paddle boarding are both human-powered forms of exercise and are permitted under Maryland’s executive order, provided guidance on social distancing and prohibition on social gatherings are strictly followed.
The Potomac River Fisheries Commission (PRFC) provides oversight for fishery resources in the Potomac River and PRFC is bound to statutes and executive orders from Maryland for use of the Potomac River waters. Any changes in permissible activities related to fishing will be posted on the PRFC Facebook page. Updated guidance from the State of Maryland will be found on news.maryland.gov.
Lower Machodoc Creek (Virginia): Virginia has jurisdiction over inland waters of the Commonwealth and waters along the Virginia shoreline that are not under Maryland jurisdiction. At this time, Virginia permits both fishing and recreational boating in these waters, provided that social distancing guidelines and prohibitions on social gatherings are followed aboard any vessel. Effective April 2, Governor Northam declared charter boat and party boat operations as non-essential businesses and prohibited their operations until the Executive Orders expire on June 10, 2020.
The following guidance is provided by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) based on the most recent executive orders from Governor Northam. Updated guidance and any changes in permissible activities will be posted on the Virginia Marine Resources Commission website (www.mrc.virginia.gov).
March 31, 2020: Boating and Executive Order 55: The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) remind all Virginians to follow the directive of the Governor’s recently-released Executive Order 55 while enjoying the outdoors, whether on land or water. The Executive Order permits continued engagement in outdoor activities that can be beneficial to us all, while including safeguards that are necessary for the protection of yourself and the public. While enjoying time in or around the water or on public recreational lands, always maintain adequate social distancing of at least six feet from other individuals who are not family, household members, or caretakers at all times. You should also follow the prohibition of gatherings of 10 or more individuals which includes:
– When present at access points for fishing or boating, whether state or locally-owned;
– The beaching of vessels on sandbars, islands or banks while out on the water;
– The “rafting” of vessels together; and the numbers of individuals present on any vessel.
– When present at outdoor recreation lands, including Wildlife Management Areas.
DGIF and VMRC want the outdoors to be a place of safe escape for you during this difficult time, and our ability to continue to promote this depends upon your assistance. The basic precautions contained in the Executive Order are necessary to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Virginia and protect everyone’s safety. DGIF’s Conservation Police Officers and VMRC’s Marine Police Officers will be monitoring our water access points and activities on the water and our lands to ensure compliance with the Executive Order, address problem areas, and to promote your well-being. Please do your part to help protect yourself and other Virginians and keep our outdoors available and safe to all of us.