VA DGIF Becomes “Department Of Wildlife Resources” / Legislation Changes Effective July 1

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The “Department of Wildlife Resources,” formerly known as the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF), wants to make the public aware of laws enacted during 2020 General Assembly that will be going into effect July 1, 2020, that may be of interest.

  1. Boat ramp fees; exemptions.
    1. Authorizes the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to charge a fee for the use of any facility that the Department manages and any boat ramp that the Department owns or manages. Current law authorizes such fee only for a facility that is owned by the Department. The bill adds exemptions from such fees for a person holding a valid access permit issued by the Department and any person who is a passenger in but not the owner or operator of a paddlecraft or registered vessel. The bill includes technical changes.
  2. Waterfowl blinds in locality where certain hunting prohibited.
    1. Waterfowl blinds in locality where certain hunting prohibited. Directs the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries not to license any stationary waterfowl blind in any area of Hunting Creek, Little Hunting Creek, or Dogue Creek in which the local governing body prohibits by ordinance the hunting of birds with a firearm.
  3. Unlawful hunting, fishing, or trapping; prohibition upon conviction.
    1. Unlawful hunting, fishing, or trapping; prohibition upon conviction. Provides that any person convicted of violating a hunting, fishing, or trapping law may also be prohibited by the court from hunting, fishing, or trapping for a period of one to five years.
  4. Hunting license; senior resident lifetime license for hunting bear, deer, and turkey.
    1. Directs the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries to provide a basic senior resident lifetime hunting license that includes both a basic hunting license and a special bear, deer, and turkey license. The license shall be available only to a resident of the Commonwealth who is 80 years of age or older and shall cost $200.
  1. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; name change.
    1. Renames the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries as the Department of Wildlife Resources and the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries as the Board of Wildlife Resources.
  2. Transportation of bait fish for sale; penalty.
    1. It is now unlawful to transport for sale out of state river herring, alewife, gizzard shad, or threadfin shad caught from inland bodies of water of Virginia. Violations are considered a class 1 misdemeanor.
  3. Hunting waterfowl; duck blinds.
    1. Prohibits hunting or shooting migratory waterfowl in the public waters of the Commonwealth from a boat, float, raft, or other buoyant craft or device within 150 yards of a residence without the consent of the landowner, except when in active pursuit of a visibly crippled waterfowl that was legally shot by the person. The bill requires a person hunting waterfowl or applying to license a stationary blind in public waters to also have a state and federal duck stamp.
    2. Please refer to the waterfowl regulation guide for changes.

For the full list on what’s changed, please visit: https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/legislation/.