History and Mission Statement of the

Potomac River Fisheries Commission

The states of Maryland and Virginia are both vitally interested in conserving and improving the valuable fishery resources of the tidewater portion of the Potomac River, maintaining law and order and peace and safety on the river, and recognizing that certain provisions of the Maryland-Virginia Compact of 1785 had become obsolete, agreed in 1958 that such conservation and improvement could be best achieved by a commission comprised of representatives of both Maryland and Virginia.

Northern Snakehead
Invasive specie

Recently, a non-native air breathing freshwater fish known as a Snakehead has generated national media attention as the latest invasive species to threaten native fish and wildlife resources and the economic sectors that depend on them.


The Potomac River Fisheries Commission is announcing the closure of all menhaden fisheries in the Potomac River, effective midnight on August 22, 2013.

The ASMFC mandates that all commercial fisheries be closed for the harvest of menhaden when the catch limit is met; consequently no commercial fishing gear (except pound nets) shall harvest any menhaden for the remainder of 2013.

Fishing the Tidal Potomac

The tidal Potomac River offers some of the finest fishing, crabbing and shell fishing on the Atlantic coast.