Here is what is going on.
The federal requirement for some type of registration or state compliance during 2009 has been tabled.
The 2010 requirement for free federal registration or state program compliance is still in place. This means that on Jan. 1st 2010 if you are fishing for stripers, herring or shad in VA waters or fishing in federal waters that you will have to register with the federal government for free. I have no clue how this will be enforced as most recreational trips in the spring and summer do not target any of those species.
The 2011 requirement for a $15 to $25 fee based federal registration or state program compliance is still in place. This means that either VA do something during the next legislative session or anyone that fishes for stripers, herring, or shad within state waters or fishes in federal waters will have to register with the federal government for $15 to $25.
VMRC met with recreational fishermen, etc. last summer but no legislation made it into their package this year.
Senator Northam (Norfolk) submitted a resolution SJ-397 the short version of which says:
"Requests the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to examine the creation of a comprehensive registry of saltwater anglers in the Commonwealth and to determine whether changes must be made to the Commonwealth's saltwater recreational fishing license program to conform to the National Angler Registry requirements."
One of the specifics in the resolution is that VMRC provides the report to the legislature by Nov. 1st 2009. This will give the legislature plenty of time to develop a bill that will get VA in compliance. My suspision is that part of the report is the exact wording for the required code changes.
Here is a link to that legislation. LIS > Bill Tracking > SJ397 > 2009 session