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Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament
968 S. Oriole Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
(757) 491-5160

For Immediate Release
December 17, 2008

No Changes Slated for Tournament in 2009

The 52nd annual Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, which opens January 1, 2009 and runs throughout the year, will see no modifications in its popular Citation program. "The Tournament Committee felt the current Citation standards were at appropriate levels, so they recommended no adjustments to the Program for the coming year," stated Tournament Director Lewis Gillingham.

The Tournament Committee made major changes to the program in 2004, establishing release Citations for most species and increasing the qualifying minimums for more than a dozen species. In recent years, the Committee has attempted to fine tune individual minimum qualifying weights and lengths to coincide with historical trophy-fish standards.

Other popular programs administered by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, such as the Junior Angler Program, and the Expert and Master Angler Programs, will return unchanged in 2009. The Junior Angler Program challenges children less than 16 years of age to catch and release six species of saltwater fish. To qualify as an Expert Angler a fisherman must register fish in at least six different species for Citation awards during the year. Master Angler requirements are 25 Citations (with a maximum of one per species per year) in at least five different species over an unlimited period of time starting in 1996.

Anglers should check their current saltwater fishing license for its expiration date before heading out on the water in 2009, as saltwater fishing licenses are now valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. Anglers must have a valid Virginia saltwater fishing license and should pay attention to all 2009 fishery regulations as they are announced. All applicable fisheries regulations must be adhered to and a saltwater fishing license is required for Tournament participation. In addition, anglers fishing the territorial sea south of the Virginia border for striped bass are reminded these are North Carolina waters and anglers must have a valid North Carolina saltwater fishing license. Virginia does not have a reciprocity agreement with North Carolina and the Virginia saltwater license will not be accepted in North Carolina waters.

The Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament is a program of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission funded with revenues from Virginia's saltwater fishing license. The Tournament offers handsome wooden wall Citation plaques or album sized certificates for 35 species of saltwater fish which meet minimum criteria. The Tournament operates all year. For more information, contact Lewis S. Gillingham, Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament, 968 S. Oriole Dr., Virginia Beach, VA 23451, (757) 491-5160, (757) 491-5172 (fax), or [email protected] (e-mail).
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