Virginia Rod & Reef Slam

Angling for Oyster Restoration

VA Rod & Reef Slam header image

6:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Lynnhaven and Lafayette Rivers

Hampton Roads, Virginia

Join CBF for a fishing tournament that celebrates oyster reef restoration and the habitat it provides for Chesapeake Bay fish species.

Fishing Tournament: 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Awards & After Party: 3:00-8:00 p.m.

Registration links below

When an estuary loses almost all its keystone oyster reefs like the Chesapeake Bay has, the change causes fundamental damage to water quality and habitat for fish, crabs, and other creatures.

What has the Bay lost? We know from surveys performed in the late 1800s that hundreds of acres of naturally occurring oyster reefs were found in the Lower Bay including in the Lynnhaven and Lafayette Rivers. These reefs were home to abundant populations of popular reef fish like speckled trout, black sea bass, and red drum.

Due to the combined effects of decades of overharvesting, habitat destruction, poor water quality, and disease, the population of oysters and reefs in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries are an estimated one percent of historic levels.

However, in recent years, multiple partners, including the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, VA Marine Resources Commission, Elizabeth River Project, Lynnhaven River Now, and CBF have been restoring oyster reefs in the Lafayette and Lynnhaven Rivers (among others). The return of these habitats means a return of healthy populations of popular reef fish.

Help us find out which fish can be caught on restored and enhanced reefs in the lower Bay region!

Join us for a tournament that focuses on two restoration areas: the Lafayette and Lynnhaven Rivers. Specifically, the Lynnhaven River inside the Lesner Bridge, and the Lafayette River between Tanner Point and Lambert’s Point.

This tournament is a little different than usual. You don’t win just by catching the biggest fish. Prizes will be awarded for how many species you catch, and then how big your fish are. We’re celebrating the variety that oyster reef restoration makes possible. How many different species can you catch?

Come join us!


ENTRY FEE: $50 per individual. Includes tournament entry, awards and after party, food, giveaways, and live entertainment. Register prior to September 1, 2019 to be guaranteed a free Rod and Reef Slam hat.

If you won't be participating in the tournament you can still join us for the awards party to be held from 3:00–8:00 p.m. at CBF's Brock Environmental Center, 3663 Marlin Bay Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23455. Non-participant tickets for the party are $10.00.

YOUTH ENTRY: Anglers age 17 and under may participate for free with a participating adult. Include the name(s) of any youth entrant(s) during the registration process so we can connect their iAngler account to a participating adult’s account.

See Tournament Details and Registration page for times, boundaries, divisions, locations, smartphone app details, and more.




The Bay Needs You

The 2018 State of the Bay Report makes it clear that the Bay needs our support now more than ever. Your donation helps the Chesapeake Bay Foundation maintain our momentum toward a restored Bay, rivers, and streams for today and generations to come.

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