Reef Program

The deployment scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2022 has been postponed due to weather.  New date coming soon.  

VSSA – VMRC Artificial Reef Plan for 2022 and 2023 – Capturing the Power of Volunteerism

Virginia has an Artificial Reef Program which has been neglected due to no or low funding by the state.  Many of our reefs are sinking into the seafloor bottom and are in need of periodic maintenance with new material in order to keep and attract fish.  One of VSSA goals is to find solutions to keep our reefs properly maintained.  And while we have efforts underway for larger pieces and donations, the purpose of this program is to use the power of volunteerism.  

VSSA Reef Deployment Sign-up Form.

We are asking anglers from across the state to consider making plans to make micro-donations to the reefs.  Our plan is to do one reef per month over the milder weather times.  While we can’t get to all the reefs in one year, we have put together a plan with VMRC to do as many reefs as we can.  For a full listing of reefs, click below: 

Artificial Reefs Map













If you want to donate directly to the Reef Program, please click the button marked “donate” below and you will be guided. VSSA is an approved 501C-3 organization, and all your donations and gifts are tax deductible. Please consider donating any amount you feel you can contribute. All your donations will help support our action plan to fight for your right to fish recreationally in Virginia.

Our plan.   We are calling on all anglers to support our effort and begin planning to support this effort by selecting one of the reefs below and begin preparations to contribute.   Our first deployment will be East Ocean View Reef on October 22, 2022, from 8 am to 11 am.  This will be a small scale to test procedures with VMRC staff working with VSSA volunteers to see how it goes.  If all goes well, our plan is to continue with more reefs into 2023 and beyond.  Because this initial deployment is a test and limited in scale, we are asking anglers to sign up using this form.  Just click below to sign up.VSSA Reef Deployment Sign-up Form.  















  • East Ocean View Reef – Saturday, October 22, 2022 from 8 am to 11 am
  • Bluefish Rock Reef – TBD 2023
  • Poquoson Reef – TBD 2023
  • Northern Neck Reef – TBD 2023
  • Nandua-Pungoteague Reef – TBD 2023
  • Wachapreague Reef – TBD 2023
  • Blackfish Bank Reef – TBD 2023


  • Cabbage Patch Reef – TBD 2024
  • Cherrystone Reef – TBD 2024
  • The Cell – TBD 2024
  • Gwynn Island Reef – TBD 2024
  • Backriver Reef – TBD 2024
  • Windmill Point Reef – TBD 2024
  • Asphalt Pile Reef – TBD 2024

Gather Materials. The key reference is Guidelines for Marine Artificial Reef Materials, Jan 2004. Once you have decided you want to participate, start planning on gathering materials needed.  Keep in mind any contribution must be able to be carried by you (and a friend or 2), loaded on your boat, then deployed by you on your private boat.  Materials that will be accepted include:

Reef CubesFor the October, 2022 Pilot Test Program we are looking for just 2 volunteers to test these procedures.  The 2 volunteers will also be asked if they are willing to help develop / refine procedures for anglers to pour cubes for future deployments.  But for this first we just want no more than 2 volunteers.  Anglers can pour their own reef cubes.  Concrete must be fully cured and be inspected by VMRC staff the day of deployment.  If the concrete is not fully cured, you will not be approved to deploy that day.  Best to plan on at least a week for fully cure.  Don’t pour 1 or 2 days before the event.  Concrete not fully cured will erode quickly in saltwater.  Reef cubes can be any size the anglers can manage but must have holes on all sides that allow for fish to swim through.  The Reef Cube must only contain concrete that is fully cured.  It cannot contain any other material such as rebar, metals, plastics, etc.  It should also have some hollow spaces created somehow.  Examples are found on this website: Reef Cubes – Reef Innovations 








Reef Balls.  Pick a size you can manage.   VSSA has teamed with Heard Concrete, 201 Dexter Street West, Suite 100, Chesapeake, VA 23324.  Heard Concrete is in the process of pouring reef balls using high quality concrete.  Once inspected by VMRC staff, we will announce a date that anglers can stop by to pick up a reef ball that their boat and anglers can manage.  VSSA salutes Heard Concrete for volunteering to make this happen. Here are some pictures and video of the reef balls being made for this project.


















VSSA Reef Deployment Sign-up Form.


Approval Process.  You must show up at the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp between 7 am and 10 am to have your reef cube or reef ball inspected by VMRC.  Once approved, you will be issued a flag to display on your boat, so VMRC Marine Police Boat knows you are approved to deploy. You may arrive to the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp either by boat coming into Lynnhaven Inlet or trailer your boat to the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp. Once you are approved, you must sign a waiver of liability form(s) waiving VMRC and VSSA of liability if your boat is damaged or someone gets hurt.  It is important that you only bring cubes or balls you and your crew can safely manage.  Old carpet or tarps can be used to protect your boat from being scratched from the concrete but neither VMRC nor VSSA can be held liable.  Use your own best judgement and above all be safe.  

Deployment Day.  Once approved at the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp you may proceed to East Ocean View Reef where a VMRC Marine Police boat will be anchored. You must plan your contribution to be delivered by you on your private boat between 8 am and 11 am, on Saturday, September 10, 2022.  The VMRC boat will be anchored and as you approach the reef, hail the staff boat on channel 72 to make contact.  You will be instructed to pull up alongside the anchored staff boat, state your boat name and entry number.  When instructed by the VMRC staff boat, briefly hold up your contribution so staff can visually see that it matches what was approved by staff.  You will be instructed over the radio when you can drop your contribution into the water.  Boats are free to drop waypoints to mark this new reef material going down.  If a small craft advisory is issued by NOAA, we will reschedule for another day and let anglers know by email and posted on the VSSA page and Facebook.  It is our hope that anglers can make their contribution in the morning, then go out and enjoy a day of fishing on that Saturday.

VSSA Reef Deployment Sign-up Form.


VSSA is pleased to offer our new Artificial Reef Guides.  To purchase just click Buy Now.  Cost is $50 plus $4 shipping. 

This 20 page full color book provides detailed images and highly accurate GPS locations to the

 artificial reefs in Virginia. Each page shows the image scans of the reef itself plus GPS locations in lat/long format so you can go directly to the structure shown in the book. This book is on


ly available in print form. All proceeds for this book will go towards new reef material to enhance the Virginia Artificial Reef Program. This product is sponsored by the Virginia Saltwater Sportfishing Association (VSSA). For more information or to join VSSA go to or

By purchasing this book for $50, you can join VSSA for one year. VSSA membership is currently $25 per year but by purchasing this book you will receive a one- year membership/one year renewal at no additional cost. Current members may renew their membership by purchasing this book as well. To receive your free one- year VSSA membership, just send a copy of your purchase receipt to:


The following reefs are included with detailed scans and waypoint GPS locations:

Asphalt Reef
Back River Reef
Blackfish Banks
Cabbage Patch Reef
Cherrystone Reef
East Oceanview Reef
Nassawadox Reef
Nundua Puncoteague Reef
Newport News Reef
Northern Neck Reef
Occonhannock Reef
Parramore Reef Subway Cars
Tower Reef
Triangle Reef
Wachapreague Reef

Windmill Point Reef






To see static, zoomable images of the book, please click here:  Clickable Images




Additional Digital Reef Demo Videos Here.