MADISON - Students in grades 9 through 12 who have artistic talent or just really like to fish, will want to check out the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources inland trout stamp and Great Lakes salmon and trout stamp design contests for the 2018 year stamps.
The 2018 stamp year contests aim to get a new generation hooked on Wisconsin's world-class fishing traditions while highlighting fisheries management efforts that will benefit anglers for years to come.
"High school students in every part of our state have access to exceptional inland trout or Great Lakes salmon and trout fishing opportunities, so we're hoping to get submissions from throughout Wisconsin," said Justine Hasz, DNR's fisheries bureau chief. "We think the work of these young artists will capture the true excitement of fishing and provide all of us with a fresh perspective on the natural beauty of our trout and salmon."
Artwork for the 2018 inland trout stamp contest and Great Lakes salmon and trout stamp contest must be received or postmarked by July 3, 2017. Students enrolled in grades 9 through 12 or the equivalent, attending public, homeschool, private or parochial schools in Wisconsin during the 2016-2017 school are eligible. Students can submit only one entry per contest, but may enter both the inland and Great Lakes contests.
Subject matter for the stamps must feature living species of salmon or trout commonly found in Wisconsin's waters or appropriate subject matter relating to trout and salmon fishing. Artists are not limited in their choice of colors or medium, but the medium selected must be of permanent quality such as pen and ink, oil, watercolor etching or pencil.
In creating their works, artists are reminded to leave some open space in their design to accommodate Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources lettering, which will appear on the finished stamp. Artists should not create their own lettering but should leave open areas in consistent light or dark tones to accommodate text. A parent's signature is required for each submission and a teacher's signature is optional.
Once the artwork has been submitted, DNR will create an online gallery and open the voting through the Web and Facebook in July. The top 10 entries from the online voting will then move to a final round of judging by a panel of three to five judges with expertise and interest in trout, salmon and wildlife art.
The top three entries will be ranked and may be displayed at various DNR sponsored events as well as the department's website and promotional materials.
DNR's fisheries program first conducted the inland trout stamp contest in 1978 and the Great Lakes trout and salmon stamp contest in 1982. More than 70 artists participated in the early years of the contests and Hasz said the fisheries program decided to launch the contests again in 2016 to capture a new generation of creative talent.
Artists are urged to read all contest rules and submission requirements carefully. To learn more, visit DNR.wi.gov and search "Trout Stamp Contest." Entries will be accepted starting immediately and must be delivered or postmarked by July 3, 2017 and sent to the Wisconsin Great Lakes Salmon and Trout Stamp Contest or the Wisconsin Inland Trout Stamp Contest, Attn: Trout Coordinator, Wisconsin DNR (FH/4), Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921. Questions may be directed to Joanna Griffin, DNR trout coordinator at Joanna.Griffin@Wisconsin.gov or 608-264-8953.
In addition to purchasing a state fishing license, anglers who wish to pursue trout and salmon must purchase an inland trout stamp or a Great Lakes salmon and trout stamp depending on the waters they intend to fish. Visit GoWild.Wi.Gov for information or to purchase needed licenses and stamps. Revenue from the stamp sales is used for restoring and maintaining habitat and in the case of the Great Lakes stamp, for stocking and rearing trout and salmon. The new license year begins April 1.