|Rainbow trout (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
MADISON, Wis. - Trout and salmon have been capturing the imagination of artists since at least the time of early cave paintings in France some 14,000 years ago, scholars say.
Will your fish art make modern history?
In celebration of Wisconsin's world class inland trout waters and productive Great Lakes fisheries, the Department of Natural Resources is inviting entries for an inland trout stamp design contest and a Great Lakes salmon and trout stamp design contest for the 2017 year stamps.
"We're excited to offer these contests as a way of recognizing the importance of trout and salmon in Wisconsin's outdoor heritage and our economy," said Justine Hasz, DNR's fisheries bureau chief. "The contests will create greater awareness of the impact of these fisheries while also creating beautiful and lasting images of the fish."
Artwork for the 2017 inland trout stamp contest and Great Lakes salmon and trout stamp contest must be submitted by July 1, 2016. The concurrent contests are open to those ages 18 and older - youth contests are planned for the 2018 editions.
Subject matter for stamps must feature species of trout and salmon 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.
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 put on display at the 2016 Wisconsin State Fair from Thursday, August 4 through Sunday, Aug. 14.
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 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 1, 2016 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. 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.