DOVER — Wildlife art enthusiasts, stamp and print collectors, waterfowl hunters, anglers, birdwatchers and wetland conservationists will gather April 14 at the Dover Public Library for the judging of Delaware’s annual Waterfowl Stamp and Trout Stamp contests.
Following the competition, entries will be on display at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge April 15-29.
Sponsored by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, the annual waterfowl stamp contest draws entries by renowned and emerging artists from across the country. The contest starts at 9:30 a.m.
The winning artwork will be reproduced on a stamp which must be carried by most waterfowl hunters. Waterfowl stamps are also purchased by collectors and other conservation-minded citizens.
This year will mark the 37th anniversary of the contest, which began in 1980 to raise funds for waterfowl conservation, including acquiring and improving wetland habitats vital to the survival of migratory waterfowl. To date, more than $2.6 million has been raised from the purchase of the stamps.
The new Waterfowl Stamp, which will go on sale for the 2017/18 hunting season, will feature artwork that must include a canvasback duck and a Chesapeake Bay retriever.
For the 2017 Trout Stamp contest, artists from across the nation had the opportunity to submit paintings of rainbow, brown or brook trout for consideration. The winning artwork will be reproduced on a stamp that is required for most trout anglers. Some 6,500 trout anglers and stamp collectors support this program annually, generating funds to purchase trout for stocking in six northern New Castle County streams, Tidbury Pond in Kent County and Newton Pond in Sussex County.
Delaware’s 2017/18 Waterfowl Stamp will be selected by five judges to include a Ducks Unlimited designee and a member of the Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish, with the remaining three judges randomly selected by the director of the Division of Fish & Wildlife from a pool of available judges that includes conservationists, biologists and artists. The 2017 Delaware Trout Stamp also will be selected by five judges: a member of the Delaware Trout Association and a member of the Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish, with the remaining three judges also randomly selected by the director of the Division of Fish & Wildlife from a pool including anglers, biologists and artists.
For more information on Delaware’s Waterfowl Stamp and Trout Stamp programs, please contact the Division of Fish & Wildlife at (302) 739-9911, or visit www.fw.delaware.gov.