Wildlife art enthusiasts, stamp and print collectors, waterfowl hunters, anglers, birdwatchers and wetland conservationists will gather at 9 a.m., Thursday, April 24, at the Delaware Agriculture Museum and Village in Dover for the judging of Delaware’s annual Waterfowl Stamp and Trout Stamp contests. Entries will be on display at the museum through Friday, May 9.
Sponsored by the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife in partnership with Delaware Ducks Unlimited, the annual waterfowl stamp competition draws entries by renowned and emerging artists from across the country. 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.
Delaware’s 2015 Waterfowl Stamp will mark the 35th anniversary of the contest, which began in 1980 to raise funds for waterfowl conservation, including acquiring and improving the wetland habitats that are vital for the survival of migratory waterfowl. To date, more than $2.5 million has been raised from the purchase of Delaware Waterfowl Stamps. The artwork chosen for the 2015 stamp must include the native black duck with ducklings in a Delaware Bayshore Region habitat as the background. A limited number of prints sold will be signed by the governor.
For the trout stamp contest, artists from across the nation had the opportunity to submit paintings of rainbow, brown or brook trout for consideration in the 2015 Delaware Trout Stamp competition. 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.
Five judges will select the 2015 Waterfowl Stamp. Judges will include the current Ducks Unlimited chairman or designee and a member of the Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish, with the remaining three judges randomly selected by the director of Fish & Wildlife from a pool of available judges that includes conservationists, biologists and artists. The 2015 Trout Stamp will be selected by five judges: the current Ducks Unlimited chairman or designee, a member of Trout Unlimited, a member of the Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish, and a randomly selected biologist and artist.
For more information on Delaware’s Waterfowl Stamp and Trout Stamp programs, contact the Division of Fish and Wildlife at 302-739-9911, or go to www.fw.delaware.gov.