DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife this week invited wildlife art enthusiasts, stamp and print collectors, waterfowl hunters, birdwatchers, wetland conservationists, working retriever fans and anglers to gather at 9 a.m. on Thursday, April 4, for the judging of Delaware’s annual Waterfowl Stamp and Trout Stamp contests, which will be held at the Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. Following the competition, entries will be on display at DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building from April 15 to 26.
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 winning artwork will be reproduced on a stamp that must be carried by most waterfowl hunters. Waterfowl stamps are also purchased by collectors and other conservation-minded citizens.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Delaware Waterfowl Stamp contest, which began in 1980 to raise funds for waterfowl conservation, including acquiring and improving wetland habitats considered vital to the survival of migratory waterfowl. To date, more than $3 million has been raised from the purchase of Delaware Waterfowl Stamps. The new Waterfowl Stamp, which will go on sale for the 2020/2021 hunting season, will feature artwork that must include an American wigeon and chocolate Labrador retriever.
For the 2020 Trout Stamp contest, artists from across the nation submitted 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 the program annually, generating funds to purchase trout for stocking in seven northern New Castle County streams, Tidbury Pond in Kent County and Newton Pond in Sussex County.
Delaware’s 2020/2021 Waterfowl Stamp will be selected by a panel of five judges, including a Ducks Unlimited designee and a member of the state’s Advisory Council on Wildlife & Freshwater Fish, with the remaining three judges randomly selected by the director of the Division of Fish & Wildlife from a judging pool that includes conservationists, biologists and artists.
The 2020 Delaware Trout Stamp will be selected by five judges, including a member of the Delaware Trout Association and a member of the Advisory Council on Wildlife & Freshwater Fish, with the remaining three judges randomly selected by the director of the Division of Fish & Wildlife from a pool that includes anglers, biologists and artists.
For more information on Delaware’s Waterfowl Stamp and Trout Stamp programs, contact the Division of Fish & Wildlife at (302) 739-9918 or visit http://de.gov/waterfowlstamp or http://de.gov/troutstamp.