Lakeville artist wins walleye stamp contest

Lakeville artist Stephen Hamrick won the Minnesota Walleye Stamp contest. Judges selected his painting from among 11 entries for the annual contest that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sponsors. 

The 2019 walleye stamp will feature Hamrick’s painting of a walleye swimming at night under a full moon near an angler’s leech-baited hook and slip bobber. Hamrick has won a DNR stamp contest 11 times; he also has won the waterfowl, pheasant, wild turkey, trout and salmon, and walleye stamp contests.

The voluntary walleye stamp validation costs $5 but the DNR does not require anglers to buy it to fish for or keep walleye. For an extra 75 cents, the DNR will mail the pictorial stamp to purchasers. The DNR also sells a pictorial collectable stamp without the validation for $5.75, and sells walleye stamps year-round. Customers can purchase walleye stamps at any time, even if they already have a fishing license.

Judges also selected Stuart Nelson of Cloquet and Josh Evan of Mapleton as finalists in the Oct. 25 contest at DNR headquarters in St. Paul. The DNR offers no prizes for the stamp contest winner, but the winning artist retains the right to reproduce the work.

The DNR uses revenue from stamp sales to purchase walleye for stocking in Minnesota’s lakes. All license vendors still have the 2018 walleye stamp available for purchase. The DNR website at mndnr.gov/stamps has more information about stamps.