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Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902. Photos available.

2015 Delaware Waterfowl and Trout Stamp winners announced
Local artists – a first-timer and a nationally-renowned competitor – win state's contests

Winners of Delaware 2015 trout and waterfowl stamp contests, Bart Gelesh, left, of Wilmington and Richard Clifton of MilfordDOVER (May 8, 2014) – The results are in, and two Delaware artists have won top honors in the state’s sporting stamp art contests. A painting of a native black duck with ducklings by Richard Clifton of Milford will grace the 2015 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp, and a painting of a brook trout by Bart Gelesh of Wilmington will become the face of the 2015 Delaware Trout Stamp.

The paintings won top honors in the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s annual stamp art competition, held April 24 at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village in Dover. This year’s competition drew 18 entries for the 2015 Trout Stamp and 17 entries for the 2015 Waterfowl Stamp. This year’s 35th anniversary Waterfowl Stamp contest specified that artwork chosen for the 2015 stamp must include the iconic black duck with ducklings in a Delaware Bayshore Region habitat as the background. Both the winning waterfowl stamp entries and trout stamp entries can be found on the DNREC website.

As the 2015 Waterfowl Stamp winner, Clifton receives a $2,500 prize and 150 artist’s proofs of the limited edition print series of his first place entry. Clifton, who resides on a historic family farm in the Milford area near Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, is an avid hunter and self-taught wildlife artist who works in acrylics with waterfowl as one of his favorite subjects. He has painted 41 winning duck stamps, including seven Delaware Waterfowl Stamps, the 1996 Australian Duck Stamp and the 2007-2008 Federal Duck Stamp, and has been commissioned to paint South Carolina’s duck stamp for the next two years. His work has appeared on magazine covers, a beer stein for Coors, engraved on shotguns for Ducks Unlimited and other art-related items, and has been displayed at many top wildlife art shows throughout the country, including the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition and the Easton Waterfowl Festival.

As the 2015 Trout Stamp winner, Gelesh receives $250 and retains the rights to reproduce and sell prints of the stamp. Gelesh, a Pennsylvania native who resides in Wilmington, holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in illustration from the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, and favors outdoor subjects for his artworks. A housepainter by trade and an avid angler who especially enjoys trout fishing, Gelesh often chooses to paint fish and has won third place twice in past Delaware Trout Stamp competitions. He is a member of the Oxford Art Alliance in Pennsylvania, and has shown his work there as well as a variety of small galleries and events such as First Fridays. This is his first state trout stamp win.

            Other winners included:

  • 2015 Waterfowl Stamp: Second place – Tim Turenne of Richfield, Minn.; Third place – Daniel Allard of Pataskala, Ohio; Honorable mentions: Gunner Hilliard of Glassboro, N.J.; Rob Kleiber of Erin, N.Y.; and Wes Dewey of Chanute, Kan.

  • 2015 Trout Stamp: Second place: 2014 winner Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind., brown trout; Third place – Rob Stine of Eutawville, S.C., rainbow trout; Honorable mentions: Broderick Crawford of Clayton, Geo., brook trout; Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind., rainbow trout; and Abraham Hunter of Goreville, Ill., rainbow trout.

The winning 2015 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp will be available July 1, 2015, and the winning 2015 Delaware Trout Stamp will be available Jan. 1, 2015.

Waterfowl and Trout Stamp entries are on display through Friday, May 9 at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village, 866 N. DuPont Highway, Dover, just south of Delaware State University. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information about the museum, please call 302-734-1618.

The 2015 Waterfowl Stamp judges were Delaware Ducks Unlimited representative Jay Reynolds, artist Paul Shertz, DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife biologist Matt Dibona, Bayshore coordinator Karen Bennett, and Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish member Steven Kendus.  

The 2015 Trout Stamp judges were National Trout Unlimited member Ed O'Donnell, artist Karin Snoot, Ducks Unlimited representative Jay Reynolds, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife biologist Mike Stangl, and Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish member Steven Kendus.  

DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, began the Delaware Waterfowl Stamp (formerly known as the Delaware Duck Stamp) and print program 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. Waterfowl Stamps go on sale July 1 for $9 and are required, in addition to a general hunting license, when hunting migratory waterfowl in Delaware.

The Division began requiring trout stamps in the 1950s, and a trout stamp and a general fishing license are required to fish in designated trout waters during certain seasons. Trout stamp art was first used in 1977. The fees paid for Trout Stamps are used to purchase rainbow and brown trout from commercial hatcheries, with the purchased trout stocked in two downstate ponds and selected streams in northern New Castle County for Delaware’s trout seasons.

Delaware hunting and fishing licenses, as well as Waterfowl Stamps and Trout Stamps, are sold online, at the licensing office in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find the participating agent nearest you, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware hunting and fishing licenses and stamps, call 302-739-9918.

For more information on Delaware’s sporting stamp art competitions, please call the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife at 739-9911.

Vol. 44, No. 148

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