First-time winners take trout and walleye stamp contests

August 8, 2019

First-time winners took top honors at two habitat stamp contests that determined the artwork for the 2020 versions of the Minnesota trout and salmon stamp, and the walleye stamp. 

Melissa Mickelson won the trout and salmon stamp contest with a painting of a rainbow trout

Minneapolis artist Melissa Mickelson won the trout and salmon stamp contest with a painting of a rainbow trout eating a minnow. Mickelson is not only a first-time winner, but becomes the first female to win the contest since 1990 and only the second in the history of the stamp.

Judges on Aug. 1 selected Mickelson’s painting from among 12 submissions. Tie runners-up were Stephen Hamrick of Lakeville and John Barnard of Moose Lake.

2020 Walleye Stamp Competition. First Place: Josh Evan

In the walleye stamp contest that happened the same day, Mapleton artist Josh Evan won for the first time with a painting of walleye about to bite on a hook baited with a minnow.

Judges selected the painting from among nine submissions. The runner-up in this year’s contest was none other than Mickelson, who won this year’s trout and salmon stamp contest.

Purchasing a walleye stamp is voluntary, and the DNR uses revenue from walleye stamp sales to purchase walleye for stocking in Minnesota’s lakes. Customers can buy walleye stamps any time, even if they already have a license.

The trout and salmon stamp validation is sold for $10 along with fishing licenses and is required for Minnesota residents age 18 to 64 and non-residents older than age 18 and under age 65 to fish designated trout streams, trout lakes and Lake Superior and when in possession of trout or salmon. For an extra 75 cents, purchasers can receive the validation as well as the pictorial stamp in the mail. It also is sold as a collectible.

Revenue from trout and salmon stamp sales is dedicated to trout and salmon management and habitat work. Visit for more information about habitat stamps and contest guidelines.