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Final Weekend For Diamond Jim

Reminder for Anglers who have not yet registered

Annapolis, Md. (September 1, 2011) - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) would like to remind anglers that this is the last weekend to participate in the 2011 Maryland Fishing Challenge. Any angler who catches a citation award fish or specially tagged striped bass will be invited to participate in the Maryland Fishing Challenge Grand Finale event during the Maryland Seafood Festival on September 10 at Sandy Point State Park.

Anglers who catch a qualifying fish before Labor Day must register their catch online in order to gain access to the awards event, and they must be present at the event to win.

Several Anglers will break envelopes to find out if their tagged striped bass is the authentic Diamond Jim worth $25,000, also winning a pair of diamond stud earring courtesy of Zachary’s Jewelers. If no one catches the authentic Diamond Jim- worth $25,000- the money will be split among those who caught the imposters.

To-date five anglers have caught tagged striped bass. The fish caught by David Huffman of Jersey Shore, Pa. has been certified as an imposter. Anglers Justin Kerstetter from Fredericksburg, Va., Nimmo Ciccano of Baltimore, Glenn Gross of Baltimore and Nick Szokoly of Cockeysville, will find out if they have an authentic Diamond Jim at the Finale.

Over the summer, three batches of specially tagged striped bass – one authentic Diamond Jim and the rest imposters – were released into the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The current Diamond Jim is worth $25,000. Also still on the loose are as many as 599 imposters worth $500 each. Zachary’s Jewelers also added to the prize pool, giving away a set of diamond stud earrings valued at approximately $4,000 to the angler who catches the authentic Diamond Jim.

The Maryland Fishing Challenge Citation Award program runs all year long, starting the day after Labor Day and ending the following Labor Day. There are 71 qualifying species in the program. Every angler who catches an award-qualifying fish or a Diamond Jim tagged striped bass and enters the challenge becomes eligible to participate in the grand prize random drawing at the Maryland Fishing Challenge Finale.

This year’s citation prizes include a boat and trailer package from Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats, thousands of dollars in fishing gear and trips from Bill’s Outdoor Center, a tropical vacation from World Fishing Network and merchandise from Under Armour.

Diamond Jim was originally created during a short-lived fishing contest during the 1950s, when a single specially tagged striped bass was worth $25,000 to the lucky angler who caught him. DNR revived this fun family event in 2005 to promote recreational fishing, highlight Maryland’s State fish, recognize angler efforts and inspire natural resources stewardship. To see the complete citation award species list go to dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/challenge/index.asp?p=species.

To be eligible for the contest, all fish must caught recreationally by rod and reel. Complete rules are available online at dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/challenge.

For information on the Maryland Seafood Festival, go to www.MDseafoodfestival.com.

“Catch a fish” is included in the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, issued by Governor Martin O’Malley in April 2009. The Bill is part of the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature, an initiative to ensure all Maryland young people have the opportunity to connect with their natural world and grow to become informed and responsible stewards.

Anglers under age 16 who take part in any of the 50 fishing rodeos across the State and win their event are invited to the finale and guaranteed a “fishing trip of a lifetime,” sponsored by supporting Fishing Challenge partners and sponsors.

Note to anglers: If you catch a tagged fish, do not remove the tag. Put the fish in your freezer and call the number printed on the tag. A DNR representative will follow up to examine and certify the tag. The Diamond Jim component of this year’s challenge ends at midnight on September 5.


   September 1, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly a half-million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov