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July 8, 2004

Contact: Elaine Makatura
(609) 292-2994


(04/81) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced that the winner of New Jersey's first Young Artist Trout Stamp Contest is a Passaic County student who penciled a colorful representation of a trout leaping out of the water to catch a fly.

Ognjen Topic, 18, of Pompton Plains, will see his artwork published on more than 70,000 official New Jersey trout stamps for the 2005 freshwater-fishing season. Topic is majoring in advertising and design at the Passaic County Technical Institute's School of Communications Arts, and plans to attend college to study both fine art and commercial art.

"We are proud to play a role in fostering the creativity of young artists while we promote the Garden State's great recreational fishing opportunities," Campbell said. "I would like to congratulate Ognjen and thank all the talented young artists who participated in this contest."

Chosen from more than 300 entries, Topic's drawing features the breaching trout framed by a swirling sky in shades of blue and green and a rocky riverbed. The artwork will appear on New Jersey's 2005 trout stamp, a required purchase for trout anglers between the ages of 16 and 69. Proceeds from stamp sales fund New Jersey's trout-stocking program.

Topic also won $1,000, donated by Trout Unlimited and the Partnership for Youth and Conservation, which joined DEP as contest co-sponsors. Representatives from the three organizations and the wildlife art community judged entries. Selection of the winning entry was based upon originality, execution and relevance to New Jersey trout fishing.

To view the winning stamp, go to:




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