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W.Va.'s game fish getting their own poster

No one can ever accuse them of being rock stars, but West Virginia's game fish now have their very own poster.

Division of Natural Resources officials expect high demand for the 18-by-24 inch, full-color posters, which are available free at DNR offices and state parks.

"In the past, we'd gotten a lot of requests for a fish poster from individuals, from groups and from schools," said Bret Preston, the DNR's assistant chief in charge of fisheries.

"We decided it was time to put one together."

The individual fish images for the poster had been sitting around in DNR files for years. More than two decades ago, agency officials commissioned North Carolina artist Duane Raver to paint profile pictures of all the state's game fish species. The images have adorned the state's Trophy Fish Citations ever since.

A few years ago, when DNR officials expanded the agency's annual fishing-regulations brochure into a larger, pamphlet-style format, they grouped 27 of the individual images onto the pamphlet's back page to help anglers identify their catches.

"We often thought it would make a good poster someday," Preston said.

The project stayed on the back burner until recently, when DNR employee Karen McClure took the idea and ran with it.

"Karen approached me and [wildlife chief] Curtis Taylor about it, and we thought it was a great idea," Preston said. "Karen worked with the graphic artists at the state Division of Communication [within the state Commerce Department], and they put together this great poster."

The posters are available in two sizes. The 18-by-24 inch version is printed on heavier stock. Because it is too large to easily be mailed, DNR officials decided to make it available at DNR offices and state parks, where it could be stored flat and unfolded.

"We also had an 11-by-17 inch version made, on lighter stock, so that it could be folded in half and mailed in a standard 9-by-12 inch envelope," Preston said. "People who can't get to a DNR office or a state park can have the folded version mailed to them."

The poster is also available online for people who would like to download the image and print it out on their color ink-jet or laser printers.

"Just go to the DNR's website, www.wvdnr.gov, go to the Fishing section, and click on 'Sport Fish Identification Posters. We have an 8 1/2- by 11-inch version and an 11- by 17-inch version, in both high- and low-resolution formats," Preston said.

By making the posters available in multiple sizes and forms, DNR officials hope to distribute them widely throughout the state.

"We think there will be plenty of demand," Preston said. "We'd wanted to do this for quite a while. Now that it's done, we think it's going to be a great outreach tool."

Reach John McCoy at johnmccoy@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.


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