June’s Diamond Jim Still On The Loose

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June’s Diamond Jim Still On The Loose  - CLICK Image For Larger PhotoANNAPOLIS, MD — Anglers in Maryland have just 8 days left to catch June’s Diamond Jim rockfish as part of the 2008 Maryland Fishing Challenge. The lucky angler who catches the genuine June Diamond Jim, a chartreuse-tagged rockfish, in the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries from now until midnight on June 30 will receive $10,000 in cash from Boater’s World and a $5,000 diamond from Smyth Jewelers. Twenty Diamond Jim imposters, also tagged with bright green tags, are worth $500 each in Boater’s World store credit upon their capture.

“Summer is a great time for anglers of all ages to explore our waterways and take advantage of fishing opportunities in every corner of the State,” said Tom O’Connell, Maryland Fisheries Service Director. “Now that school is out, we hope that parents and guardians consider taking their kids fishing. Our annual fishing challenge provides folks of all ages with an undeniable excuse to enjoy the outdoors together.”

Anglers seeking other fish species may also enter the 2008 Maryland Fishing Challenge by catching a citation award qualifying fish and registering it at one of the designated citation centers in the state or by completing a catch and release form. More than 60 species of fish are eligible for the grand prizes in the summer-long contest that runs through September 1.

All entrants are eligible to win one of several grand prizes including, including a 2008 Toyota Tundra 4×4 pickup truck from Central Atlantic Toyota, a boat and trailer from Bass Pro Shops, and $5,000 in fishing gear from Bill’s Outdoor Center. For more information about the contest and complete rules, visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/fishingchallenge.

To help ensure that all Maryland children have an opportunity to experience and connect with nature, Governor O’Malley recently signed an Executive Order establishing the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature. This coalition of state, local, private and non-profit partners is charged with promoting the well-being of youth by accelerating environmental learning, connecting communities to parks and public lands and expanding opportunities for structured and unstructured outdoor time in nature for both play and learning.