|Press Releases | Search DNR | DNR Home|
“Diamond Jim” Imposter Exposed!
“Diamond Jim” Rockfish Valued at $20,000 Still Loose in the Chesapeake Bay
BALTIMORE – On Tuesday, July 3, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) revealed that the two striped bass caught in June as part of 2007 Maryland Fishing Challenge were “Diamond Jim” imposters. The two anglers who caught the specially tagged striped bass both received a $500 gift certificate from Boaters World and are also eligible to win one of the challenge’s grand prizes.
With the assistance of the two lucky anglers and representatives from Boaters World and Smyth Jewelers, DNR biologists released the second batch of “Diamond Jim” fish today. Since neither of the two “Diamond Jims” caught in June were genuine, the cash prize for an authentic “Diamond Jim” caught during July increases from $10,000 to $20,000.
“With 40 specially tagged “Diamond Jim” stripers now swimming in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, we encourage people to take advantage of Maryland’s free fishing day this Fourth of July,” said DNR Secretary John R. Griffin. July Fourth is the last designated free fishing day this year in Maryland.
On Saturday, June 16, Rob Johnson of Preston was the first to catch one of 21 specially tagged “Diamond Jim” striped bass initially released by DNR into the Chesapeake Bay at the kick-off of the 2007 Maryland Fishing Challenge. Johnson was aboard a private boat trolling an umbrella rig trimmed out with storm lures and 10 ounces of weight along the 40-foot contour line, just west of the Sharps Island Light, when he caught the 20-inch striped bass. “One of my favorite things to do is go fishing in the Bay with my son,” said Johnson. “I will certainly put the Boater’s World gift certificate to good use.”
On Sunday, June 24, while fishing with her brother aboard their private skiff under the Hooperville Bridge, 15-year-old Trish Hayden of Fishing Creek caught the second potential “Diamond Jim”, a 20.5-inch striper (rockfish). “I was excited to catch one of the tagged fish,” said Hayden, who still hopes to win one of the grand prizes, as she will be getting her driver’s license later this summer.
The 2007 Maryland Fishing Challenge began Thursday, June 14 and runs through Labor Day, September 3. Rather than tagging a multitude of fish this year, any angler who catches a citation award qualifying fish (60 species eligible statewide) will be eligible to win one of the official sponsor grand prizes. To date, 16 anglers have qualified to win the two grand prizes, which include a Toyota Tundra 4x4 pickup truck from Central Atlantic Toyota and a 591 Nitro with a 115 HP Mercury engine and a trailer donated by Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats. The 2007 Maryland Fishing Challenge is designed to promote recreational fishing in Maryland, recognize angler efforts, and inspire environmental stewardship.
Photos from today’s 2007 Maryland Fish Challenge event are available online at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/photos/2007_fish_challenge/event_photos.html
For more information about the prizes, rules, and where to fish, visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/fishingchallenge.
July 3, 2007
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 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 12 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.