Anglers Don’t Buy Artistic License

Last November, when the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced the winning design for the state’s third “critical habitat” vehicle license plate--this one featuring the image of a fish--anglers accused the state agency of genetic engineering. Oldmnplate

The piscatorial painting depicted a fish leaping—quite basslike--from blue water into a beautiful Minnesota sunset. At first glance it appears to be the favorite species of Northern filet knives, the walleye. Then, upon close scrutiny, pectoral fins and other irregularities point to more unusual genetics.

“Was it a bass-eye?” bewildered Minnesotans queried.

It appears northwoods walleye and bass aficionados made sufficient noise to send the DNR back to the drawing board—well, at least back to the artist’s drawing board.Newmnplate

“We talked to the artist, Sam Melquist, and he was willing to revise it,” DNR spokesman C.B. Bylander told Doug Smith of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune this week. “He provided us with a largemouth bass, and we think that’s great.”

The intent of the original design was to be “artistic and inspirational,” says the DNR.

I’m with the anglers. To hell with artistic, give me accurate. If you’re gonna paint a fish, do it right.