Results from the 2016 Minnesota Walleye Stamp contest are in, and an inspiring rendering of a lively walleye throwing the lure and about to escape the landing net has earned top honors.

Created by Hugo, Minnesota, artist Nicholas Markell, the design will be featured on the state’s 2016 walleye stamp.

Walleye stamps are not mandatory, however they do raise funds to help walleye stocking efforts in Minnesota lakes. The voluntary stamp validation costs $5, but is not required to fish for or keep Gopher State ’eyes. For an extra 75 cents, you can have a collectible version of the stamp mailed to you without the validation.

The walleye stamp contest is sponsored by the state Department of Natural Resources, and while the winning artist receives no prizes, he or she retains the right to reproduce the work. It was Markell’s second walleye stamp victory, having won the 2013 contest.

Speaking of walleye stocking, hats off to Upper Michigan’s Bay de Noc Great Lakes Sport Fishermen club, which partnered with the local convention and visitor’s bureau to purchase more than 3,500 yearling walleyes, which were released into the legendary system this fall.

Measuring 7 to 9 inches long, the young walleyes cost $8,000 and are predicted to have better than an 85 percent survival rate, which is expected to help boost the bay’s fishery for years to come.

If you’re hoping to catch a few marble-eyed beauties of your own yet this fall, opportunities abound around Lindy Land.

Hardy anglers are catching fat Lake Erie walleyes by casting from harbor walls at night in Huron, Ohio, jigging up good numbers of fish outside Zippel Bay on Lake of the Woods, and enjoying similar success on countless fisheries scattered across the Walleye Belt.