Meet Your New License Plate, Washington Steelheaders

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Washington’s newest license plate has been unveiled, and it features a gorgeous close-up of a steelhead in its spawning colors.

(COURTESY DEREK YOUNG, VIA WDFW)

(COURTESY DEREK YOUNG, VIA WDFW)

Drawn by Michigan artist Derek DeYoung, the plates will be available for sale through the state Department of Licensing starting in January.

“Time to raise some money for our STEELHEAD!! If you live in Washington, you can go to your DMV, and get one of these. Donating art that raises money to protect our rivers… Its something that is near and dear to my heart!” DeYoung wrote on his Facebook page yesterday.

Proceeds will go towards steelhead science. Estimates last year that it could raise up to $200,000 a year for stock assessments, fishery evaluations and studying the interactions of hatchery and wild fish.

The idea of a steelhead plate has been kicked around for awhile inside and outside WDFW, but the timing wasn’t right until summer 2015 when the Fish and Wildlife Commission OKed staffers to pitch the idea at state legislators.

Lawmakers, meanwhile, needed to see there was enough support to cover the costs, but that was quickly answered when more than the required 3,500 potential buyers said they were interested in the plate.

This past session, SB 6200 swam quickly through the Senate and House before being signed into law by Governor Inslee.

And now, the official plate is ready to head up streams everywhere in the state come early 2017!

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