2018 Spring Species Contest Registration Begins!

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2018 Spring Species Contest Registration Begins!
Contest Instructions
  1. Buy a button by visiting our Paypal page HERE. Be sure to order your button soon, because the contest starts June first and shipping can take awhile if you're in Belgium or Botswana or Iowa or something. You need to buy a button for $10 to compete. ESSENTIALLY, IT COSTS $10 TO ENTER THE CONTEST, AND YOU GET A FREE BUTTON SHIPPED TO YOU. ADDITIONAL BUTTONS FOR THE SAME CONTESTANT ARE $5. IF YOU GET A SHIRT, YOU CAN USE THE SHIRT FOR THE CONTROL ITEM BUT BUTTONS ARE STILL $5 EXTRA.
  2. Register for the contest HERE. Be absolutely sure to select the correct contest from the list! For some reason, the right contest might not be selected by default. You want the 2018 Spring Species Contest (Kids under 15 choose the Kid’s Contest from the dropdown menu).
  3. Wait until June First. That's 6/1/2018. At 12:01 AM, you can start catching fish for the contest! When you catch a species of fish you want to enter, take a full-length photo of the fish with the button (or shirt) in the picture. You can hold the fish or lay it on the ground, but photos holding the fish are encouraged (and you can make it into the weekly collage!). Be sure that it's a good, clear photo that allows the judges to clearly identify the fish. If it can't be identified from the photo, it will be disqualified in final judging. You get one point for each species of fish you enter. Micro-species DO NOT COUNT.
  4. Upload your photos using the Add Contest Entry link on the sidebar to the left on the website. Be sure to select the correct contest to add it to. You must select an appropriate species from the list.
  5. Keep an eye on the competition! At the end of the contest on the last day of June, the contest will close and the entries will be judged and prizes will be awarded.
The overall winner will get a custom built fishing rod!
Additional Rules and Clarification
  • Your fish must be clearly identifiable from the photo. Remember, even if you caught the species in question, you also must take a good enough photograph for the fish to be identified. That's part of the contest. Tiny juvenile specimens are often impossible to conclusively identify from the photo and the judges routinely disqualify tiny juvenile specimens as impossible to identify.
  • The photo is the only evidence that you can submit. This means that geographic information does not apply; even if the black bullhead is the only species of bullhead in your area, the photo must still be good enough to tell that it's a black bullhead. We must assume that the fish could've come from anywhere, because contestants are all over the place and even geocoded photo data can be altered.
  • This is an angling-only contest, and only legal angling methods count. Fish must be hooked on the inside of the mouth. No bowfishing, spearing, snagging, cast-netting, harpooning, noodling, seining, trapping, mudding, trawling, jug-lining, gaffing, electrofishing, rotenoning, snaring, grabbling, branch-buggering, snatching, shooting, dynamiting, trot-lining, or drone-fishing. The only legal method not involving a hook is using rope lures that entange the fish's teeth from the inside of the mouth. That means no wire snares for gar, people. Anyone caught using any prohibited method will be disqualified. Keep it clean and sportsmanlike, folks.
  • This is a freshwater contest. Saltwater fishing is awesome, but there's no way you can have a contest with both, because saltwater would win every time. The oceans of the world are so much more diverse that landlocked anglers would have no way to compete. There are some great saltwater contests out there, I'm sure, but at roughfish.com, we're dealing with freshwater species. The definition of a freshwater species means any species that eithers spawns in freshwater or spends a significant portion of its life in freshwater. Mullet, striped bass, eels, salmon, and other anadramous or catadromous species count as freshwater.
  • The contest counts standard-sized fishes only. Acceptable species are listed HERE. That means micro species like shiners, darters, and madtoms will be deleted immediately. I don't think I really need to explain why this rule must be enforced except to say that I don't want to look at ten thousand pictures of baitfish. In the rare event that you catch a legitimate species that is not on the list, it will be accepted at the judges' discretion provided that it meets the criteria for a standard-sized fish (it can grow to over a pound in size as an adult).
  • Identify your fish before entering it in the contest. We will not have time to correct your identification mistakes, so incorrect entries will be simply deleted. Post pictures of your fish on the forums or submit them as ID requests and they will be identified quickly. You'll get a little bit of leeway at the very end of the contest if you catch a fish you cannot identify just before time expires.
  • Post your entries soon after you catch them. While sandbagging (holding back your entries until the last second) is legal under the strictest interpretation of the rules, it is in bad form and a sudden influx of entries at the last second could crash the server. The contest creates a HUGE amount of web traffic on roughfish.com. Last year I was forced to upgrade to a business-class hosting solution because of the massive amount of web traffic the contest creates, and it would be nice if people didn't wait until the last second. Half of the fun is watching all the cool fish come in during the contest, so be a chum and post your fish within a couple of days of catching them, please.
Am I missing anything? If so, let me know by commenting below.
Kid's Contest
Kids can register for the separate Kid's Contest just as the adults do; direct them to choose the Kid's Contest when they register. We're going to spring for a neat trophy again for the kid who comes out on top.
If you do not receive your button or shirt by June 1st, we will provide a temporary image that you can print out and use until it arrives.