ATHENS — The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center has announced the Texas division of Wildlife Forever’s State-Fish Art Contest winners for 2019.
The State-Fish Art Contest is part of a conservation education program designed to interest youth in fishing by encouraging K-12 students to submit original artwork of any officially designated state fish and an essay or poem about the participant’s fish entry, its habitat or efforts to conserve it. This year, judges at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center chose the top 12 out of 444 total entries from Texas students.
Scholarships in the grades 10–12 division are $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place and $500 for third place. Awards in the 4–6 and 7–9 grade levels are $200 for first, $150 for second and $100 for third. In the K–3 division awards are $100 for first, $75 for second and $50 for third. Scholarships for Texas winners are provided by funds raised through Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, with additional support for the contest provided by the William E. Armentrout Foundation and Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.
First-place entries advanced to the national level and compete against winners from other states. Although none of the Texas entries won a national first place prize, the first place Texas winners will go up against the rest of the state entries for a 2019 People’s Choice Award, which is voted on during the State-Fish Art Expo being held August 9-11, 2019 at the Hot Springs Convention Center in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Other highlights of the expo include the State-Fish Art “Wall of Fame” display showcasing all 50 states 1st place winning students artwork in the four grade categories.
Honorable mentions for Texas students in grades K–3 are: Neeharika Bharatham of Lewisville, Ellie Kim of Flower Mound, Yuna Kim of Allen, Santiago Lesczynski of Dallas, Justin Luo of Coppell, Elizabeth Osadchiy of Allen and Gracie Whisneant of Silsbee.
Honorable mentions in grades 4–6 are: Shreya Basak of Irving, Morgan Goodman of Grapevine, Kelly Hwang of Frisco, Jonah Kim of Flower Mound, Sophia Liu of Coppell, Alivia Shang of Coppell and Alanna Sun of Coppell.
Honorable mentions for grades 7–9 are: Elise Akin of Irving, Ela Guo of Dallas, Diya Hegde of Irving, Shrada Iyer of Coppell, Olivia Park of Dallas, Alice Won of Flower Mound and Ashley Zhang of Coppell.
Honorable mentions for grades 10–12 are: Gavin Hardy of Warren, Stacy Hong of Irving, Neha Lalani of Coppell, Katrian Mahon of Silsbee, Ivina Sakharova of Fort Worth, Yue Taira of Irving and Sophia Zhukova of Frisco.
All winners and honorable mentions and their families and teachers are invited to a free day at TFFC for an awards ceremony and luncheon June 22, where winners including honorable mentions will receive their certificate and free fishing gear.
Educators who wish to have their students enter the 2020 contest can find entry forms, rules and guidelines and more online. A lesson plan can also be found that offers interdisciplinary curriculum including lessons and activities, a species identification section profiling each state fish, a glossary and student worksheets. Learn more at www.wildlifeforever.org.
The State-Fish Art Contest is a project of Wildlife Forever. Located in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Wildlife Forever is a nonprofit multispecies conservation organization dedicated to conserving America’s wildlife heritage. Working at the grassroots level, Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states, committing millions of dollars to “on-the-ground” efforts. Wildlife Forever supports habitat restoration and enhancement, land acquisition, research and management of fish and wildlife populations.
To view or download high resolution images of the winning artwork, visit the TPWD Flickr page at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmDSadtF.