ATHENS— The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, headquarters for the Texas Division of the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest, announced the top 12 state winners May 31.
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 TFFC chose the 12 winners out of 763 total entries from Texas students.
In the K-3 category, winners are: First Place, Serene Wang of Keller; Second Place, Alanna Sun of Coppell; Third Place, Peiyu Cheng of Keller.
In the grades 4–6 category, winners are: First Place, Oleksandra Yesieva of Lantana; Second Place, Joseph Kim of Carrollton; Third Place, Joshua Krahulec of Keller.
In the grades 7–9 category, winners are: First Place, Nancy Shao of Sugar Land; Second Place, Edward Chen of Missouri City; Third Place, Youngone Lee of Carrollton.
In the grades 10–12 category, winners are: First Place, Madelyn Hornfischer of South Lake; Second Place, Audrey Horn of Keller; Third Place, Isaac March of Grapevine.
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 the Texas Bass Classic Foundation, with additional support for the contest provided by the William E. Armentrout Foundation and Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.
All winners and honorable mentions and their families and teachers will be invited to a free day at TFFC for an awards ceremony and luncheon June 24, where winners will receive their cash prizes and winners and honorable mentions will receive a set of free fishing gear.
First-place entries advanced to the national level and competed against winners from other states. Although none of the Texas entries won a national first place prize, the art will be displayed at the 2017 State-Fish Art EXPO Aug. 11- 13 in Columbia, South Carolina, at the FLW Cup, the World Championship of Bass Fishing. At the EXPO, the first place Texas winners will go up against the rest of the state entries for a 2017 People’s Choice Award, which is voted on by the public online throughout July and in person at the EXPO.
Honorable mentions for Texas students in grades K–3 are: Hyunjeong Roh of Coppell, Lucas Clubb of Southlake, Asher Cone of Manchaca, Clement Wang of Keller, Sophia Liu of Coppell, Isabella Vega of Fort Worth, Emilio Solis of Fort Worth, Jasmine Cai of Coppell and Eunice Jiang of Coppell.
Honorable mentions in grades 4–6 are: Oscar Bulcuvita of Austin, Simona Pastor of Katy, Alice Won of Flower Mound, David Kim of Carrollton, Andrea Susantio of Irving, Tarini Gupta of Irving, Anushree De of Coppell, Ela Guo of Dallas and Haley Jenkins of Grandview.
Honorable mentions for grades 7–9 are: Corbin Carroll of Winnsboro, Katie Thomas of Winnsboro, Caylee Carroll of Winnsboro, Tristen Perry of Winnsboro, McKenna Chung of Southlake, Cady Lambert of Dallas, Kristine Kim of Cedar Park, Emily Yoon of Highland Village, Ainsley Mendenhall of Keller and Angelina Wu of Irving.
Honorable mentions for grades 10–12 are: Eleanor Dowell of Irving, Yifei Gao of Keller, Abigail Martinez of San Benito, Melanie Loredo of Rio Hondo, Adriana Gonzalez Olvera of Rio Hondo, Kayley Jones of Silsbee, Kealey Yoakum of Warren, Starla Presley of Warren and Bailee Ryals of Warren.
Educators who wish to have their students enter the 2018 contest can download the free “State-Fish Art Contest Lesson Plan” at www.statefishart.com. The interdisciplinary curriculum includes lessons and activities, a species identification section profiling each state fish, a glossary and student worksheets. Entries must be postmarked by March 31 each year.
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 the winning artwork online, visit http://tpwd.texas.gov/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/education/fish_art/artwork.phtml.