The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) is excited to announce it is accepting entries for the 2023 Texas division of Wildlife Forever’s Fish Art Contest through Feb. 28.
The Fish Art Contest is part of an international conservation education program designed to foster youth interest in fisheries and fishing.
“The Fish Art Contest does a tremendous job of exposing students across Texas to the wonders of fish and fisheries resources through the nexus of art,” said TFFC Director Tom Lang. “We always look forward to this time of year when we are once again amazed by the outstanding work and artistic interpretations of these young Texans.”
Participants must submit a completed entry form and an original illustration of a wild fish found in Texas. Participants in grades 4-12 are also required to submit a one-page creative writing piece. Once the entrance form is submitted, applicants must mail their artwork to the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, 5550 FM 2495, Athens, TX, 75752. Dimensions for the physical artwork must be between 8X10” and 9X12” and postmarked by Feb. 28, 2023.
This program is part of Wildlife Forever’s national contest and Texas winners will be automatically entered into the national contest. Texas students may choose to enter national specialty awards with fish not found in Texas, however, they will not be eligible for Texas state awards due to the one entry per student limit.
“We have a unique opportunity to celebrate the talents of our Texas students and the beauty of our diverse fish found in Texas,” said Kate Barkalow, Education and Interpretation Coordinator. “In doing so, we also recognize the amazing efforts of our teachers and biologists who support them. To complete their piece of art, students research their fish, its habitat and conservation efforts being made to protect the species, forging a connection between the student and fish.”
Educators who wish to have their students enter the 2023 contest can find entry forms, rules, guidelines and more online. A lesson plan 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 process comes full circle on Free Fishing Day at our Fish Tag Friendzy where we invite state finalists, their families, and teachers to celebrate at Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center,” Barkalow added. “Here they will see their fish in person, fish for the first time and learn more about the efforts being made to conserve our freshwater resources. None of which would be possible without the help of our sponsors. We believe that through the Texas Fish Art Contest, a new generation of stewards is created.”
The Fish Art Contest is sponsored by Wildlife Forever, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Rapala, U.S. Forest Service, Bass Pro Shops, Wonders of Wildlife, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, National Fish Habitat Partnership, and Western Native Trout Initiative.
Located in White Bear Lake, 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.
For more information, visit the TFFC Texas State-Fish Art Contest website.