ATHENS – The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) is pleased to announce the Texas division of Wildlife Forever’s Fish Art Contest winners for 2022.
The Fish Art Contest is part of an international conservation education program designed to foster youth interest in fish, fisheries and fishing. The program encourages K-12 students to submit original artwork of any fish and an essay or poem (grades 4-12) about the participant’s fish entry, its habitat or efforts to conserve it.
“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 Tom Lang, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center Director. “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.”
This year, judges at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center chose the top 12 out of 243 total entries. These top 12 works of art will be featured at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and in the 2023 Texas Fish Art Calendar.
In the K-3 category the winners were: First Place, Jackson White of Hawkins; Second Place Ethan Luo of Coppell; Third Place, Aarya Doddapaneni of Dallas.
In the grades 4-6 category, the winners were: First Place, Emma Adams of Keller; Second Place, Seha Jeong of Lewisville; Third Place, Rohan Velma of Irving.
In the grades 7-9 category, the winners were: First Place, Judy Yang of Houston; Second Place, Claire Liu of Coppell; Third Place, Saanvi Mhatre of Houston.
In the grades 10-12 category, the winners were: First Place, Diya Hegde of Irving; Second Place, Alice Won of Flower Mound; Third Place, Cindy Wang of Dallas.
First-place winners in each of the four age groups advance to the national level and compete against winners from other states.
Scholarships for the first, second and third place Texas winners are provided by the 2020 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest. 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, $100 for third. In the K—3 division awards are $100 for first, $75 for second, $50 for third.
Scholarships for Texas winners are supplemented with additional support provided by the William E. Armentrout Foundation and Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.
“We have a unique opportunity to celebrate the talents of our Texas students, our beautifully diverse fish species and the hard work of our biologists who protect these resources,” Kate Barkalow, Education and Interpretation Coordinator said. “At the conclusion of our Fish Art Contest, the TFFC hosts a celebration for our state finalists, their teachers and families on Free Fishing Day. Here they get to see their work on display, learn more about our aquatic resources, what it takes to conserve them and go fishing, some for the first time! 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.”
Honorable mentions in grades K-3 were awarded to: Alice Bond of Lucas; Lisa Yibin Hwang of Garland; Daniel Kang of Flower Mound; Aaron Kim of Allen; Alexandria Liu of Coppell; Chelsea He of Sugar Land; Nathan Lee of Lewisville and Nuriya Ashari Mufti of Dallas.
Honorable mentions in grades 4-6 were awarded to: Laina Sidlik of Plano; Marc Kader of The Colony; Junhee Kim of Flower Mound; Chloe Lee of Flower Mound; Justin Luo of Coppell; and Claire Kim Pranivong of Coppell.
Honorable mentions in grades 7-9 were awarded to: Aarush Gotur of Dallas; Arim Jun of Carrolton; Shreya Basak of Irving; Jaini Parekh of Southlake; Neil Rao of Irving; Jiaqi Rong of Coppell; Avani Vankireddy of Irving; Jason Chen of Mont Belvieu; and Delayla Nguyen of Houston.
Honorable mentions for grades 10-12 were awarded to: Donna Xue of Houston; Sofiya Borodina of Keller; Derrek Yu of Katy; Minhui Liao of Sugarland; Mariia Kharchenko of Flower Mound; Sofiya Berzhanskaya of Highland Village; Michelle Huang of Coppell; and Ashley Stratton of San Antonio.
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 Fish Art Contest is a project of Wildlife Forever. 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.