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TPWD News,, 512-389-8030

Oct. 10, 2008

State-Fish Art Contest Calls for Entries

ATHENS, Texas-Texas students in grades 4 through 12 are invited to enter the eleventh annual Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest. Deadline for entries is March 31, 2009.

Contestants must create an illustration of an officially recognized state fish and write a one-page composition about its behavior, habitat and conservation. One Texas winner will be selected from each of three grade levels: 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. Those winners will then compete at the national level for best of show and art of conservation stamp honors.

The Toyota Texas Bass Classic Foundation will provide funding for prizes for Texas winners and for travel expenses for Texas winners and their chaperones to the national expo at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in July 2009.

Texas entries are judged at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. For details on the contest and how to enter, visit the State-Fish Art Contest page on the TFFC web site.

Texas contest coordinator Zoe Ann Stinchcomb offers these tips to students and teachers interested in the contest.

"If possible, visit an aquarium or a state or national fish hatchery to observe live fish and their behaviors," she said. "People who work at these facilities are good sources of information. You can also find information on the Internet."

Stinchcomb pointed out that past winners in the Texas contest have come from small towns and big cities and have included home-schooled students as well as private and public school students.

"One of the common characteristics shared by many of the winners has been having a teacher or parent who encouraged the student and took the time to help them plan a course of study of the fish leading up to the preparation of the final work," she said. "No prior knowledge of fish is needed. The Wildlife Forever Web site has a free downloadable lesson plan."

"Especially with students in the lower grades, their artistic skills are just beginning to develop," Stinchcomb added. "The State-Fish Art Contest is an ideal way for these students to discover what they are capable of by competing at statewide and national levels. The quality of the entries we receive is really amazing, and we are proud of the way Texas has been represented in past years."

The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is a facility of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department that incorporates a visitor center, educational programming and a production fish hatchery. It is located 75 miles southeast of Dallas and is open Tuesday through Sunday. For more information call (903) 676-2277 or visit the web site.

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LH 2008-10-10

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