Texas State-Fish Art Contest Announces 2016 Winners

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ATHENS—The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, headquarters for the Texas division of Wildlife Forever’s State-Fish Art Contest, has announced the winners for 2016.

In the K-3 category, winners are: First Place, Damarla Vray of Carrollton; Second Place, Angela Cheng of Keller; Third Place, Zach Mitschke of Ennis.

In the grades 4–6 category, winners are: First Place, Rachel Maughan of Keller; Second Place, Grace Meng of Irving; Third Place, Joseph Kim of Carrollton.

In the grades 7–9 category, winners are: First Place, Yiwei Shen of Coppell; Second Place, Stacy Hong of Irving; Third Place, Claire Litsey of Northlake.

In the grades 10–12 category, winners are: First Place, Nasa Xu of Katy; Second Place, Starla Presley of Warren; Third Place, Britteny Akines of Village Mills.

First-place entries advance to the national level and compete against winners from other states. This year Nasa Xu’s Prismacolor-pencil and gel-pen drawing of a largemouth bass won the Seth Thomas Spradlin Best of Show award. Xu is a senior at Cinco Ranch High School in Katy and is a multi-year winner in the Texas State-Fish Art Contest.

One outstanding piece of artwork each year is selected for the Art of Conservation Award, and a commemorative stamp featuring the artwork is produced for sale. Proceeds from sales of the stamp are used to fund conservation projects.

Scholarships for Texas winners are provided by the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. 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.

Additional support for the contest is provided by the William E. Armentrout Foundation and Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.

“Sponsor support for the Texas contest has been a key factor in its success,” said Zoe Ann Stinchcomb, Texas coordinator. “This year the Texas contest had more than 700 entries. In addition to the scholarships, Texas first-, second- and third-place winners also receive quality fishing gear, and each child participating in the Texas contest receives a certificate. None of this could happen without the support of our sponsors.”

Stinchcomb also pointed out that research done on the Texas contest shows that participation in the contest makes students more likely to become interested in fishing. “Getting youth involved in the outdoors is a key goal of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and we applaud our sponsors for helping grow the future generation of stewards of our outdoors,” she said.

Honorable mentions for Texas students in grades K–3 are awarded to: Jiagi Rong of Coppell, Sara Costillo of Southlake, Samantha Berkenbile of Southlake, Neil Desai of Flower Mound, Alisha Naidu of Southlake, Gordan Balic of Argyle and Cora Swinford of Carrollton.

Honorable mentions in grades 4–6 are awarded to: David Kim of Carrollton, Emma Castillo of Southlake, Riya Acharya of Carrollton, Amalia Safia Figueroa-Nieves of Coppell, Amy Li of Coppell, Michelle Huang of Coppell and Ishrita Pol of Carrollton.

Honorable mentions for grades 7–9 are: Angelina Wu of Irving, Claire Chong of Lewisville, Ellory Doyle of Keller, Mohitha Peram of Coppell, Kayleen Kim of Irving, Christa Gorman of Irving and Eleanor Dowell of Irving.

Honorable mentions for grades 10–12 are: Quinn Brashier of Warren, Kealey Yoakum of Village Mills, Bailee Ryalls of Warren, Erica Presley of Warren, MacKenzie Harper of Warren, Amber Hall of Warren and Brooke Tellef of Roanoke.

Educators who wish to have their students enter the 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 non-profit multi-species 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.

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