Three Texas Students Garner National Fish Art Contest Honors

Media Contact: TPWD News Business Hours, 512-389-8030

News Image Share on Facebook Share Release URL

Note: This item is more than a month old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. – Three Texas students were recently honored with awards in Wildlife Forever’s National Fish Art Contest.

Mia Macias of Pasadena, Caroline Sullivan of Spring and Luke Zhang of Katy each placed first in the Texas division and showcased their artwork on the national stage.

Macias’ painting of a black crappie not only earned a first-place national award in the 10-12 grade category, but was also selected as the Best of Show Award winner. Sullivan’s red snapper painting finished second nationally in the 7-9 grade category and Zhang’s rainbow trout painting also garnered second place in the 4-6 grade category.

“We’re amazed each year by the beautiful artwork these young Texans produce,” said Tom Lang, Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) Director. “Their connection to the fisheries resources is evident by their quality of work, meticulous attention to detail, and also through the creative writing piece about their chosen Texas fish species. We are very excited that these students are being recognized at such a high level.”

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.

First place winners in each of the four age groups in the Texas Division contest,  (TFFC), advanced to the national level and compete against winners from other states.

Scholarships for the first, second and third place Texas winners are awarded as follows: grades 10–12 division scholarships 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 by the William E. Armentrout Foundation and Friends of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.

At the conclusion of the contest, the TFFC hosts a celebration for the state finalists, their teachers and families on Free Fishing Day. Due to facility renovations, the celebration will be held at the Tyler Nature Center this year.

Earlier this year, judges at TFFC chose the top 12 out of 1,504 total entries. These 12 works of art and four of the honorable mentions will be featured at TFFC and in the 2024-2025 Texas Fish Art Calendar.

“While we love celebrating the fine creations of the top 12 entries and honorable mentions, the best thing about the Texas Fish Art Contest is knowing that each of these students are more educated about and personally connected to the fisheries resources of Texas,” said Lang. “It is our sincere hope that the great work of these students serves to inspire more teachers and students to connect to a Texas fish and participate in the program in 2025.”

Educators who wish to have their students enter the 2025 contest can find entry forms, rules, guidelines and more. 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

The Fish Art Contest is a project of Wildlife Forever. Located in White Bear Lake, Minn., 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.

Each of the national award winners can be viewed on Wildlife Forever’s 2024 Fish Art Winners website.