Each year the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) partners with Wildlife Forever to conduct the State Fish Art Contest in which students depict a state fish and write a one-page essay to compete for scholarships and other prizes. Entries must be postmarked by March 31, 2013, and mailed to Wildlife Forever, 2700 Freeway Blvd., No. 1000, Brooklyn Center, MN, 55430.

Artists can choose to depict either of Alabama’s state fish: the largemouth bass or the fighting tarpon. Participants can also choose to draw state-fish from other states. In addition to the artwork, all of the artists, except those in grades 1-3, are required to write a one-page essay with facts about the fish, its natural habitat, and the importance of that habitat.















All artwork is judged by Wildlife Forever, which also handles contest details and awards prizes, such as scholarships, art supplies and fishing gear. Art techniques may include oils, scratch-board, pointillism, chalk, pastels, charcoal, colored pencil, acrylics, dry brush, watercolor, crosshatch, lead, collage, linoleum printing, or crayon. Complete contest rules and the entry form can be found on Wildlife Forever’s website at www.wildlifeforever.org/contest/enter.

Previous Alabama winners and their artwork are archived at www.outdooralabama.com, keyword “state fish art.” The winners are announced May 1 of each year. In 2005, the national “Best of Show” was won by an Alabama entry, Connery Carson’s pencil drawing of a bass pursuing a crayfish.

The 2012 winners include:

Grades K-3
1st – Vicki Wang
2nd – Andrew Holmes
3rd – Aron Stainbrook

Grades 4-6
1st- Hannah Fox
2nd – Eric Wang
3rd – Riley Foster

Grades 7-9
1st – Samantha Bell
2nd – Maya Bian
3rd – Rei Zhang

Grades 10-12
1st – Cathy Shen
2nd – Rocio Santacruz
3rd – Stephanie Bissett

Although Wildlife Forever received several entries statewide, each of the 2012 first place winners were from the Barbara Keel Art School in Auburn, Ala.

Wildlife Forever is a non-profit organization working to preserve America’s wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and scientific management of fish and wildlife species. Wildlife Forever has funded conservation projects in all 50 states. To learn more, visit www.wildlifeforever.org.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.

Doug Darr