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Press Release

7th Annual State-Fish Art Contest Announced

February 07, 2005

The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division and Wildlife Forever announce the seventh annual State-Fish Art Contest for Alabama students. The nationwide contest encourages young artist to draw and learn about their state fish.  Alabama is unique in that it has two state fish.  Largemouth bass is the Alabama State freshwater fish and the fighting tarpon is the State saltwater fish.

The Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest sparks the imagination of students and provides valuable lessons about fish and the need for conservation of aquatic resources.  To enter, young artists must create a portfolio including an illustration of their state fish, a written composition on its behavior, habitat, and efforts to conserve it, and a completed entry form glued to the back of the artwork. Alabama has two official state fish, so students can choose either the largemouth bass (freshwater) or the fighting tarpon (saltwater). Entries are grouped by grade level: 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.

Entries for the contest must be postmarked by March 31, 2005. All artwork must be 8.5” x 11” and horizontal without a frame, cover sheet, or border. Winners will be announced Earth Day, April 22, 2005.

Winners from respective states will be invited to join Wildlife Forever at the State-Fish Art Expo July 2-3, 2005 at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota where all of the winning artwork will be featured. An awards ceremony will be held on July 2. The winning artwork from each state will be displayed online for one year at www.statefishart.com. The 2004 winners for Alabama were Phillip Estes of Albertville (Grades 4-6), Ashley Anderson of Enterprise (Grades 7-9), and Megan Graves of Hartselle (Grades 10-12).

Contest winners will receive a gift certificate for art supplies from Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff. Artists and their families will also receive free entry to watch a Major League Baseball game between the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Devil Rays on July 3. The artists and their winning artwork will be recognized on the Metrodome playing field in a special pre-game awards ceremony.

For more than 15 years, Wildlife Forever, a national conservation non-profit organization, has been dedicated to preserving America’s wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat, and management of fish and wildlife. Working at the grassroots level, Wildlife Forever has funded projects in all 50 states, committing millions of dollars along the way. Sponsors for the 2005 Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art Contest include the Rapala, Mall of America, the North American Fishing Club, and the Minnesota Twins.

For more information on the contest or to download a State-Fish Art Lesson Plan and entry form, visit the State-Fish Art website at www.statefishart.com or call toll-free at 1-877-FISH-ART.  Information about largemouth bass may be obtained by contacting the Fisheries Section of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources at 334-242-3471.