The Alaska Forest Service is fishing for entries in a state fish art contest.

“We are just thrilled to see such a diverse art assortment of art coming into our offices in Juneau. Our employees are going to be engaged as judges. This is something really fun for us.”

Bobbie Jo Skibo is US Forest Service regional partnership coordinator in Alaska and new state host of the fish art competition, a project of the conservation charity Wildlife Forever.

Its Fish On! program uses art as a springboard into the world of fish and their waters. Education director Julia Luger says art entries have come from more than 16 countries –

There’s a lot of young people who consider themselves artists but not outdoors people. Using this fish art contest we can reach new young people to encourage them to become stewards of the outdoors. They can be engaged in whatever way they want.”   

The state fish art contest is open to kids from kindergarten through grade 12 and can include any Alaska fish.

For a new Alaska Fish Heritage category, Chinook salmon should be the star.

“Here in Alaska Chinook is our state fish, that’s something a lot of people don’t even know so it’s kinda fun for people to have that fact.   The Forest Service is proud of the Chinook salmon we grow  – we manage headwaters down to the sea and we want to make sure we promote the conservation and stewardship for that resource. There’s so many benefits to so many people that we really wanted to put forward a fish heritage award to celebrate that here in Alaska.”  

King salmon by Camryn McKay,   Gr. 4                      2019 AK Fish Heritage winner

 

Young artists also can enter an international competition called the  Fish Migration Award .

All told the fish art contests aim to build the next generation of good stewards.  The Forest Service’s Skibo says the state fish art challenge helps bring conservation messages into the classroom

 “We do land management and policy and there’s a lot of things going on but I’ll tell you what, it’s connecting to our constituent, the youth, the people in our communities and this is a really unique way for us to be able to do that.”

Winning artwork gets widely displayed at and artists get various prizes from the Guy Harvey Foundation and Bass Pro Shops, the title sponsor.

Deadline to enter the fish art contests is April 30. Find entry forms and information at www.wildlifeforever.org

Alaskan artists should send their entries to:

US Forest Service/Alaska Regional Office ATTN: Bobbie Jo Skibo
PO Box 21628
709 W. 9th Street
Juneau, AK 99802

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