Winners Announced-Georgia Fish Art Contest

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Perry, GA (May 13, 2021) — The Georgia Department of Natural Resources,  Wildlife Forever, and Title Sponsor Bass Pro Shops are proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Georgia Fish Art Contest.  The Wildlife Forever Art of Conservation® Fish Art Contest™ introduces youth to the world of fish, fishing and aquatic conservation by blending art, science and writing.

The Georgia Fish Art Contest is an incredible way to inspire the next generation of conservation stewards. This program connects young people to the outdoors and highlights the incredible natural resources our state has to offer,” said Marion Baker, Georgia Fish Art Coordinator.

“Art helps to build the foundation for youth development. Through the Fish Art Program, young people learn the value of our natural resources and their role in protecting it. The artwork this year was incredible, showcasing world-class talent and future conservation leaders,” said Pat Conzemius, President and CEO of Wildlife Forever.

The top Georgia winners are:


GRADES 10-12
First Place: Shirley Huang (Duluth, GA), Dorado

Second Place: Emily Rose Ross (Marietta, GA), Red Drum

Third Place: Katie Gilk (Marietta, GA), Humuhumunukunukuapua’a

First Place: Grace Manning (Duluth, GA), Dorado

Second Place: Elizabeth Tian (Alpharetta, GA), Longear Sunfish

Third Place: Jennifer He (Marietta, GA), West Virginia Golden Brook Trout

First Place: Alexandra Huynh (Atlanta, GA), Arctic Char

Second Place: Linqi Ding (Duluth, GA), Longear Sunfish

Third Place: Amber Huang (Duluth, GA), Brown Trout

First Place: David Jeong (Suwanee, GA), Westslope Cutthroat Trout

Second Place: Ava Erninty (Acworth, GA), Arctic Grayling

Third Place: Nina Lee (Duluth, GA), Rainbow Trout

Kindergarten – Third Grade: Eileen Chou (Lilburn, GA), Channel Catfish

Fourth – Sixth Grade: Daniel Chen (Snellville, GA), Brook Trout

Seventh – Ninth Grade: Aara Ahn (Marietta, GA), Walleye

Tenth – Twelfth Grade: Aurelie Zerry (Marietta, GA), Atlantic Sailfish

In April, a distinguished panel of judges helped to select the state, national, and international winners. Along with state honors, students also competed for several unique award categories including the Guy Harvey AwardMigratory Fish Award, Invader Crusader Award, and Western Native Trout Award. Participants also submitted essays eligible for state awards and the Fish Habitat Writing Award


“Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium are proud to support the Art of Conservation Fish Art Program. Together with Wildlife Forever, we’re building the foundation for conservation,” said Misty Mitchell, Director of Conservation Programs at the Johnny Morris Foundation.


All of the 2021 National and International winners can be found at Digital images in low and high resolution are available upon request.


Artwork by Georgia Artists on Display: Artwork from Georgia winners will be on display at the Go Fish Education Center ( in Perry, Georgia for one year.

About the Go Fish Georgia Award: This award was created to celebrate fish species that can be found in the state of Georgia which are sought by anglers. Only artwork depicting one or more of the qualifying fish species can compete for this award. The winning artwork is chosen based on how well the judges feel it represents the fish and/or fishing in Georgia.

About the Fish Art Contest: The award-winning Wildlife Forever Fish Art™ Contest, with support from Title Sponsor Bass Pro Shops, the USDA Forest Service and Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, brings children, art and aquatic conservation together! The annual contest reaches thousands of youth each year. New distance learning resources allow students to participate from home or classroom and complement a wide array of educational programming. To enter, young artists create an original illustration of any fish from the Official Fish list and written words detailing its habitat, and efforts to conserve it. Entries are categorized in four grade levels: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Educators nationwide utilize Fish On!, the full-color Fish Art Lesson Plan, integrating the disciplines of science and art. Entries are due postmarked or emailed by March 31st each year.

Artist captures the heartbreaking history of Lake Chatuge

Arts & Entertainment

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Marty Hayden relocated to Towns County from Pennsylvania a decade ago, and the gifted artist discovered a way to honor the history of a community that he has grown to love. Hiawassee is coined a “lake and mountain paradise” but the construction of Lake Chatuge – a manmade reservoir commissioned by the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1941 – left heartache and hardship in its wake. Approximately 3,500 acres of rich farmland and generational homesteads were eradicated by the lake’s arrival. Schools, churches, and businesses stood in the way of the project, and 532 gravesites were transferred to area cemeteries.

Marty Hayden

Marty Hayden

“The more that I dug into the history, I locked into this thing about Lake Chatuge,” Hayden said, explaining how conversations with the local community inspired the emotive, in-the-works art piece. “Working at the college, there was a lot of people that started coming up and telling me about their family history, and how they were just uprooted, and they had to move, and they only had so many months to get out…,” Hayden said. “So that really touched me. I said that must have been something.”

Hayden was employed as a night supervisor at Chic-fil-A on the Young Harris College campus for five years, prior to retiring last week. The artist explained that he conducted ample research for the sketch and that retirement will afford him the time to complete the re-creation.

“Luckily, online, I stumbled across several photographs. Some of them had to do with the Chatuge water tower, the intake tower. I got pictures of that. I got some of the pictures of the equipment, and then I started getting this vision that the best person to translate this to me was somebody’s mamaw,” Hayden said. “So if you can just imagine back in 1941, you’ve got about a 90-sum-year lady and she’s sitting in her cabin that she grew up with generations, and she’s staring out her window, and she’s watching everything disappear. Sitting in her lap she has the exact paper.”

While the nation was immersed in the news of World War II, the local population focused on the inevitable change that Lake Chatuge would surely bring.

Towns County Historical Society

The painting’s sketch.

“This is just a sketch, and I did this over the weekend because I knew the (Towns County Historical Society) meeting was coming up,” Hayden explained. “But that’s going to be the size of the painting. The painting is going to be all the way in color, it’s going to be framed, and I’m going to donate it to the historical society.”

Hayden estimated the completion of the painting in late March. The gracious artist said that he plans to frame the original sketch and auction the artwork to benefit the Towns County Historical Society.

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