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May 12, 2004

Fish Art and Writing Contest Winners Honored on Opening Day of Trout Season

The winning entrants in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Fish Art and Writing Contest were honored at the Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center in Oxford, Warren County, on the opening day of trout season, April 10. Division Director Martin McHugh was present to distribute awards to the children, who also enjoyed a luncheon and a day of fishing with their families.

Beautiful weather greeted everyone who was out of doors on opening day. Anglers lined streams, lakes, ponds and rivers throughout New Jersey as families and friends celebrated this annual rite of spring. Contest winners and their parents began their day at Pequest early with the opportunity to cast their lines in the Division’s Fishing Education Pond, which is stocked heavily with trout for the Division’s educational programming. As one can imagine the fishing is quite good in the pond, and everyone enjoyed himself or herself catching large numbers of trout. Children were allowed to keep one trout to bring home for table fare and had to return the rest to the pond. Division personnel and volunteers were on hand to ensure a safe and enjoyable fishing experience and offer assistance when needed.

After fishing, the winners of the contest received plaques and fishing equipment at an awards luncheon sponsored by The New Jersey Council of Trout Unlimited who also sponsored the awards. After the luncheon, winners had the opportunity to take a personal tour of the Pequest Hatchery and learn how brook, brown and rainbow trout are raised for stocking in New Jersey’s publicly accessible waterways.

The purpose of this annual contest is to encourage children in grades 4 through 8 to learn about New Jersey's fish species and the importance of natural resource conservation. A total of 520 students from around the state submitted original artwork that depicted a New Jersey fish in its habitat. The essay portion of the contest was a short biography of the fish shown in the artwork.

Clicking on the winners' names below will open a separate window with their artwork. Also posted for teachers is a downloadable certificate that can be printed for every student who participated in the contest.

The 2004 Fish Art and Writing Contest winners are as follows:

Ethan Fuller
4th grade Alpha Beta Academy
1st place

Daniel Bekier
4th grade E.M. Burke Elementary School
2nd place

Karina Soriano
5th grade Public School 11
1st place
Jersey City

Corrine Romano
5th grade Bedminster Township School
2nd place

Alexandra Luciano
6th grade Mt. Olive Middle School
1st place

Erik Schmidt
6th grade home school
Great Meadows
2nd place

Christine Bustamante
7th grade Belleville Middle School
1st place

Xytuz Schein Serrano
7th grade Public School 38
Jersey City
2nd place

Sarah Fuller
8th grade Alpha Beta Academy
1st place

Melissa Rivera
8th grade Howell Middle School
2nd place

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