MAYVILLE - The Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board has announced its 21st annual Fishing Essay Contest for students in Chautauqua County.
Last year, 392 students from 12 different schools participated in the essay contest and the Sports Fishery Advisory Board is eager to see how many students will participate this year.
"The entries from our young students show that there continues to be a real interest in fishing and lake ecology in Chautauqua County," Sports Fishery Advisory Board Chairman Zen Olow said. "We are encouraged by the number of kids that participate each year and we hope that the contest gets kids out fishing."
The contest is for elementary and middle school students in grades three through six and is open to all Chautauqua County students attending public, private, or home schools. Essays must follow this year's topic: "Fishing Sounds Like Fun, Who Would I Like to Take Fishing with Me and Why?"
All entries must be submitted by April 26 to Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board, Office of the County Executive, Gerace Office Building, 3 N. Erie St., Mayville, N.Y. 14757.
Entries can be submitted singly or together by class and must include the student's name, grade, teacher and school. Teachers are also encouraged to submit their email addresses with their students' essays to allow for quick and easy communication during the school day about contest results and updates. Entries will be judged on originality, and teachers are encouraged to work with students by incorporating the essay writing into a teaching activity.
All participants will receive a certificate and five winners from each grade will receive a fishing pole. Among these 20 winners, two Grand Prize Winners will be selected to go on a fishing trip with the County Executive this summer. Winners will be announced in early May and the two Grand Prize Winners will be recognized at the Wednesday, May 2 County Legislature meeting.
"Fishing is an important recreational activity for our county," Edwards said. "Not only does it draw visitors from across the nation and contribute to our economy, but it creates fond memories for families and friends. The essay contest has been valuable to teachers and students in the past and I encourage all schools to participate in this year's contest."
Later this year, Edwards will join local legislators and members of the Sports Fishery Advisory Board to visit each school that submits entries and to present prizes to the winners.
The Sports Fishery Advisory Board hopes the essay contest can be an interesting educational experience for students, and helpful to the teachers. It is intended to promote an awareness of Chautauqua County's ecology, the factors that affect it and the role each student plays in maintaining its quality in the future.
Contact Zen Olow, Chairman of the Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board, with any questions at 640-2776.