MAYVILLE - The Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board has announced their 22nd Annual Fishing Essay Contest for students in Chautauqua County.
Last year, 430 students from 17 different schools participated in the contest and the Sports Fishery Advisory Board is eager to see how many students will participate this year.
"We, as fishermen ourselves, are encouraged by the number of kids that participate in this contest and that what we do helps get these kids out fishing and enjoying the outdoors," said Sports Fishery Advisory Board Chairman Zen Olow. "The kids are the future of the sport and of protecting our natural resources of Chautauqua County and of the Plant."
The contest is open to all Chautauqua County students in grades three through six who attend 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 18 to:
Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board
Office of the County Executive
Gerace Office Building
3 N. Erie St.
Mayville, NY 14757
Entries must be 250 words or less and can be submitted singly or together by class. Each entry 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 eight winners from each grade will receive a fishing pole. Among these 32 winners, two grand prize winners will be selected to go on a fishing trip with Chautauqua County Executive Vincent Horrigan this summer. Winners will be announced in early May and the two grand prize winners will be recognized at the May 28 County Legislature meeting.
"Fishing is an important recreational activity for our county," said Horrigan. "It draws visitors from across the nation and allows families and friends to create fond memories together. The essay contest has been valuable to the teachers and students who have participated in the past and I encourage all schools to participate in this year's contest."
Later this year, Horrigan will join local legislators and members of the Sports Fishery Advisory Board to visit each school that submitted entries and to present prizes to the winners.
The Sports Fishery Advisory Board hopes that 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.
The contest is sponsored by the County Executive, County Legislature and a majority of the prizes are funded through donations from the community.
For more information, please contact the County Executive's Office at (716)753-4211 or Zen Olow, chairman of the Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board, at (716)640-2776.