WHITE BEAR LAKE, MN- Wildlife Forever and Title Sponsor Bass Pro Shops, is proud to honor 7th grade, Pennsylvania artist, Tilden Abercrombie with the prestigious Invader Crusader award. Tilden chose to highlight an invasive sea lamprey attached to a Brook Trout for this year’s contest.
The Invader Crusader award was created to spotlight the impact that invasive species have on fish and wildlife. To compete, contestants must feature and inavsive species and share about the impacts on their chosen fish species. Tilden wrote, “I live near Lake Erie where sea lamprey is an invader affecting many different fish… Thanks to trout restocking programs there are more fish to catch, but the sea lamprey continues to be an aggressive invader of the Great Lakes.”
“Sea lamprey were introduced into the Great Lakes in the 1800’s and decimated fish populations. Thankfully, through rigorous management and control of this invasive species, native and sport fish numbers are increasing. We commend Tilden’s depiction of this invasive species to help raise awareness as we continue to fight the battle with sea lampreys across the Great Lakes Basin,” said Amy McGovern, Fisheries Program Supervisor, Aquatic Invasive Species of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Julia Luger, Education and Communication Director of Wildlife Forever said, “The Invader Crusader award is a unique opportunity for young people to learn about the impact of aquatic invasive species. Through drawing and creative writing, students better understand the threat and learn about the Clean Drain Dry prevention message. Congratulations Tilden!”
In addition to the State-Fish Art Contest, Wildlife Forever works alongside with state, federal, local and industry partners to implement the Clean Drain Dry Initiative, a national aquatic invasive species outreach and education program.
About the Clean Drain Dry Initiative: The Wildlife Forever Clean Drain Dry Initiative is the national campaign to educate outdoor recreational users on how to prevent the spread of invasive species. Strategic communications, marketing, outreach and educational services provide access to consistent messaging and tailored AIS prevention planning. To learn about services, contact Dane Huinker: DHuinker@WildlifeForever.org or visit www.CleanDrainDry.org
About the State-Fish Art Contest: The award-winning Wildlife Forever State-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! To enter, young artists create an original illustration of any official state-fish and written words detailing its behavior, 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 State-Fish Art Lesson Plan, integrating the disciplines of science and art. Entries are due postmarked by March 31st each year. Learn more at www.statefishart.org.
About Bass Pro Shops®: Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”