In 2011, a fifth grader from French Ford Middle School in Winnemucca won the annual Free Fishing Day Poster Contest. The following year a fifth grader from the same school won the contest again. Fifth graders from the school also won the contest again in 2015 and 2016, each year beating out over 200 other entries from across the state. So it should come as no surprise that this year's winner, fifth grader Alia Novi, is a student at French Ford Middle School. Apparently, those kids from Winnemucca can flat out draw.
"She was at her desk and I announced it to the class and her mouth dropped open," said Novi's teacher Brenna Dockter. "The whole class cheered and was really excited for her. She had been asking me each day if I had gotten an email or if I knew who the winner was. She was dying to know if she had placed or anything."
Novi's entry was selected the winner from 225 entries from around the state. Her win makes it three in a row and five of the last seven for French Ford Middle School.
"I don't have any theories about French Ford's history in winning this contest," said Dockter. "This is my second year with the winner in my class and I can tell you that each winner dedicated hours on their posters. Last year's winner (Austin Anderson) and Alia are two extremely hard working students who enjoy art. They both sacrificed a lot to make the best art piece possible for the contest."
Novi's work will be used for NDOW's Free Fishing Day poster, which is sent to all of the schools in the state as well as NDOW offices as a reminder about Free Fishing Day. Her work will also be displayed in the 2017 Nevada Fishing Guide.
Dockter reports that Novi is an avid fisherman who often goes fishing with her Dad and Uncle. Apparently art is not the only thing Novi is competitive about as she states that one of her favorite things about fishing is catching more fish than her Dad.
As the winner, Novi will receive a framed copy of her artwork as well as a fishing rod and reel. She and her family will also be treated to a guided fishing outing.
Free Fishing Day takes place on Saturday, June 10 this year. The statewide event allows anglers to fish any public fishing water in the state without a fishing license or trout stamp, while all limits and other regulations apply. Visit www.ndow.org to find out more about Free Fishing Day events taking place locally.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW's wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen's license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org.