2021 Summer and Fall on our Refuge Photo Contest – Call for Entries

Photo Contest Rules:

  1. All photos must be taken during summer or fall on-or-of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge or Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge. Photos not meeting this rule will be disqualified.
  2. The photo contest entry deadline is December 3, 2021.
  3. Each entry must be the original work of the person submitting and no alterations besides cropping, dodging, burning, spotting, sharpening, contrast, and slight color adjustment will be accepted on entries. Amateur photos only.
  4. Entries submitted in previous refuge photo contests will not be accepted.
  5. Photos shall be printed 8” x 10” and matted to 11” x 14” using either a black or a white mat.
  6. No frames allowed.
  7. You may enter THREE photos per person for EACH category.
  8. Completed entry forms must be attached to the back of each photo (download pdf). Each entry must include a title for the photo.
  9. If entry is a digital photo, provide a 300 dpi digital .jpg file on a CD in addition to the entry photo or email the .jpg file (6 MB or less) to Leslie_Watson@fws.gov.
  10. Do not include name or other identifying information on the front of photos.
  11. Photos will not be automatically returned but may be picked up at 102 Walnut Street, Suite 205 Winona, MN after judging and exhibitions have ended. Entries need to be collected by March 1, 2022 and winning entries by December 1, 2022.


  • Scenic Views of the Refuge
  • Wildlife and Plants of the Refuge
  • Connecting People with Nature on the Refuge
  • Young Nature Photographers (any of the above categories, age 16 and under)

To Enter:

Labeled entries and signed release form must be received no later than 4:00 p.m. December 3, 2021. Click here for photo contest brochure with printable entry form. Entries may be dropped off at the Winona District Office or mailed to:
  Leslie Watson
  102 Walnut Street, Suite 205
  Winona, MN 55987

Judging and Exhibition:

Entries will be judged before March 1, 2022 based on three criteria:

  • capturing the spirit of Refuge
  • technical quality
  • intrinsic beauty

Winning photos will become part of an exhibit displayed at public events throughout the year. Select entries will be posted on Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge’s and Friends of the Refuge Headwaters’ (FORH) social media pages.


Awards will be given in each category as follows:

  • 1st Place: $30.00
  • 2nd Place: $20.00
  • 3rd Place: $15.00

Release Form for Photos Subjects

Any entry containing people must have a signed Photo Contest Likeness Release form for each subject in the photo.

Use of Photos:

FORH and the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge have the right to publish submitted photographs for educational, informational, and promotional purposes. Brochure photos and above by 2020 contest winners.

Questions and Information:

  Leslie Watson

Questions? Email forhwinona@gmail.com

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