Smallmouth by Audrey Nagorsen

smallmouth juvinile

smallmouth mature

Working with Lynn Markham throughout this project, I learned about the importance of fish hotels for different ages of smallmouth bass. Large fallen logs in water, otherwise known as fish hotels, are important to mature males because they receive 180 degrees of protection — making it easier for him to guard his eggs. Juvenile smallmouth bass, on the other hand, often find sanctuary in multi-branch fish hotels, which provide them with food and protection from predators. 

Although I learned many new things about smallmouth bass, I was immediately inspired to create an underwater scene involving a fish hotel. Smallmouth Mature and Smallmouth Juvenile, respectively, depict these ideas. In both pieces, I began with watercolor and ended with acrylic paint. Watercolor was chosen to demonstrate a flowy quality, and acrylic was added for highlights and areas that I wanted to stand out.


I am a sophomore in the Graphic Design Program at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Growing up with a mom who was employed as a professional chef, food has also been an inspiration for me. In my free time I love to cook, bake, and try new recipes. A favorite of mine is kardemummabullar, a Swedish recipe that holds many memories.

ABOUT THE Water Partner

Lynn Markham is an Extension Shoreland Specialist based at UW-Stevens Point. She helps Wisconsin communities who want to protect lakes, streams and drinking water by providing research-based information, examples from other communities and policy options. She has written books about lake protection for big people and little people, and loves working with artists.