Friday, May 9, 2008

Willie the Walleye Statue

Willie the Walleye is located in Baudette, Minnesota. The statue weighs 9,852 pounds, is 40 feet 4 inches long and has a girth of 21 feet 4 inches. This statue was constructed in 1959 and is the largest of the big walleye statues.

Baudette is located on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River in northern Minnesota. Baudette claims to be the "Walleye Capital of the World," but a number of other towns both in Minnesota and other states have claimed the same title. Lake of the Woods Tourism officials in Baudette recently were able to obtain the Minnesota trademark to this title. They have apparently abandoned an effort to obtain a national trademark. Baudette has an annual "Willie Walleye Days" festival in early June.

The walleye is the Minnesota state fish. The 2008 Minnesota walleye season opens May 10. According to the Minnesota state DNR website

The walleye is the most sought-after fish in Minnesota. Its thick, white fillets, handsome shape and coloring, and elusive nature make it the ultimate prize among anglers. Each year, anglers in Minnesota keep roughly 3.5 million walleyes totaling 4 million pounds. The average walleye caught and kept is about 14 inches long and weighs slightly more than 1 pound. The walleye is named for its pearlescent eye, which is caused by a reflective layer of pigment, called the tapetum lucidum, that helps it see and feed at night or in murky water.

For more on the "Walleye Capital" controversy see Walleyed War of the Walleye Capitals.

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