Rough weekend for tough-looking fish in Walker

The annual Eelpout Festival was held this past weekend in Walker, Minnesota, something I mentioned in my last Great Northern Radio Show which we broadcast live from this little town on big Leech Lake. Eelpout are — to be blunt — ugly, bottom-feeding fish that taste good fried if you can get past their general appearance.

According to this TV news report, however, the fish at this year’s Eelpout Festival weren’t the only ugliness to be seen. Authorities had to answer 150 calls during the event, including a number of messy law enforcement concerns.

We have some exclusive photos from the scene:

arrested copy



Other than these unfortunate incidents, the annual Eelpout Festival was considered a rousing success by most humans in attendance.


  1. //Insert “lawyer” joke here//

  2. First time I reeled up an eelpout I was afraid to bring it in the boat. That is one ugly fish!!!

  3. As someone who grew up in Walker and was at the very first Eelpout Festival, I can attest to a couple of pertinent items:

    1. It was started as a joke by a couple of local businessmen looking to break the winter doldrums. There was a reason why for the first couple of years it was held on the weekend between the last playoff games and the Super Bowl.

    2. As it grew, local businesses were able to use that one weekend to essentially break even over the winter months.

    3. Local law enforcement certainly does not mind the additional revenue either.

    So here we are 36 years later and I can still tell you how absolutely bone-chilling cold it was as the awards ceremony was held on the ice near the marina. Dear Eelpout, how you have grown and matured…….I think….. 🙂

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