Named as one of the top “15 Weird Midwestern Festivals You Never Knew Existed”, the annual Eelpout Festival takes place every February in the tiny community of Walker, Minnesota. The North Star State is famous for its love of quirky and fun festivals, and this one certainly doesn’t disappoint, drawing thousands of visitors every year. with
What Is The Eelpout Festival Celebrating?
The Eelpout Festival is held to celebrate a local fish that is native to the local lakes around this region of Minnesota. The Eelpout is an unattractive bottom dweller that is a cross between an eel and a catfish that resides up to 300 meters deep in the lakes close to Walker.
Where Is The Eelpout Festival Held?
The tiny town of Walker in Minnesota is on the shores of Leech Lake, the third largest lake in the state at 112,000 acres. While the lake is best known for its high quality Walleye fishing, this festival is the ideal opportunity to celebrate a lesser known fish also found in its waters. Usually, the eelpout is only found in Leech Lake during the winter months and this is why the festival is held during February, when the average temperature is as low as 25 degrees with lows of 5 degrees having been recorded. Here are some eelpout festival pictures.
What Is The History Of The Eelpout Festival?
The first Eelpout Festival took place in 1979 and has been held every year since in February, one of the coldest months of the year when quite frequently the temperature drops below freezing.
What Events Take Place At The Eelpout Festival?
The primary focus of this international eelpout festival is fishing, and throughout the event (which is held from a Thursday evening right through the that Sunday morning), the primary activity is fishing for eelpout. There are, however, plenty of other activities to enjoy, many of which are unique and unusual. For example, attendees may take part in the Polar Plunge, during which they will dive into the lake’s icy waters, or even kiss one of the unfortunate eelpout to be granted good luck. There may even be a frozen wet t-shirt contest as well as a black tie formal dinner. Events are designed to appeal to a wide range of people including families, encouraging around 10 times the local population to descend upon this tiny community for those few days.
What Are The Rules Of The Eelpout Festival?
When it comes to fishing aspect of this festival, there are several rules and regulations that have to be followed by participants if they want to take home the prize for having the biggest and heaviest eelpout catch. Firstly, anyone taking part has to be registered and has to have a valid Eelpout Festival button. Any fish entered into the contest must have been caught with a line in the waters of Leech Lake during the period of the contest, and must not be frozen. There are several prizes awarded, including several weight categories as well as the most inspiring young angler award and even an award for most creative and lavish eelpout bivouac.