In the long list of Walleye Capitals of the World, who holds the true title?
I always grew up thinking that Baudette, MN was the walleye capital of the world. Situated on the infamous Lake of the Woods, in the state that's renown for their love of walleyes, it only made sense. That was it, that was what everyone knew as the walleye capital of the world.
Well, I was really wrong.
Turns out there are a lot of them.
And it became even more of a mess when I found out about Garrison, MINNESOTA.
How can there be these many walleye capitals of the world, and how can they even share names?
It's complicated. Minnesota, by itself, had numerous self-proclaimed walleye capitals. They were all using the slogan to help support its tourism industry, therefore, gaining economic benefit from the title.
However, this wasn't just a state issue, it was a national issue. Cities across the country were doing the same thing.
Here is a list of some of the ones who were fighting for the gold:
- Baudette, Minnesota
- Garrison, North Dakota
- Mobridge, South Dakota
- the Big and Little Bays de Noc near Escanaba, Michigan
- the Saginaw Bay along Bay City, Michigan
- Umatilla, Oregon
This doesn't even include the list of cities who are advertising it, without exactly claiming it.
So where do all of these actually stand legally?
Baudette knocked out Garrison, Minnesota (as well as others in Minnesota) in 2007 when Minnesota played favorites and granted the trademark to Baudette. However, Lake of the Wood's Tourism wasn't going to stop there.
They even went as far as requesting federal recognition, to the dismay of cities like Garrison, ND or anybody who lives near Lake Erie. Like all federal processes, their application was stalled for quite some time.
The Star Tribune did a follow-up article a year ago, and the results? Baudette gained federal recognition.
They simply get the fancy "TM" at the end of their title that you can see here.
Does that mean that we finally have a real walleye capital of the world? No more debates, no more title sharing? Not exactly.
All of these cities can continue using the tagline, they simply can't include the trademark. Worth it? You be the judge.
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