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Where is the Real Walleye Capital of the World?

Photocredit: Jimmy Emerson | Flicker

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.

One day I drove through Garrison, North Dakota when I came across this:

Garrison, ND | Photo Credit: NDTourism

Say what?

And it became even more of a mess when I found out about Garrison, MINNESOTA.

Walleye Capital of the World: GARRISON, MN

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.

Did you enjoy this post? Click Here to view more articles by Nicole. You can learn more about her at, as well as follow her on Facebook Nicole Stone Outdoors, Instagram @nicolestoneoutdoors, or on Twitter @nicolekstone.


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Where is the Real Walleye Capital of the World?