Saving Willie the Walleye

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photo courtesy arvidsfishingreport.com

City leaders in Baudette are kicking off a campaign to save a 50-year-old icon, Willie the Walleye. The walleye sculpture was built in 1959 as a mascot for the self proclaimed Walleye Capital of the World.

Willie is 40 feet long and weighs about 2 tons. The sculpture sits in a city park and it’s likely Willie has been captured by thousands of cameras over the decades.

But after 50 years, Willie is apparently showing his age. City officials report “serious deterioration” of the statue

Like most Minnesota cities, Baudette doesn’t have a lot of extra cash on hand. So the city has set up a task force and is raising private funds to repair or replace Willie. The fundraising starts Friday with – what else? – a fish fry.

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