Understanding Minnesota’s love affair with walleye

Wikimedia Commons/Todd Murray
Large walleye statue at Mille Lacs in Garrison, Minnesota

What’s the deal with Minnesotans and walleye, anyway? MPR’s Dan Kraker attempts to figure it out: “What exactly is it about walleye that drives Minnesota anglers into such a tizzy? There’s not a simple answer. … Reason No. 1, said longtime Mille Lacs fishing guide Dickie Gadbois: It tastes really good. … But it’s not just the eating. Bragging rights are also involved, said Ben Kellin, who owns Ben’s Bait and Tackle in Grand Rapids. ‘People fish for a little glam, you know, and walleye is our glam fish,’ he said.”

Fudging your résumé can take you far. At Slate, Kembrew McLeod reports, “… the Iowa Board of Regents unanimously voted former IBM and Boston Market executive Bruce Harreld as [The University of Iowa’s] next president, despite Harreld having no university administrative background. He did work as an adjunct senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, but that’s the extent of his college workplace experience. … On the résumé Harreld submitted to the regents, he listed his current job as the managing principal for the Colorado-based Executing Strategy, LLC. This company ‘confidentially (advises) several public, private and military organizations on leadership, organic growth and strategic renewal.’ However, that business doesn’t exist. The Colorado secretary of state has no record of a company of that name.”

City Pages writer Cory Zurowski really doesn’t like retiring Rep. John Kline. Writing under the headline, “John Kline’s top 10 greatest hits of evil,” Zurowski lays it on thick: “The business of evil took six steps back last week. … Rep. John Kline, Minnesota’s Most Reprehensible Congressman (TM), announced he would not seek an eighth term in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016. … The just turned 68-year-old lawmaker still has a year and change to toil on behalf of dark forces.”

Former U of M student and current photojournalist Anthony Kwan has been released in Thailand. The AP reports, “A U.S. photojournalist arrested in Thailand for possessing a bulletproof vest and helmet expressed relief Tuesday after a court granted him permission to leave the country until a Sept. 17 bail renewal hearing. … Anthony Kwan, who previously attended the University of Minnesota, was detained at Bangkok’s international airport on Aug. 23 when the equipment was discovered in his baggage as he was about to leave Thailand. He had been working for Hong Kong-based Initium Media and covering the aftermath of an Aug. 17 bombing in Bangkok that killed 20 people. Two Hong Kong citizens were killed in the attack.”

In other news…

Nice: “Barbershop gives free back-to-school haircuts” [KARE]

Just another invasive species taking over: “Minnesota roadside pheasant count up 33 percent” [Duluth News Tribune] 

Coming to the North Loop: snowmobiling hipsters. [Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal]

The New York Times sends a restaurant reviewer to a little place on the Iron Range.

Minneapolis’ Chatterbox Pub files for bankruptcy. [Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal]

The lament of Greater Minnesota: “buffering … buffering … buffering …” [Minnesota Brown]

Wiener dog race.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by jason myron on 09/08/2015 - 01:25 pm.

    I’ve always been baffled

    by the obsession with walleye in this state. Sure they’re tasty, but so are a lot of other fish. As for
    “bragging rights,” I just don’t see it. They’re not a difficult fish to catch. For pure fun of fishing, I’ll take northern pike any day of the week. Landing a good size northern IS something to brag about.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 09/08/2015 - 03:51 pm.

    I share the bafflement

    Not being a fan of fresh-water fish in general, I’ve found Walleye to be… well… meh… in terms of flavor. Of course, part of that might be that I’m just not a fan of fishing. I’ve done it, but it, too, strikes me as… meh. I don’t mind spending some time in a boat on the water on a fine day, but having to mess with fishing gear, catch-and-release (or catch-and-eat), etc., complicates the exercise.

    Seafood (meaning, specifically, fish from the ocean) is another matter entirely, and I eat it joyfully when it’s well-prepared, but even then, the fishing part still strikes me as… meh. That is, unless you’ve hooked a 200-lb Bluefin Tuna or a Marlin, then it’s pretty exciting – sort of the opposite of the tranquility of sitting in a canoe on a Minnesota lake.

  3. Submitted by Richard Rowan on 09/08/2015 - 06:39 pm.


    I like walleye – it’s good panfried. But I also like bass and sunnies, although I’d have to say cleaning the sunnies is not a whole lot of fun….I’m just not sure why walleye gets all the press.

  4. Submitted by Michael Hess on 09/08/2015 - 10:30 pm.

    Also baffled…

    but my bafflement is about the City Pages writer and John Kline. It seemed about every month there was a venom filled article about how evil he was, how horrible his policies were. etc…. He is not my congressman, I don’t know him, I would not consider myself a John Kline booster, but these regular attacks, so over the top, just further the impression of City Pages as a second rate journalistic endeavor.

    For example, in this latest recouting of these evil deeds he describes Job fairs and includes the quote “The only parties hooked up by these career fairs — er, make that fundraisers — were Kline and his campaign contributors, and they milked them for every nickel.”. so it sounds like a pretty sleasy affair, you know some bloodsucking for profit colleges at folding tables in a circle preying on the defenseless. But if you google “John Kline Job Fair 2015” you get a list of companies and a assertion that over 80 companies with openings and some State Workforce center reps were there. So did the writer attend the fair and find this not true? Were there really no jobs, it was all about luring people into for profit programs? Did these 80 companies not show?

    All politicians deserve scrutiny, criticism for their mistakes, praise for their good moves (rare as they may be) and healthy lively debate over policy issues when people have differences of opinion. But these rants and placing opinion and unsubstantiated anecdotes in the place of facts just gets old. Perhaps we should be wondering which politician City Pages will decide to denigrate next…..

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