The northern Minnesota town of Walker hosts the annual International Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake this weekend.
The festival is dedicated the ugliest fish that inhabits Minnesota waters. It draws roughly 10,000 ice anglers and spectators to Walker for three days every February.
Defenders of the slimy bottom-feeders say they can put up a great fight. They also like to point out that eelpout are related to cod, and say they're tasty when properly prepared.
The festival begins at noon Friday and concludes at 11 a.m. Sunday.
In recognition of the Vancouver Olympics, new to the festival this year are the Chase the Pout Games, which include eelpout curling and other offbeat events.
On the Net: 31st Annual International Eelpout Festival: http://www.eelpoutfestival.com
Chase the Pout Games: http://www.chasethepout.com
Eelpout profile: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/volunteer/janfeb00/burbot-profile.html
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)