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Eelpout Festival Under Way On Leech Lake In Minn.

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(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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WALKER, Minn. (AP) – The 32nd annual International Eelpout Festival is under way on Leech Lake in Walker.

Angling for the ugly, slimy fish opened Friday. More than a dozen events are scheduled including a fishing contest, polar plunge, frozen t-shirt contest, and curling with fish. Organizers hope it will draw 10,000 people to the town of 1,500. Among them will be a crew from NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” minus host Jay Leno, who’ll tape a segment to air March 3.

Unstable ice conditions have led officials to restrict vehicles on Walker Bay to snowmobiles and ATVs, but most events are easy to reach on foot.

The awards ceremony is high noon Sunday at Walker City Park. Thousands of dollars are up for grabs. The grand prize is a custom-made eelpout ice fishing house.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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