If you’ve ever driven through Garrison, you have a most certainly passed by the giant Walleye sculpture sitting in Garrison Concourse Wayside Park. It is located on the southeast edge of town, off the shore of Lake Mille Lacs, waving passersby with a warm “Welcome to Garrison!”
The Minnesota state legislature designated the Walleye as the Official State Fish in 1965. Since Mille Lacs is the largest lake in central Minnesota and the most popular spot to catch a Walleye, Garrison erected the 15-ft. long fiberglass Walleye Pike in 1980 and declared itself “Walleye Capital of the World.” Legend has it this walleye was caught by Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox after three-day struggle. Paul finally wrapped his line around Babe’s horns and Babe pulled the fish out of Lake Mille Lacs and up onto Garrison Beach.
The fiberglass statue, covered in reflective automotive paint, is a product of the F.A.S.T. Corporation and makes for a great photo op.
Fun fact: Garrison shares a name with a town in North Dakota that also has the same fish statue.