WALKER - One of the biggest winter celebrations in Minnesota hits the ice this weekend near Walker. The 36th annual "Eelpout Festival" runs today (Thursday) through Saturday on Leech Lake.

Organizer Jared Olson describes the festival as "a big fishing tournament with a Mardi-Gras style party".

Olson says the eelpout has been called "the poor man's lobster".

Olson says the eelpout is part of the cod family, and is actually pretty good eating.

Olson says he's sold tickets for the fishing tournament to people from as far away as Omaha, Colorado, and Florida.