Kenora caught the big one

Husky the Muskie symbolizes a vital resource in this tourist-friendly community

statue of a fish
It's hard to miss this trademark statue situated in McLeod Park. — Neil Harvey photo

On your way through McLeod Park in Kenora's harbourfront area, you really can't miss the 12-metre (40-foot) statue of a muskellunge fish that stands proudly in the midst of this tourism hub. Husky the Muskie was built as a town mascot for the Canadian Centennial Project in 1967, and given the slogan, “Husky the Muskie says 'prevent water pollution.' "

The idea for a giant muskie as the town symbol was chosen for good reason. Kenora sits on Lake of the Woods, and the cleanliness and viability of the lake is critical to the economic vibrance of the community.

There were hundreds of entries by citizens of Kenora to determine a name for the mascot, with Bill Brabooke coming up with the winning title and slogan to accompany it. Jules Horath of Deluxe Signs and Displays carved a small-scale model on which to base the sculpture, and the project was given the go-ahead. You'll see Husky's image on all types of merchandise when you visit souvenir shops throughout Kenora.

As you might have guessed, Kenora is one of the best places in the world for anglers to cast their lines. In Lake of the Woods and other smaller lakes in the vicinity, there are renowned fishing spots where you can reel in walleye, lake trout and, of course, muskie fish among several other species. Take a guided fishing tour, or rent a boat and equipment and head off on your own to catch the big one.

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