Why is Boulder Junction the Musky Capital of the World®?

May 23, 2022

Boulder Junction is one of the top fishing destinations in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, but one of the area’s resident fish is prized above all others: the elusive musky.

Picture Perfect Boulder Junction
Photo: Andy Turza
Two men holding up a musky they just caught off their boat
Old photo of Musky Classic Winners Late 70s Or Early 80s
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Downtown Musky

Known as “the fish of 10,000 casts,” the musky is Boulder Junction’s unofficial mascot, and anglers from all over flock to the Musky Capital of the World® every fishing season. So how exactly did Boulder Junction get that lofty title?

It all starts back in the 1930s, when a Chicago-based sportswriter coined the phrase to describe Boulder Junction. The town used that terminology for the next couple decades, even after some other resort communities in Wisconsin and the Midwest claimed the phrase for their destination. In 1971, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office issued a registered trademark for “Boulder Junction, The Musky Capital of the World®,” settling the matter once and for all.

So why is Boulder Junction the Musky Capital of the World®? Well, there are nearly 200 lakes within 10 miles of downtown Boulder Junction, and many of these are designated as Class A musky waters by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, so you’ve got lots of opportunities to catch a musky (especially if you hire one of Boulder Junction’s helpful guides).

Even if you’re not fishing, you’ll still find muskies all around Boulder Junction. Stop by the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce, 5352 Park St., to snap a photo with Marty the Musky.

There’s another larger-than-life musky on the propane tank two blocks west of Main Street on Highway K, right next to the Musky Capital of the World® sign.

Street signs in downtown Boulder Junction also proudly show off the town’s musky pride.

The musky plays a part in Boulder Junction’s biggest community celebration of the year: Musky Jamboree, which fills the streets every August. Learn more here.