Catfish Capital of the World

There has been a long standing feud between Burlington, KS and Chetopa, KS about which is the true Catfish Capital of the World. When Burlington proclaimed themselves the Catfish Capital of the World Chetopa protested. This led to a fishing contest between the two cities. A trophy was made to be awarded to the winner. Burlington caught the biggest catfish, but the mayor of Chetopa challenged this by saying that a Chetopa citizen caught a spoonbill larger than any catfish caught in Burlington. He said that a spoonbill was a part of the catfish family and that the trophy belonged to them. Unfortunately, Burlington’s mayor believed the tale, but before he could hand over the trophy to Chetopa, a Burlington citizen asked to see the trophy. The Burlington citizen then distracted the mayor in order for a secretary to steal the trophy. This led to a string of thefts, when a Chetopa citizen came to Burlington and stole the trophy back. Which then led to a Burlington citizen going to Chetopa and stealing it again. After years of back and forth, the trophy eventually ended up in Burlington and Chetopa decided to declare themselves the Catfish Capital of Kansas and let Burlington keep their Catfish Capital of the World title.

We at the Coffey County Library believe that we have earned our title of Catfish Capital of the World and should represent it in a more prominent way. The Burlington Branch Library plans to have a display with a 49″ mounted flathead catfish replica, a Catfish Capital of the World trophy, the Catfish Capital highway sign, and a digital photo display featuring images and videos shared by local people.

To share photos or donate to the display contact Brandon Hines, the Coffey County Library Administrator, at or 620-364-2010.

For more information about our project click here.

For a more in-depth article about the catfish feud click here.

To find out what this display means to our Coffey County Library Administrator, Brandon Hines, click here.

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