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Also known as:

Walleyed pike

Wall-eyed pike

Wall eyed pike

Pike perch

Wall-eyed pickerel

Yellow pickerel

Yellow pike

Yellow pike-perch

Common Group Name:

Freshwater Perches of Nthn Hemisphere

Family Name:

Percidae

Genus Name:

Sander

Species Name:

Sander vitreus


Dispatch Method:

Beware of the sharp teeth of walleye when handling them. To maximise their eating qualities, walleye should be killed humanely by iki jime, or a firm knock to the head before being placed in an ice slurry after bleeding.


Fish Description:

  • Walleye are an elongated shape, usually drab olive/brown or dark tan in color, with a paler off-white, yellowish, golden, or light brown belly. They have a relatively large eye with a prominent reflective tapetum lucidum.
  • This species is highly predatory, feeding mainly on smaller fishes and insects mainly at night or during low light levels. They will also feed on crayfish, snails, frogs, and small mammals.
  • Walleye mature between 3-4 years of age at around 30-45 cm (12-18 inches) long. Sexes are separate, and spawning occurs during the spring months in shallow waters near aquatic vegetation.
  • Thanks to Harold Burke for the pictures of walleye used here.

Fish Distribution:

  • Originally confined to the Great Lakes region, walleye have been extensively translocated throughout freshwater regions of North America as a food fish and for sportfishing.
  • Walleye now occur in inland waterways throughout North America, including Canada, Alaska and Greenland.
  • They mainly occur in freshwater lakes, reservoirs, backwaters, and medium to large rivers, preferring large, shallow lakes with high turbidity. Their preferred summer water temperatures are 18-21°C (65 – 70°F), but they can tolerate a temperature range of 0-32°C (32 to 90°F).
  • In many cases introduced Walleye deplete their forage base, resulting in stunting of the surviving walleye population.

Fish Size Common Length:

30-60 cm (12-24 inches), Maximum size around 110 cm (44 inches) and 11.3 kg (25 lb).