This pike-like freshwater perch is a 'perciform' fish
native to the northern United States and southern Canada.
Walleye (Sander vitreus vitreus, or Stizostedion vitreum
vitreum) is considered the North American relative of
the European pikeperch, although they are not from the
Walleye are usually larger than perch and can be distinguished
from them by their scale color. Some walleyes are often
referred to as yellow pike or pickerel, although this
name should be discouraged because they are not pikeperch
or pickerel fish, but yellow walleye is the right name,
also used to distinguish it from the extinct blue walleye.
Walleyes show some of variation across watersheds,
and its peculiar name comes from the fact that their
eyes, not unlike those of cats, reflect light. The light
on the eyes of the walleyes is the result of a light-gathering
layer called the tapetum lucidum. This characteristic
allows the fish to see well in low-light conditions.
Because Walleyes feed at night so anglers often look
for them in the knowledge of their luminescent eyes.
This fish can also see well in stained or rough turbid
waters, giving them an advantage over their prey. Walleye
is often found at the breaking waters of Minnesota,
in the Mille Lacs Lake, Brainerd Lakes Area, Lake of
the Woods, Rainy River, Kabetogama Lake, Leech Lake,
Saint Croix River and the Mississippi River.
Other states with walleyes in their waters include
Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Ohio,
Montana and Nebraska, besides of Canada, particularly
in the Ontario and Toronto areas. Walleyes may be found
lurking in turbid waters, but their natural habitat
is located in clean waters, particularly deep mesotrophic
lakes and moderate to low-gradient rivers.
Walleyes are "cool water" species that grow
to about 30 inches (75 cm) in length, weighing approximately
15 lb (7 kg), although their growth rate depends sometimes
on where in their range they occur. Southern populations
usually grow larger and faster than other fish of the
same family, however females of all walleye species
grow larger than males.
It is not normal to find a walleye older that 5 or
6 years, but it is known that they can live for several
decades. The oldest walleye recorded reached 29 years
of age. Walleyes are olive color in dorsal and golden
hue on the flanks, broken up by 5 dark saddles extending
to their upper sides, and distinguished from sauger
by their white coloration on the lower lobe of the tail.
Walleyes are best caught when the water temperatures
get below 55º F, this is the reason why this fish
is the favorite catch during fall, when also the turbidity
of the rivers subsides the visual stimulating of walleyes,
which can see their food floating, making it easier
for the angler to see their activity.
There is a website that has great information on most
species of freshwater fish. It has details that pertain
to each species of fish such as habitat, spawning, eating
habits, the best lures and baits and more, the website
is called: Fishing Stringer, and can be found at this
By Robert W. Benjamin
Copyright © 2007
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Robert W. Benjamin has been in the software business
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