Walleye - (Stizostedion vitreum)
Length: 13 to 25 inches
Weight: 1 to 5 pounds
Coloring: olive-brown to golden-brown to yellow on back; paler sides; yellowish white underside
Common Names: walleye pike, yellow walleye, pickerel, yellow pickerel, pike-perch, wall-eyed pickerel, dore (French)
Found in Lakes: Michigan, Huron, Ontario, Erie and Superior
Anglers enjoy walleyes year-round as strong, if unspectacular, game fish. During the day, these large-finned, brassy-colored fish often rest on the bottom, hovering in the shade of submerged objects or in the shadows of deep water. They emerge at dusk to feed over shallow weed beds or rocky shoals. In midsummer, they often remain near the bottom, even at night.
In the past, commercial fishing for walleyes flourished in the upper Great Lakes, particularly in Lake Michigan's Green Bay and Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay. Then, after a productive period from the late 1940s to the early 1950s, the population and commercial catch of walleyes began to decline. This trend continued until the 1970s, when walleye populations exploded in Lake Erie and stocking programs in Green Bay began to show signs of success.
Walleyes live about seven years, but are most often caught as one- to three-pound three-year-olds. In Lake Erie, where walleyes are most abundant, the largest individual on record weighed over 16 pounds. The record catch is a 22 pound, 11 ounce fish from Greers Ferry Lake, Arkansas.
copyright 2001 University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
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