What is a walleye fish?

Walleye is a popular fish in the US because it's fun and challenging to catch, making it a favorite among many anglers. People enjoy the excitement of trying to outsmart these clever fish, especially during their active feeding times at dawn and dusk. Walleye also tastes delicious, with its white and flaky meat, making it a sought-after catch for those who love to cook and eat their fresh catches.

Additionally, walleye are found in various lakes, rivers, and reservoirs across North America, making them accessible to a large number of anglers who enjoy fishing in different environments.

Overall, the combination of the thrill of the catch and the tasty reward on the plate contributes to the popularity of walleye fishing in the US. Now let's break down the basics of what a walleye fish is.


walleye fish


What are the Physical Features of a Walleye Fish?

The walleye fish boasts some pretty cool physical features that set it apart in the underwater world. These marine animals have a slick and stretched-out body that's kind of like a streamlined torpedo, making them pretty swift swimmers. What catches the eye, literally, are their snazzy colors – think of a mix of olive or gold on their upper part and a clean, crisp white on their belly. It's like they've got a built-in camouflage suit, helping them blend in with their watery surroundings.


What Do Walleye Look Like?

Imagine a fish that's almost the size of your average skateboard – that's a big walleye! Typically olive to golden-brown in color, walleye have a mottled pattern on their sides and a white underside. One of their distinctive features is the large, glassy eyes for which they are named, reflecting light and aiding in low-light visibility.

The dorsal side is often darker, and they possess sharp teeth. Their bodies are elongated with a spiny dorsal fin, and their tail fins are deeply forked. On average, adult walleye measure between 12 to 20 inches in length, although they can grow larger in certain habitats. These popular sportfish are sought after for their delicious taste and are found in freshwater lakes and rivers across North America.


Walleye's Feeding Times and Habits

When it comes to munching time, walleye fish have some pretty interesting eating habits. This fish are like night owls of the underwater world – they love to chow down when the sun is either saying hello or goodbye. Yep, dawn and dusk are their prime munching moments.

Now, why are they so good at this time? Well, it's all about their super-sight. Imagine having eyes that can see in low-light conditions like it's no big deal. That's the walleye for you! Their eyes are like little built-in flashlights that make them top-notch predators during these low-light feasts.

So, what's on the menu for these nocturnal munchers? They've got a taste for the smaller fish, insects, and even crayfish. It's like a seafood buffet for them! With their sharp senses and a knack for hunting in the dark, walleye become the underwater kings of the dinner table during those magical moments when the sun is either rising or setting. And that, my friends, is how the walleye likes to roll when it's time to grab a bite to eat.



How to Easily Identify a Walleye?

When talking about fishing, one fish that gets a lot of attention is the walleye. These fish have a unique look that makes them easy to spot. Let's discuss how to identify a waleye when you catch this fish. You'll also notice sharp teeth, similar to those of a predatory fish. The body is elongated and streamlined, making it an efficient hunter in the water. Additionally, check for a spiny dorsal fin and a forked tail. If you spot these characteristics, chances are you've found yourself a walleye!


Walleye's Colored Scales

As mentioned earlier, identifying a walleye is quite simple once you know what to look for. Look closely at its color and scales. A walleye typically has olive or golden-brown coloring on its back, fading to a lighter shade on its sides and belly. Its scales are often tinged with a golden hue and are quite distinct, resembling tiny tiles. Another key feature is a dark spot at the base of the walleye's dorsal fin, which stands out against its lighter-colored body. By paying attention to these characteristics, you can easily spot a walleye when you're out fishing or exploring freshwater habitats.

Eye Features of Walleye

A walleye have these shiny eyes that glow in the dark, like little flashlights! They're big and round, almost like marbles, and they're kinda cloudy. But here's the kicker, if you shine a light on them, they shine back with this eerie yellowish-green color. Plus, their eyes are positioned toward the front of their head, giving them a binocular vision, which helps them hunt for prey in low light. So, next time you catch a fish with big, glowing eyes and a knack for seeing in the dark, you've probably got yourself a walleye! Easy as pie, right?


Common Size and Shape of Walleye

Every walleye usually have a white spot on the bottom edge of their tails, which can help confirm their identity. They typically have a sleek, elongated body with a distinct dorsal fin that starts midway along their back. Walleyes commonly range from 12 to 20 inches in length, but larger ones or adult walleyes can reach up to 30 inches or more. Keep in mind their size can vary depending on factors like habitat and food availability, but this general size range is a good starting point for identifying them.


Different Types and Species of Walleye

Walleye are freshwater fish that thrive in a variety of environments. They can be found in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs across North America. These fish are adaptable and can adjust to different water temperatures, making them a versatile species.


1. Yellow Walleye (Sander Vitreus)


Let's begin with the Yellow Walleye, scientifically known as Sander vitreus. This species is widely distributed across the United States, favoring the cool, clear waters of lakes and rivers.

 Yellow Walleye (Sander Vitreus)

You can find Yellow Walleye in the Great Lakes region, including Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan. Additionally, they inhabit various inland lakes and rivers, making them a popular catch for anglers in states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.


Yellow Walleye are recognized by their distinct yellowish-gold coloration and the characteristic white tips on their lower fins. These walleye are known for their elusive nature, often lurking in the shadows or near underwater structures, waiting for prey.


2. Blue Walleye (Sander Vitreus Glaucus)


Now, let's shift our focus to the Blue Walleye, a subspecies of the Yellow Walleye with the scientific name Sander vitreus glaucus. However, it's important to note that Blue Walleye are less common and are considered a threatened species, with conservation efforts in place to protect their populations.

 Blue Walleye (Sander Vitreus Glaucus)

Historically found in the Great Lakes, particularly Lake Erie, the Blue Walleye's distinct bluish tint sets it apart from its yellow counterpart. Conservation initiatives aim to preserve the genetic diversity of this unique species and ensure its survival in its natural habitat.


3. Sauger Walleye (Sander Canadensis)


Moving on, let's explore the Sauger, scientifically known as Sander canadensis. This species closely resembles the Walleye but has some distinctive features, such as a more mottled appearance and a lack of the iconic white tip on the lower fin.

 Sauger Walleye (Sander Canadensis)

Saugers are commonly found in river systems across the central and northern United States, including the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Anglers often seek out Sauger in colder months when they congregate in deeper waters, making them a popular winter catch.





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