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Encyclopedia > Walleye

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Percidae
Genus: Sander
Species: S. vitreus
Binomial name
Sander vitreus
(Mitchill, 1818)

The Walleye (Sander vitreus vitreus, formerly Stizostedion vitreum vitreum) is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the northern United States. It is a North American close relative of the European pikeperch. The walleye is sometimes also called the yellow walleye to distinguish it from the extinct blue walleye. Walleye (Sander vitreus) from the USFWS. Artwork by Timothy Knepp. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Typical Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Orders See text The Actinopterygii are the ray-finned fish. ... Families many, see text The Perciformes, also called the Percomorphi or Acanthopteri, include about 40% of all fish and are the largest order of vertebrates. ... Genera Ammocrypta Crystallaria Etheostoma Gymnocephalus Perca Percarina Percina Romanichthys Sander Zingel The Percidae are a family of perciform fish found in fresh and brackish waters of the Northern Hemisphere. ... Species (see text) Sander (formerly known as Stizostedion) is a genus of fish in the Percidae (Perch) family. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Samuel Latham Mitchill (August 20, 1764 - September 7, 1831) was a US physician, naturalist and Senator. ... 1818 (MDCCCXVIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar. ... This article is about the zoological term. ... Trinomial name Sander vitreus glaucus The blue walleye (Sander vitreus glaucus), previously erroneously called the blue pike, was a subspecies of the walleye that went extinct in the 1960s. ... Families many, see text The Perciformes, also called the Percomorphi or Acanthopteri, include about 40% of all fish and are the largest order of vertebrates. ... A giant grouper at the Georgia Aquarium Fish are aquatic vertebrates that are cold-blooded, covered with scales, and equipped with two sets of paired fins and several unpaired fins. ... North America North America is a continent[1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ... World map showing the location of Europe. ... Binomial name Sander lucioperca (Linnaeus, 1758) Zander is a species of fish. ... Trinomial name Sander vitreus glaucus The blue walleye (Sander vitreus glaucus), previously erroneously called the blue pike, was a subspecies of the walleye that went extinct in the 1960s. ...

In some parts of its range, the walleye is also known as the walleyed pike, yellow pike or pickerel (esp. in English-speaking Canada), although the fish is related neither to the pikes nor to the pickerels, both of which are members of the family Esocidae. // “Pickerel” redirects here. ...

Genetically, walleyes show a fair amount of variation across watersheds. In general, fish within a watershed are quite similar and are genetically distinct from those of nearby watersheds. The species has been artificially propagated for over a century and has been planted on top of existing populations or introduced into waters naturally devoid of the species, sometimes reducing the overall genetic distinctiveness of populations. A hatchery is a facility where eggs are hatched under artificial conditions, especially those of fish or poultry. ...


Meaning of the name

The common name, "walleye", comes from the fact that their eyes, like those of cats, reflect light. This is the result of a light-gathering layer in the eyes called the tapetum lucidum which allows the fish to see well in low-light conditions. In fact, many anglers look for walleyes at night since this is when most major feeding patterns occur. Their eyes also allow them to see well in turbid waters (stained or rough, breaking waters) which gives them an advantage over their prey. Thus, walleye anglers will commonly look for days and locations where there is a good "walleye chop" (i.e. rough water). This excellent vision also allows the fish to populate the deeper regions in a lake and can often be found in deeper water. Angling is a method of fishing, specifically the practice of catching fish by means of an angle (hook). ...

Physical description

Walleye, Sander vitreus
Walleye, Sander vitreus

Walleyes grow to about 75 cm (30 in) in length, and weigh up to about 7 kg (15 lb). The maximum recorded size for the fish is 107 cm (42 in) in length and 11.3 kg (25 lb) in weight. The growth rate depends partly on where in their range they occur, with southern populations often growing faster and larger. In general, females grow larger than males. Walleyes may live for decades; the maximum recorded age is 29 years. In heavily fished populations, however, few walleye older than 5 or 6 years of age are encountered. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 454 pixelsFull resolution (2760 × 1568 pixel, file size: 4. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 454 pixelsFull resolution (2760 × 1568 pixel, file size: 4. ...

Walleyes are largely olive and gold in colour (hence the French common name: doré -- golden). The dorsal side of a walleye is olive, grading into a golden hue on the flanks. The olive/gold pattern is broken up by five darker saddles that extend to the upper sides. The colour shades to white on the belly. The mouth of a walleye is large and is armed with many sharp teeth. The first dorsal and anal fins are spinous as is the operculum. Walleyes are distinguished from their close cousin the sauger by the white colouration on the lower lobe of the caudal fin which is absent on the sauger. In addition, the two dorsals and the caudal fin of the sauger are marked with distinctive rows of black dots which are absent from or indistinct on the same fins of walleyes. The operculum in fish is the hard bony flap covering and protecting the gills of Bony fish. ... Binomial name Sander canadensis(Griffith and Smith, 1834) The Sauger is a fish which closely resembles its more popular cousin the walleye. ...


The walleye is a relatively r-selected species. They require fairly clean waters and are found most often in deep mesotrophic lakes and moderate- to low-gradient rivers. The walleye is considered a "cool water" species. In ecology, r/K selection theory relates to the selection of traits which promote success in particular environments. ... Mesotrophic is a term applied to clear water lakes and ponds with beds of submerged aquatic plants and medium levels of nutrients. ... For other uses, see Gradient (disambiguation). ...


In most of the species' range, the majority of male walleyes mature at age 3 or 4. Females normally mature about a year later. Adults migrate to tributary streams in late winter or early spring to lay eggs over gravel and rock, although there are open water reef or shoal spawning strains as well. Some populations are known to spawn on sand or on vegetation. Spawning occurs at water temperatures of 6 to 10º C (43 to 50º F). A large female can lay up to 500,000 eggs and no care is given by the parents to the eggs or fry. The eggs are slightly adhesive and fall into spaces between rocks. The incubation period for the embryos is temperature-dependent but generally lasts from 12 to 30 days. After hatching, the free-swimming embryo spends about a week absorbing the relatively small amount of yolk. Once the yolk has been fully absorbed, the young walleye begins to feed on invertebrates such as fly larvæ and zooplankton. After 40 to 60 days, juvenile walleyes become piscivorous. Thenceforth, both juvenile and adult walleyes eat fish almost exclusively, frequently yellow perch or ciscoes, moving onto bars and shoals at night to feed. Walleye also feed heavily on crayfish, minnows, leeches, and earthworms. A reef surrounding an islet. ... For other uses, see Embryo (disambiguation). ... In most birds and reptiles, an egg (Latin ovum) is the zygote, resulting from fertilization of the ovum. ... Invertebrate is a term that describes any animal without a spinal column. ... Suborders Nematocera (includes Eudiptera) Brachycera Diptera (di - two, ptera - wings), or true flies, is the order of insects possessing only a single pair of wings on the mesothorax; the metathorax bears a pair of drumstick like structures called the halteres, the remnants of the hind wings. ... A larval insect A larva (Latin; plural larvae) is a juvenile form of animal with indirect development, undergoing metamorphosis (for example, insects or amphibians). ... Photomontage of plankton organisms Plankton are any drifting organism that inhabits the water column of oceans, seas, and bodies of fresh water. ... Juvenile (left) and adult (right) leaves of Stone Pine A juvenile is an individual organism that has not yet reached its adult form, sexual maturity or size. ... A man-made lake in Keukenhof, Netherlands A lake (from Latin lacus) is a body of water or other liquid of considerable size contained on a body of land. ... For the adult insect stage, see Imago. ... For the unit of measurement, see pole. ... Binomial name Coregonus artedi Lesueur, 1818 blah The cisco (Coregonus artedi) is a species of anadromous fish in the salmon family (family Salmonidae). ...

Interaction with humans

The walleye is often considered to have the best tasting flesh of any freshwater fish, and, consequently, is fished recreationally and commercially. Because of its nocturnal feeding habits, it is most easily caught at night using live minnows or lures that mimic small fish. Most commercial fisheries for walleye are situated in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes, but there are other locations as well. For the village on the Isle of Wight, see Freshwater, Isle of Wight. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Angling. ... Salmon for sale at a marketplace The Fishing industry is the commercial activity of fishing and producing fish and other seafood products. ... The Great Lakes from space The Laurentian Great Lakes are a group of five large lakes in North America on or near the Canada-United States border. ...


The walleye is a light-avoiding fish, caught most often under low light conditions. Fishing is generally best on cloudy or overcast days, or on days when waves keep light from penetrating too deeply into the water.

"Walleye chop" is a term used by walleye anglers for rough water typical with winds of 5 to 15 mph (7 to 24 km/h), and is one of the indicators for good walleye fishing due to the walleye's increased feeding activity during such conditions. The eyes of a walleye allow it to see much better than their prey in breaking waters. A fisherman in central Chile A Long Island fisherman cleans his nets A fisherman (in recent years sometimes called a fisher to be non-gender specific), is a person who engages in the activity of fishing. ...

Because walleyes are popular with anglers, fishing for walleyes is regulated by most natural resource agencies. Management may include the use of quotas and length limits to ensure that populations are not over-exploited. Fishing is the activity of hunting for fish by hooking, trapping, or gathering. ... Fisheries management is today often referred to as a governmental system of management rules based on defined objectives and a mix of management means to implement the rules, which is put in place by a system of monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS). ... × The Traffic Light colour convention, showing the concept of Harvest Control Rule (HCR), specifying when a rebuilding plan is mandatory in terms of precautionary and limit reference points for spawning biomass and fishing mortality rate. ...


In springtime walleye will take almost any bait or lure, but may be more challenging to catch through the summer months. Fall often brings another peak of walleye feeding activity. Walleye are readily caught through the ice in winter, usually on jigs, jigging spoons or minnows. Bait is any substance used to attract prey, e. ... Spinner lure with ring, dish, body/weight and hook In terms of sport fishing, a lure is an object, often designed to resemble fish prey, equipped with one or many hooks that is used to catch fish. ...


Casting or trolling with spinners or minnow-imitating plugs is a good bet. Special worm harness rigs of spinners and beads are often trolled. Jigs, either traditional bucktails, or tipped with any of the modern plastics, a piece of worm or minnow are walleye angling favorites.

Live baits are often still-fished, drifted or trolled on slip-sinker or "bottom-bouncing" rigs. Excellent live bait includes leeches, minnows, earthworms and crayfish. Orders Arhynchobdellida Rhynchobdellida *There is some dispute as to whether Hirudinea should be a class itself, or a subclass of the Clitellata. ... For fish, the word minnow can mean, in decreasing order of specificity: The Eurasian minnow, Phoxinus phoxinus (Linnaeus, 1758) Any, particularly small, fish of the family Cyprinidae Any, particularly small, fish of the family Centrarchidae Fish of the family Galaxiidae, in particular those of genus galaxiid occurring in the Southern... Earthworm is the common reference for the larger members of the Oligochaeta (which is either a class or subclass depending on the author) in the phylum Annelida. ... Families Astacoidea   Astacidae   Cambaridae Parastacoidea   Parastacidae Crayfish, often referred to as crawfish or crawdad, are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are closely related. ...

When ice fishing walleye are caught jigging or on tip-ups. Tip-ups are generally set up with a dacron backing and a clear synthetic leader. For bait, the most common minnows are suckers and shiners. Size for bait is anywhere from 1 to 7 inches.


Large walleye statue at Mille Lacs in Garrison, Minnesota
Large walleye statue at Mille Lacs in Garrison, Minnesota

The walleye is the state fish of Minnesota. Its popularity with Minnesota residents means that the residents of that state consume more of the fish than in any other jurisdiction. In 2004, it was revealed that some restaurants in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region had been substituting the less expensive, imported zander for the walleye indicated on the menu. Zander (pikeperch) is a closely-related species and is almost impossible to tell apart by taste, so the television station that did the exposé had to send samples of food for DNA testing. Though sold as "walleye", several samples were found to be zander, which is considered an illegal practice by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Lake Mille Lacs is a lake in the U.S. state of Minnesota, located north of the Minneapolis-St. ... Garrison is a city located in Crow Wing County, Minnesota. ... Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Area  Ranked 12th  - Total 87,014 sq mi (225,365 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 400 miles (645 km)  - % water 8. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Toms Restaurant, a restaurant in New York made familiar by Suzanne Vega and the television sitcom Seinfeld A restaurant is an establishment that serves prepared food and beverages to order, to be consumed on the premises. ... A map of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. ... Binomial name Sander lucioperca (Linnaeus, 1758) Zander is a species of fish. ... In a restaurant, a menu is the list of options for a diner to select. ... A television station is a type of broadcast station that broadcasts both audio and video to television receivers in a particular area. ... An exposé is an article or book intended to reveal shocking or surprising information. ... Genetic fingerprinting or DNA testing is a technique to distinguish between individuals of the same species using only samples of their DNA. Its invention by Sir Alec Jeffreys at the University of Leicester was announced in 1985. ... The United States Food and Drug Administration is the government agency responsible for regulating food, dietary supplements, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, biologics and blood products in the United States. ...


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) is a partnership designed to provide consistent and reliable information on the taxonomy of biological species. ... is the 78th day of the year (79th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... KARE (or commonly KARE 11) is a broadcast television station serving the Twin Cities market of Minnesota and western Wisconsin in the United States, with studios located in the suburb of Golden Valley. ...

External links

  • Nativefish.org article about the blue walleye
  • Information about Sander vitreus from the University of Minnesota

  Results from FactBites:
Walleye biology and identification: Minnesota DNR (862 words)
The walleye is named for its pearlescent eye, which is caused by the tapetum lucidum, a reflective layer of pigment that helps the fish to see and feed at night or in turbid water.
Unlike the sauger, the walleye lacks spots on its dusky dorsal fin, except for a dark splotch at the rear base of the fin, a marking the sauger does not have.
Walleye are fish-eaters, preying heavily on yellow perch, which cannot see as well as the walleye in low light and thus are easy prey at night.
Walleye: Minnesota DNR (0 words)
The walleye is named for its pearlescent eye, which is caused by a reflective layer of pigment, called the tapetum lucidum, that helps it see and feed at night or in murky water.
A close cousin of the walleye is the sauger.
To ensure that lakes produce enough walleyes to keep up with growing angler demand, the DNR protects habitat, limits the catch through regulations, and stocks fish where natural reproduction is limited and other desirable fish species will not be harmed.
  More results at FactBites »



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