The walleye

Scientific name: Sander vitreus

Weight: 11 kilos

Conservation Status: Stable – Minor Concern

Habitats: Lake Erie, Lake of Thousand Lakes, Lake of the Woods, Lake Oneida…

Walleye is particularly appreciated for its delicious taste, which makes it a highly prized catch. This is why strict rules govern the fishing of this species, in order to ensure its sustainability.

It is easier to catch walleye in the morning or late at night because they tend to feed in the dark. Indeed, thanks to his large eyes, he is able to feed himself at night.

In Quebec, walleye is often called walleye, because for fishermen who catch it, it’s like finding a gold nugget!

They are usually found in clear and deep water, or in stained but shallow water. It is a medium-sized fish, weighing between two and three pounds.

The most common techniques for catching this species are the use of live bait or pops, hooks or lures.

As the water warms in early summer, walleye move from spawning grounds to the central part of the lake. They are often found near a rocky structure.


Sport fishing :

Walleye is a species of fish that is widely caught by sport fishermen. Lucifugal, this species is often fished in the evening, at night or at dawn. In turbid water, it is active all day long. Live bait (small fish) is very effective but often prohibited. It is also possible to catch it by fly. It will look for insects on the surface of the water at nightfall. Walleye are highly prized for their meat and for the fight they can offer during their capture.

It should be noted that the eyes of walleye as well as those of black have a layer of light-reflecting pigments called choroidal carpets. This layer provides the fish with excellent night vision and forces them to avoid bright lights.

Sometimes the 2 species hybridize to form a subspecies called “sageye” in English.


Commercial interest of walleye :

This species is not widely used in aquaculture and is generally used for seeding purposes. A commercial fishery exists in Canada. Its flesh, highly esteemed, is quite expensive.

Selling this fish with the skin on slightly degrades its quality compared to that of sport fishing.

Indeed, the silt of this fish has a strong smell that leaves an unpleasant taste to the flesh.

A major industry is focused on recreational fishing.