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Lake Erie Walleye

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Lake Erie Walleye

Lake Erie Walleye

(courtesy of the US Dept. of Fish and Wildlife)
Walleye, a medium-sized freshwater fish, is plentiful in the Great Lakes and the rivers and streams that flow from and into the Lakes. In Ohio, the fish is a springtime fishing favorite, particularly in the Maumee River near Toledo and in the Canadian waters of Lake Erie.

What is a Walleye?:

Walleye is a freshwater, perciform fish (genus: sander species: S. vitreus), native to Northern US and Canadian waters. A walleye is olive and gold in color and can grow to be about 30" long and weigh up to 15 pounds. (The record is 42" and 25 lbs.)

Fishing for Walleye:

The walleye is a nocturnal feeding fish and is most easily caught at night and in the pre-dawn hours. The best bait for walleye is live bait, preferably live minnows or lures that mimic small fish.

Ohio fishing regulations state that a kept walleye must be at least 15". There is a 4 fish/day limit during March and April and a 6 fish/day limit the rest of the year. Those over age 16 fishing in public rivers, lakes, and streams in Ohio must have an Ohio fishing license.

Where to Find Walleye:

During the early spring, walleye migrate to the streams just off of Lake Erie to spawn, particularly the Maumee River basin in western Ohio. Other favorites are the coves and inlets, just offshore. The rest of the year, walleye may be found in the deep waters of Lake Erie, near the Canadian border. Walleye prefer low light conditions and fishing is generally best on overcast or cloudy days. Spring and fall are the peak seasons for walleye fishing.

Cooking Walleye:

Walleye can be cooked a number of ways, including pan sauteed, broiled, baked, fried, and grilled. Walleye is a delicate fish and care should be taken not to overcook the fish. Cook it just until the fillets flake when touched with a fork. Visit Walleye Capital.com for a variety of recipes.

Walleye Trivia:

So, how much do you really know about the Walleye? Did you know that:
  • The walleye is the state fish of Minnesota
  • Walleye are sometimes called pickerel in eastern Canada (although they are not related to the pickerel).
  • A walleye can live up to 20 years.
  • A typical female walleye lays up to 600,000 eggs per year.
  • A walleye can swim up to 50 miles in a single night.


(updated 10-1-09)

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