The Walleye sporting fish is a freshwater “Perciform” fish native to Southern and middle Northern regions of Canada as well as to the contiguous northern regions of the United States Walleye or sometimes known as “Walley fish” is a North American relative of the European pikeperch. In addition to make it somewhat confusing the common North American walleye is sometimes referred to as the yellow walleye to distinguish it from the extinct blue walleye. The “Blue Walleye” was a prolific fish of the Great Lakes- predominantly Lakes Erie and Ontario.
This different species of fish “The Blue Walleye” was a prolific fish to the extent that it was heavily commercially fished in the Great Lakes fishing regions.
Unfortunately the popularity and delicacy of this fish lead to its demise and extinction. Up to 50 % of the commercial fish catch of the area was of the Blue Walleye variety fish.
Over fishing in the 1950’s led to a population crash of the Blue Walleye fishery. In the 1960’s the introduction of the Zebra Mussel into the Great Lakes Catchment area was the final straw. By 1965 the Blue Walleye of the Great Lakes Fisheries was pronounced extinct for all practical purposes – although an occasional fish is caught by anglers from time to time.
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.
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.
Walleyes are usually larger than perch fish and can be distinguished from the perch fish by the Walleye’s more distinctive scale colors. The more specific fish descriptive term can be said to be a more specific description of a type of Walleye which is also referred to as “Yellow Pike” or “Pickerel” fish. The fish name of “Pickerel” is well established as a description in Canadian areas such as the “lake Winnipeg “or “Red River” Pickerel. In actuality it actually is not a proper term as true Walleye fish are not pike fish or pickerel fish. Yet the name has stuck. If nothing else the term “Yellow Walleye” is the correct term which also distinguishes the Walleye fish from the extinct blue walleye varieties.
Walleye fish show some variations across different watersheds. What gives the Walleye fish its distinctiveness and the word “Eye” in its name is the trait of the Walleye fish is the luminescence of their eyes. Like feline cats the eyes of Walleye fish reflect light. This is most noticeable at night.
Walleye fish can see well for hunting their prey in low light conditions.. Walleye fish actually have a specific light gathering layer in the anatomy of their eyes.
As a result Walleye fish feed at night. Knowledgeable anglers and fisherman know that often the best time to fish for them is at night. Even better the fish can also see well in stained or rough turbid waters, giving them a real advantage over other competitive fish species and the prey of the Walleye fish as well.
Where to best catch your “King Walleye”? Walleye fish can be found lurking in turbid waters However where the natural habitat of Walleyes is, particularly deep commonly clear water lakes and ponds with beds of submerged aquatic plants and medium levels of nutrients. Lastly Walleyes are best caught when the water temperature is cool – below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.78 degrees Celsius) All in all the fall season is when Walleye fishing can be the most fun.