Family: Percidae (Perches)
Species: Stizostedion vitreum
Other common names: Yellow pike
The walleye is a freshwater fish that may grow to 3 feet in length. The common name comes from the fact that when the fish is dead, the eye quickly becomes opaquely white. The back is olive in color, and is broken up by five dark saddles that extend to the upper sides. The olive color shades to white on the belly. It is found in most of Canada and the northern United States and is believed to not be native to the mid-Atlantic states where it is also found. The walleye requires relatively pristine waters and is most often found in deep water in large, clear, cool lakes and rivers. It migrates to tributary streams in winter and spring to lay eggs in sand or gravel bars. A large female can lay up to 495,000 eggs and no care is given by the parents to the eggs and fry. The young walleyes eat invertebrates while the adults eat fishes, moving onto bars and shoals at night to feed.
The walleye is often considered to have the best tasting flesh of any freshwater fish, and as such 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 fishes.