Walleye (Sander Vitreus)

walleyeAs a young, walleye eat plankton but as they get older, they become fierce predators, eating trout, perch, pike, small bass, and sunfish’s.  As they are sight feeders, they shy away from bright light and so they eat only during early mornings and evenings.  Because the light is usually too bright during the day for these fish, they often retreat in schools to the shade of deeper waters, or to submerged objects.  Walleye prefers a water temperature of only 55-68 degrees Fahrenheit, and this also explains why in the summer, they are found in deeper, cooler waters, though seldom deeper than 50 feet. Average, the walleye is three years old and weighs from one to three pounds.

The name, Walleye, comes from the large, glassy pupils of this fish, which make a white stare.  This is the result of light being reflected from the crystalline matter in the retina, and back through the pupil.  It is an important thing from these fish as it allows them to see well in dark waters.  They spawn over rocky shoals, between the months of April and May and typically the male matures first, at two to four years, while the female matures at three to six years.

Further Reading

Click Here for information from the University of Michigan
Click Here for informaiton from the Michigan DNR