Walleye

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  • Walleye: (Sander vitreus)

    Description
    Originally native to far north in Canada and Labrador, west of the Appalachian Mountains through the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast, then west to Kansas, Nebraska and North Dakota. Introduced to Arizona in 1957. Back is yellow-olive with a brassy cast. Sides are brassy-yellow with dark mottling. Belly is white. Dark spot at rear of spiny dorsal fin. Anal fin and lower lobe of tail fin are white. Namesake eyes are opaque-silver in color. Moderate canine-like teeth. Length: 12 to 29 inches. Weight: 10 oz. to over 12 pounds. May reach 29 years of age.

    Location and Habitat
    Found in Lake Powell, Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake, Apache Lake, Upper Lake Mary, Show Low Lake and Fool Hollow Lake. Bottom oriented fish, due to their sensitivity to light, preferring to stay in deep water during the day, moving to shallow waters during the night.



    Reproduction

    Spawn from March until May when water temperature is between 39 and 61 degrees Fahrenheit. Spawn in relatively shallow water, over clean gravel or rocky bottoms. Spawn in small groups with three or more males per female. Eggs are released and fertilized in a single night. Eggs are adhesive and are not attended by either sex. Hatching occurs between 12 to 18 days.


    Food
    Walleye prefer fish but will eat crayfish and worms. In Arizona, their main diet is threadfin shad.

    Angling
    Because of light-sensitive eyes, walleyes feed more actively early in the morning, late in the evening, or at night. Effective lures and baits include, minnows, nightcrawlers, jigs, spinners and minnow imitating plugs. Fishing with minnows is unlawful in Lake Powell, Lake Mary, Showlow Lake and Fool's Hollow Lake.

    Table Quality
    Considered one of the most excellent tasting fish available. The meat is white, flaky and has a very mild flavor.

    Information from The Arizona Game and Fish Department.

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