Walleye Facts

Walleye Facts
Walleye is freshwater fish that belongs to the perch family. It can be found in Canada and northern parts of USA. Walleye inhabits rivers, lakes and ponds. It prefers clean water with rocky or gravelly bottom and usually resides on a depth of 20 to 60 feet. Walleye is very popular among anglers. 4.000 to 5.000 metric tons of walleyes are fished each year in Canada. Thanks to strictly defined fishing policies, walleye in not threatened by over-fishing. Biggest threats for survival of walleyes in the wild are habitat destruction and hybridization with saugers (type of fish), because hybridization reduces number of genetically pure walleyes.
Interesting Walleye Facts:
Walleye can reach 31 inches in length and 20 (rarely 25) pounds of weight. Females are larger than males.
Walleye has dark brown, golden-brown or olive-brown back, yellow belly and silver or yellowish-colored lateral sides of the body.
Walleye has large mouth filled with sharp teeth. First dorsal fin is equipped with sharp spines. Name "walleye" refers to pearlescent eyes which glow in the dark thanks to well developed reflective layer (better known as "tapetum lucidum").
Walleye sees the world in the shades of red and green due to lack of blue and yellow pigments in the eyes. Excellent eyesight facilitates navigation in murky and dark waters.
Walleye has well developed lateral line which detects even the slightest vibrations in the water and facilitates detection of potential prey.
Walleye has thousands of taste buds on the lips.
Walleye is nocturnal creature (active during the night).
Walleye can travel 50 miles during the night to find food.
Walleye is a carnivore (meat-eater). Young fish catch and eat insects such as mayflies, crickets and grasshoppers, while adults eat minnows and other types of small fish (crayfish and leeches are occasionally on the menu).
Natural enemies of walleyes are largemouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, ospreys, eagles and otters.
Spawning season of walleyes takes place during the April and May. They migrate toward the shallow rivers and spawn during the night.
Males and females swim above gravelly bottom and release eggs and sperm cells. Females can produce up to 600.000 eggs per year
Fertilized eggs are usually tucked between rocks on the bottom of the river. Larvae emerge from the eggs 1 to 3 weeks after fertilization and feed on egg yolk during the first week of their life. Before they become large enough to eat small fish, walleyes eat zooplankton and fly larvae.
Juvenile fish migrate to deeper water where they live until they reach sexual maturity, at the age of 3 (males) to 5 (females) years, and become ready to spawn.
Walleye can survive more than 20 years in the wild. Females live longer than males.

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