Walleye are common in most of Canada and the northern U.S., however they have been introduce throughout the United States as far south as Alabama.
Walleye prefer large, clear, cool waterbodies with gravel and sandy substrate. They rely heavily on stony shoals for spawning. Spawning occurs in the early spring, usually just after ice-out when water temps. are between 38-50 F. The female broadcast her eggs, then two or more males release their milt to fertilize the eggs. The eggs are very adhesive, sticking to the rocks and gravel on the shoal. A single female can produce as many as 495,000 eggs. Incubation is from five days to two weeks. The young then leave the spawning areas and grow to be about five to six inches by fall. Males reach sexual maturity in two to four years, while females reach sexual maturity in three to five years.
Feeding occurs mainly during the dawn and dusk time periods. Walleye prey primarily on spottail shiners, emerald shiners, and yellow perch. Other important prey species include bluegills, crappie, bullheads, and crayfish. Young walleye feed primarily on zooplankton, aquatic invertebrates, and small juvenile fish.
Fishing for walleye is most productive in the evening using minnow type lures or jigs fished near the bottom over rock piles or along the edges of weed beds. Nightcrawlers and live minnows worked very slowly are also good producers. Walleye are considered to be one of the best tasting freshwater fish.
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