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In early spring, as the days grow longer and the water temperature rises, walleyes know that the time has come to abandon their winter haunts and begin their annual spawning migration.

Walleyes can spawn successfully in natural lakes, reservoirs and rivers. In many cases, some walleyes spawn in the main body of a lake or reservoir while others spawn in tributary streams.

Spawning areas are usually 1 to 6 feet deep, with a bottom of gravel to baseball-sized rock. Because the eggs require constant aeration, walleyes in lakes and reservoirs deposit their eggs on shoal areas exposed to the wind. River walleyes usually spawn in areas with moderate current. Seldom will walleyes spawn in a sheltered bay or backwater.

Male walleyes are the first to move into the vicinity of the spawning area. Large numbers of males gather even though the water temperature may be only a few degrees above freezing, and spawning time is a month or more away. Females begin moving in several weeks later, when the water temperature reaches the upper 30s to low 40s.

MALE walleyes bump the sides of the female during the spawning act, emitting milt while she drops her eggs. Sometimes several males bump a single female. A female deposits 50,000 to 300,000 eggs, usually in a single night. Fertilized eggs fall between the rocks where they are safe from egg-eating predators. Parents abandon the eggs after spawning. On a rocky bottom, up to 25 percent of the eggs will hatch; on soft muck, less than 1 percent.

Walleyes remain relatively deep until spawning time approaches. A week or two before spawning, they move shallower and begin to feed more heavily. On warm evenings, they mill about in the spawning area, then drop back to slightly deeper water when the sun comes up. These nighttime movements become more frequent as spawning time nears.

The exact water temperature at which walleyes spawn depends on latitude. Walleyes in the North may spawn at temperatures as much as 15 degrees lower than in the South. In the extreme northern part of their range, walleyes generally spawn at temperatures from 40° to 44°F; in the South, from 50° to 55°F.

Spawning times can differ by as much as two weeks in waters in the same area. A shallow lake, for instance, warms much faster than a deep one, so walleyes spawn much sooner.

FRY emerge from the eggs in one to two weeks, depending on water temperature. They live off the egg sac for the first few days of life. On the average, only one fry in a thousand survives to fingerling size.

Because offshore waters warm more slowly, spawning on reefs may take place as much as two weeks later than spawning on shorelines and in tributaries.

The spawning period generally lasts from one to two weeks. But if the water warms rapidly, walleyes spawn at temperatures higher than normal and all spawning is completed in a few days. If the water warms slowly, they start to spawn at temperatures lower than normal and spawning activity may continue for three weeks or more. A severe cold snap during the spawning period may interrupt spawning for several days. After repeated cold snaps, walleyes may reabsorb their eggs and not spawn at all.

FINGERLING size, 4 to 8 inches, is reached by the end of the summer. About 5 to 10 percent of the fingerlings survive to catchable size, although survival rates vary greatly in different types of waters.

Although an individual female usually drops all of her eggs on the same night, not all females ripen at once. This explains why some walleyes are just beginning to spawn when others have been finished for a week or more.

After spawning is completed, males stay near the spawning area up to a month and continue to feed. Females begin to move toward their early-summer locations soon after spawning. When recuperating, they refuse food for about two weeks. But after recuperation, they begin a period of heavy feeding that lasts for several weeks. Anglers who know where to find them during this post-spawn feeding spree enjoy some of the best fishing of the year, particularly for trophy-class walleyes.

h2o<----hope you enjoyed this article.
 

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Question for you h20, and others that fish for walleyes.

One thing I've always been unsure of regarding the D-River spawning run. I assume those walleyes pull out of the deep heavy current and into the shallow bays and creeks at night to spawn. They don't actually spawn in the current do they?
 

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I'm sure they do that's why the boats all work that area, and there's tons of snags, it's all rocks there and the eggs fall in the crack's.

h2o<--says It's Prime spawning area and walleye know it.

Spawning areas are usually 1 to 6 feet deep, with a bottom of gravel to baseball-sized rock. Because the eggs require constant aeration, walleyes in lakes and reservoirs deposit their eggs on shoal areas exposed to the wind. River walleyes usually spawn in areas with moderate current. Seldom will walleyes spawn in a sheltered bay or backwater.
 

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Alex a Walley will spawn in the river its self, but there is so much junk down there like old rebar, slag, timbers, cars etc......that they will get themselvs on the down side of the current and get behind that crap, it kinda makes a little eddie or a slack current although they do like to lay up on rocks, good size stone the size of coble stone, with a quick drop off..... this time of year you can count on good fish from St.Clair to Lake Erie................. kinda my take on it, always looking for other opinion's......... good luck to alllllllllll.
 

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Makes sense...I've been enlightened.
 

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Thanks for posting that greg, did you post it because I was asking all of those questions about walleye by any chance
?

In terms of the river, I have to agree. There is just waaaay too much junk down there. For every Jig that I lost this saturday, I must have retrieved 3 others, complete with line and everything else. Who knows, maybe next time I go, I might even catch me a new fishing pole
Now walleye, got there way too late in the afternoon. Guys in the morning did well, everyone in the afternoon for the exception of few ended up with 1 fish, if that. And the traffic was absolutely awful. People are inconsiderate and thye river was packed with boats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BeerMaster ( Andy ) I thought it was the right time to install a bit of Walleye info at this time. Hey we break even i teach you fishing you teach me about computer's what a great barder system lol.

h2o<--would like to dive on that area and get a real look.
 
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