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Michigan Walleye & Walleye Season

Walleye season opens today in Michigan (May 15 – March 15), so here’s a little bit about this tasty sport fish. The Michigan DNR page on walleye (Sander vitreus) explains that they are the largest member of the perch family:

Walleye Glory Days by UpNorth Memories
Walleye Glory Days by UpNorth Memories

They lack the distinctive vertical bar makings of the yellow perch and have fan-like canine teeth. These battling fish are exciting to catch, delicious to eat and because they feed actively all winter, they provide a fine year-round sport fishery.

…Walleyes are greedy predators. They eat small bass, trout, pike, perch and sunfishes. Prime feeding times are early morning and evening. Although in turbid waters walleyes are active throughout the day. Walleyes often associate with yellow perch, smallmouth bass, northern pike and muskellunge.

In April and May, walleyes spawn over rock shoals. Males mature at age two to four years, females at three to six years. The average walleye caught by anglers is three years old and weighs from one to three pounds. Northern pike and muskellunge prey heavily on walleyes, while yellow perch, smallmouth bass and lake whitefish compete with walleyes for food.

We found a nice list of the top 10 walleye lakes in Michigan. They say that experts believe Holloway Reservoir in Genessee County holds the most walleyes per surface acre of any lake in Michigan. One reason – something you can use when fishing for walleye – is that the movement of the water attracts baitfish which in turn attracts walleye.

If you’re in the Saginaw area this weekend, you can check out the Michigan Walleye Tour tourney on Saginaw Bay. There’s also the Marbleye Classic on the St. Clair River (May 18-20).

If you manage to land any of these tasty fish, you’ll want to cook them up. MyNorth.com has a great recipe for Roasted Lake Michigan Walleye with Fennel – a perfect way to appreciate the delicious flavor of walleye! In closing, here’s a video of fish at the Port Huron Water Intake that opens with a nice walleye!