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Walleye

Walleye are the largest member of the perch family, which also includes Yellow Perch and Sauger. They have a large, silvery eye, a milky belly and flanks that range from olive brown to golden-yellow.

Walleye can be differentiated from Sauger, which they closely resemble, by their first dorsal fin which is dusky colored and spotless.

Though not as wide-spread in Vermont as many other species of fish, populations of Walleye can be found in Chittenden Reservoir, Lake Carmi, the Connecticut River, Island Pond, Salem Lake and Lake Champlain.

Three common set-ups for targeting Walleye include:

  • fishing a jighead tipped with a night crawler, minnow or leech

  • trolling or retrieving a spinner and crawler harness near the bottom anchored by a bottom-bouncing sinker,

  • trolling or casting and retrieving a minnow-shaped crankbait.

Walleye tend to relate to sand, gravel or rocky bottom areas and will often use submerged weed edges and sunken trees or logs as cover from which they can ambush prey. Walleye have eyes that are very sensitive to light, so they are usually most active at night or in turbid water.

Fun facts:

Species Name: Sander vitreus

Common Names: Yellow walleye, glass eye, marble eye, walleyed pike, pike-perch

State Record: 14 lbs. 8.8 oz. Caught in Lake Champlain in 2010 by Richard Levesque.

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