A Little Bit About Them Walleyes

April 2, 2021

According to the DNR, it generally takes three to four years for a walleye to grow to 14 inches in length (minimum length) and six to eight years for a walleye to reach 22 inches in length. A typical walleye can live 15 years and reach 20 lbs. We have enforced catch and release to ensure the population of our fishery at all of our 12 outposts remains superb. It takes many years for those big fish to get to be trophy size. Of course, when your at one of our fishing paradises, you are more than welcome to eat the 14 -17 inch walleyes for shore lunch.

Walleye have been known to live as long as 26 years in cold northern waters, although a walleye over 15 years old is rare. How fast a walleye grows and how big it becomes is largely dependent upon the availability of food and the length of the growing season. In our Northern Canadian waters the growing season is very short. Therefore it takes even longer on average for our fish to grow big.

Female walleyes live significantly longer than males. Did you know that Walleyes lack blue and yellow pigments in their eyes, therefore they can only see in shades of red and green. Each spawning walleye, depending on size, deposits between 60,000 to 250,000 eggs, averaging about 85,000 eggs per fish. Of those eggs, 5 to 20% hatch, so in most cases hatching success is less than 10 percent. Female walleyes will produce less eggs the bigger they get, but the eggs of larger walleye are more resilient and likely to actually hatch.

Once the eggs hatch, and make it to their first summer, they are then called fingerlings. The success rate to get to this stage is .7 percent. Fingerlings will experience a mortality rate of about 50 percent –again assuming good feeding and habitat conditions – each year, until reaching catchable size of 1 ¾ to 2 pounds.

Escape to the Wilderness,

Dave, Michelle, & Jon


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