, formerly Stizostedion vitreum
) is a freshwater perciform fish
native to most of Canada
and to the northern United States
. It is a North American
close relative of the European pikeperch
. The walleye is sometimes also called the yellow walleye
Meaning of the name
The common name, "walleye", comes from the fact that their eyes, like those of lions, reflect white light. This "eyeshine" is the result of a light-gathering layer in the eyes called the tapetum lucidum, which allows the fish to see well in low-light conditions. In fact, many anglers look for walleyes at night since this is when major feeding patterns occur. The fish's eyes also allow them to see well in turbid waters (stained or rough, breaking waters), which gives them an advantage over their prey. Thus, walleye anglers will commonly look for days and locations where there is a good "walleye chop" (i.e., rough water). This excellent vision also allows the fish to populate the deeper regions in a lake, and they can often be found in deeper water, particularly during the warmest part of the summer.
The walleye is considered to be a quite palatable freshwater fish, and, consequently, is fished recreationally and commercially for food.
On January 4, 2005, Father Mariusz Zajac caught an 18.30 lb (8.30 kg) walleye while ice fishing on Tobin Lake. This walleye stands as the world record for ice fishing and had a girth of 22.5 in (57 cm) and was 36.5 in (93 cm) in length. In 2008, the government of Saskatchewan declared the walleye to be the province's official fish.