Can You Eat a Walleye?

Can You Eat a Walleye?

The walleye is a perciform fish found in the freshwaters. It is also known as the Yellow Pike. The fish is mainly found in the Northern United States as well as Canada. The fish is a close relative of the European Zander, which is also popularly known as pikeperch. The walleye is specifically known as the Yellow walleye. This is done to keep a distinction between them as well as their subspecies, which were found in the regions of Quebec and Ontario, and was known as the Blue Walleye. This subspecies of the Yellow Walleye is presumed to be extinct in the present times.

In the portion of English speaking Canada, the fish is known as Pickerel. In reality, the fish is nowhere related to the Pickerel, which is a member of the family of Esocidae. There is a fair amount of variation in the Walleyes, across the watersheds.

The name of the fish has been kept Walleye because the eyes of the point in the outward direction and seem to be looking at the wall. Such an orientation of the eye gives these fishes an advantage in the dark because a certain kind of shine is given off from the eyes is the Walleye in dark.

Something very similar to this is present in lions as well as other nocturnal animals. This kind of eyeshine is due to the light-gathering layer inside the eyes of this fish. It helps this fish in having visibility during the low light conditions. Due to this kind of brilliant vision, the fish can populate in the deep regions of a lake. These fishes can be found in the deeper part of the lake in the warm summer nights. 

Can You Eat a Walleye?

Yes, walleye can be eaten. Walleyes are some of the healthiest foods available to us. There are multiple benefits of eating a walleye and very few risks of any kind of exposure to the contaminant. It is considered as one of the most palatable fish of the freshwaters. It is fished on a very frequent basis for recreational activities as well as commercially as a source of food.

The fish has got nocturnal feeding habits and hence can be caught very easily in the night time with the help of minnows as well as lures that very easily mimic small fish. It is fished mostly in the windy days in the latter part of the afternoon in Minnesota. The majority of the fisheries of walleye are located in the Canadian waters of Great Lakes. The fish is very popularly served as a sandwich in the puns of Minnesota. Here, the fish is immensely popular and a deep-fried walleye on a stick is the food of Minnesota State Fair.

How is the fishing of Walleye regulated?

Walleye are popular among fishermen which forces regulation to help preserve their population. The management of fishing of these fishes includes the use of quotas as well as the length limits to make sure that the population of these fishes is not overexploited. In Michigan, the walleye which has got a length shorter than thirty-eight centimeters is not allowed to keep legally with an exception of Lake St. Clair, the Saginaw Bay, and the St. Clair river. In these three places, the fish having a length as short as thirty-three centimeters can be taken.

Health Benefits of Eating a Walleye

  • The walleye is considered a very healthy source of food
  • There are 101 calories in eighty-five grams of the fish
  • There are no carbohydrates
  • Along with this, there are twenty-one grams of protein, which is approximately forty-two percent of the daily requirement of protein. Protein is one of the most important nutrients as it is required for promoting a good muscle mass as well as a good immune system
  • There are no unsaturated fats in the fish and it has got just one gram of fat in one serving. There are healthy Omega 3 fats in the fish as well as multiple other nutrients such as calcium
  • It is one of the best alternatives for milk as well as milk products. It is a great option for those people who have got a lactose intolerance or don’t like milk products

In addition to all these, it has got a healthy combination of potassium as well as sodium along with Vitamin B6.

How to Clean and Fillet a Walleye

  • To start the cleaning process, you need to put your knife behind the fin of the fish and the blade of the knife pointing down
  • Now, you need to cut it down to the backbone. You have to do this without cutting thought the layer of the backbone of the fish
  • After this, you should turn the blade of your knife sideways while pointing the blade of the knife towards the tail of the fish
  • Next, you need to cut down straight from the backbone to the tail. There will be thin bones through which you’ll have to cut. These bones will be removed later, so you don’t need to worry. You have got the fillet sliced off from the fish
  • The next thing that you need to do is remove the rib cage of the fish. For doing this, you need to put the knife of the blade at the edge of the rib cage of the fish and then slice along the rib cage of the fish about 1 inch in. You need to keep in mind that the edge of the knife should be close to the rib cage. You have to ensure this so that the knife doesn’t cut into the meat. In a walleye of approximately 2 pounds, the rib cage would be around an inch wide as well as five inches long
  • Then, you need to point the knife on the other side of the fish’s rib cage. You need to slice down approximately one-eighth of one inch of the complete length of the fish’s rib cage. After this, you need to hold the rib cage and pull it out completely
  • Hold the thinner end of the fillet (of the tail) using your fingernail and then cut down up to the skin of the fish. Next, you need to cut in a straight line along the skin of the fish. All this while you need to keep the knife close to the skin of the fish. This is the process of scrapping it
  • Finally, you need to go all the way down up to the end and then remove all of the skin. If you are planning to take the fillet back to the border of the US or Canada, then you need to leave an inch of the skin on the fish. You need to do this for the identification of the species. After all this, you’ve got a fillet, but still, there is a small row of bones that need to be removed

If you get an opportunity to catch a Walleye of around 2 pounds, then you will get to notice that this row of bones is so thin that it’ll dissolve completely while you are cooking it. While in the north, a Walleye of two pounds will be three times older than its southern counterpart. The structure of bones in these fishes is way more developed. If you have caught one of these fishes in the north, then you need to cut the extra line of these bones out. These bones can be felt very easily with the help of your fingers. These bones near about halfway down to the fillet. You should cut in through the fillet on both sides of the ridge of these bones. After this, you should take these out. Now the fillets are ready to be cooked. All that you need to do is wash them and go on to make your cuisine. 


Walleyes are one of the most popular sport fishes. They carry an aggressive nature and are bloodthirsty. A person needs a good amount of knowledge as well as practice to catch a walleye. Also, they are a very good source of protein and other vital nutrients.  

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