Species image (Illustration Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

What it looks like

  • Large, elongated fish
  • Back is olive-green to brown; sides paler with yellow flecks
  • No distinct blotches or bands on adults
  • White tip on lower tail fin
  • Spiny and soft dorsal fins separated
  • Large mouth extends below back edge of eye
  • Large teeth


  • Typical length: 35.5–58.4 centimetres (14-23 inches)
  • Typical weight: 0.68–1.36 kilograms (1.5-3 pounds)
  • Ontario record: 10.1 kilograms (22.3 pounds)

Similar fish

Where it's found

Range of the Walleye in Ontario

Species distribution map (modified from Mandrak and Crossman, 1992)


  • throughout Ontario
  • especially common in the Great Lakes basin and Northern Ontario
  • use Fish ON-Line, an interactive mapping tool, to find specific lakes and rivers


  • a range of river and lake conditions
  • from cold, clear water to warm, weedy and stained water
  • soft mud bottoms to flooded timber, rubble or bedrock
  • preferred cover – weed, wood, rock

Angling Tips

  • walleye avoid light—best times to fish are morning and evening, and cloudy or overcast days
  • take almost any bait or lure in spring, and feed well in fall
  • more challenging to catch in summer
  • cast or troll with spinners or minnow-imitating plugs
  • troll with worm harness rigs of spinners and beads
  • still-fish, drift or troll live baits on slip-sinker or "bottom-bouncing" rigs
  • ice fish with jigs, jigging spoons or minnows

Common Baits

  • jigs tipped with soft plastics, live bait or bucktail
  • minnow-imitating plugs
  • minnows, earthworms, crayfish