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Thread: Why aren't there Walleye up here?

  1. #1
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Default Why aren't there Walleye up here?

    I've been wondering about some of the lakes up here. Why aren't there any Walleye?
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    If they are non-native, stocking is needed in fertile waters, with structure for juvinille nursury areas. UpperMidwest gets colder w/ 4 months of ice and they flourish. Could be cost to import accross state lines, invasive species, Fish and Game budget, politics.

  3. #3

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    I am assuming you mean naturally here and I have wondered the same thing. The only thing I can think of is the lake bottoms here are mostly mucky. Walleyes prefer a gravel flats to spawn in, don't know if that would prevent the eggs from hatching or not though. Other than that, many of the lakes would be ideal walleye water. They would get fat of all the rainbows for sure, of course that is the reason they will never be stocked in AK.

    Too bad though, if they had walleye up here, you wouldn't catch me on a salmon stream too often.


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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    they brought some of them up from down south to see if they could live here and all the local fish made fun of how they talked so they all left
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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    They didn't have proper documentation and couldn't get across the border from Canada!!!!!

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    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    Lack of prey, infertile waters. There are not a lot of natural lake fish here in SC. On the other hand, I would think they would do well where there are pike in the interior.
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  7. #7

    Default too cold

    It all has do to with fertility of the lakes.

    Lakes fall into three categories.

    Oligotrophic--cold and not fertile. Alaska falls into this category.
    Mesotrophic--not as cold, more fertile. Much of Canada and northern US fall into this
    category.
    Eutrophic--warm, the most fertile. Central and southern US fall into this category.

    Walleyes can be found in mesotrophic and eutrophic watersheds.

    If global warming continues we'll be able to catch walleyes in Alaska in no time

  8. #8
    Member Milo's Avatar
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    Default Not too cold

    Colder and more oligotrophic than Great Bear Lake, NWT? Or many other lakes across arctic Canada? Walleyes do very well in cold and infertile lakes as well as the shallow and marshy lakes in warmer climates. There are strains that have adapted to a variety of habitats and they would do well in a variety of Alaskan waters. The simple reality is they just aren't here.

  9. #9

    Angry

    There are many species that would fare better in the stocking program, but F&G is hung up on the Rainbows and Landlocked Silvers. Tourists like to catch them and so we are stuck with the status quo.
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    Its the same reason there arent any naturally occuring rainbows and dollies on the east coast, or natural atlantic salmon or brook trout on the west coast, or natural brown trout in North America, or pike in the southcentral drainages. If transplanted there, often times they will do much better than natural species. But, for one reason or another, they never made it to that area. If walleye were transplanted here, they would probably do very well.
    But, if you take a look at what transplanting fish has done in the past, there is a very good chance it would totally screw up the ecosystem (look at lakes introduced with pike, ar water systems down south with introduced carp).
    The fact is that walleye dont belong in this ecosystem, and hopefully will never be introduced here.

  11. #11
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milo View Post
    Colder and more oligotrophic than Great Bear Lake, NWT? Or many other lakes across arctic Canada? Walleyes do very well in cold and infertile lakes as well as the shallow and marshy lakes in warmer climates. There are strains that have adapted to a variety of habitats and they would do well in a variety of Alaskan waters. The simple reality is they just aren't here.

    Walleye distribution in Great Bear is very limited due to the extent of oliogtrophication (). The only population of walleye on Great Bear are centered around the Johnny Ho river. They are however the most Northerly population of walleye in Canada and possibly the world.
    If I had to guess why there are no walleye in AK, I would think that the continental divide and rocky mountains had something to do with isolating Alaska from the rest of the continent.

  12. #12

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    Cuz alaska tends to favor fish that actually fight!

    Seriously i used to do a lot of walleye fishing and i defy anyone to find a better tasting fish. That being said they are quite possbily the weakest fighting fish i have ever caught at least for how popular they are. Ever watch someone reel in a big walleye it's like reeling in a big stick.

  13. #13
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    Yeah a really tasty stick.
    Paul

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    I had walleye in a restaurant once in Michigan, there must be a commercial fishery for them somewhere. Anybody know?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain T View Post
    I had walleye in a restaurant once in Michigan, there must be a commercial fishery for them somewhere. Anybody know?
    Almost all walleyes commercially caught come from Canada. Lake Winnepeg has a huge commercial fishery.

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    Don't walleye need warmer water to spawn,i know crappie and bass need 70 degee ish water...they may like cool water but need warmer water to spawn.....
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    They spawn in 40-45 degree water. I fished them almost obsessively back home in Wisconsin. For my money, halibut is better tasting by far. I would also take a nice slab of red salmon before a walleye. I cannot disagree with the comments on how they fight. It's like hauling in a wet sock.
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    Pretty sure some big mountains between here and their home range may have something to do with it. Otherwise, their use of lakes and rivers and ability to feed in cold water and low light (not to mention they eat everything from bug larvae to leeches to small fish) would actually make them a good fit in AK. Pike are often considered a cool water fish and have a more southern distribution than walleyes....yet they flourish here. I have heard that an experiment with perch did well....and all walleyes are is a big toothy perch.

    But, still glad they aren't here....this place is tuned into what it does and doesn't have...and I'm okay with that.

    Gotta say though, those buggers are tasty. And while not as enigmatic as a jumping king, silver or rainbow....they are a cunning and finicky critter that really only the savviest anglers I knew ever caught big ones consistently.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcman View Post
    Almost all walleyes commercially caught come from Canada. Lake Winnepeg has a huge commercial fishery.
    Minnesota's Mille Lacs lake and, now, Red lake are contributing to a commercial harvest based on a silly US Supreme court decision.

  20. #20
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Passport Issues!!!

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