Blue Walleye

  • Species: Blue Walleye - (Sander vitreus glaucus)
  • Location: Ontario
  • Name Variations: Blue Pike, Blue Pickerel
  • Status: Extinct
  • The Campbell Status Report of 1985 officially declared the Blue Walleye extinct. The last Blue Walleye to be officially recognized as a Blue Walleye by the MNR was caught in Lake Erie in 1965. MNR is an acronym for Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

    Back in 1993, I was fishing on Spotted Lake, which is a portage lake off of Esnagami Lake near Nakina, which is a fly-in lake. Eric Lund, the owner of Esnagami Lodge, told my friend Greg and myself to go over to Spotted Lake for some Blue Walleyes. We did the portage and guess what, we caught about 75 Walleyes and 6 or 7 of them were blue. I mean DARK BLUE!!! Even their meat was blue. My friend Greg has caught Blue Walleyes in other lakes north of Nakina back when his parents owned Twin Lakes Outfitters.

    After that, I reported catching Blue Walleyes to the MNR and about three weeks later I had a phone call from a biologist in North Bay. He assured me that Blue Walleye are extinct and that the walleyes we were catching were just regular Walleyes but the acidity of the water made them blue. In actuality, it's a bacterium that thrives in acid water and colonizes on a fish's skin and changes its skin color.

    My Response: I could see in a large lake that there would be different areas with different acid levels. It is common knowledge that acidity does affect the color of shallow water fish like bluegills. Spotted Lake was a tiny little lake (4 acres) with no streams running in. We caught all our Walleyes in the same spot, which was a deep hole at the north end of the lake.


    My question is: how can only 10% of the Walleye population be affected by the acidity/bacteria of the water when they are all in the same water. Another argument is how come we either caught Walleyes that were yellow, or Walleyes that were blue. We did not catch any half and half.

    The MNR officially declared the Aurora Trout as extinct until they caught some in Whitepine Lake and Whirlygig Lake. Maybe they just need to look at the Walleye population in these other lakes.

    Above is a picture of some Walleyes, which were caught by Raymond Hietapakka. One is an obvious regular Walleye (Yellow Pickerel) and the other is pale with blue fins. The Walleyes I caught north of Nakina were a much darker blue than the one in the picture. You will have to decide for yourself if you think this is a genuine Blue Walleye.


    Below is a picture of a Blue Walleye emailed to me by Jonathan Poitras

    Below is a picture of a Blue Walleye emailed to me by John Nelson of Belleville MI



    Here is another question. Why do you get blue goo all over your hands on some Blue Walleye but not others. The blue goo would indicate that there is a blue bacteria on the outside of the skin. Is it possible that some blue Walleye are just regular Walleye with this prehistoric bacteria on their skin and others are the actual species of Blue Walleye?

    Gary,

    I never knew about Blue Walleye until last year. We fish a lake in Northern Ontario every year (for the past 25+ years). I have never pulled out a Blue Walleye until last year. We caught 10 or so over the course of a week. Like I said we never caught a fish that looked anything like this…the color was a deep blue, even on the fins. These fish seemed a bit smaller than most of the other fish. My assumption is that these fish are making a comeback and the numbers are growing in this particular lake. I do not believe this could be anything with the lake, we have fished it for so many years and never came across this. The pictures are not the best but you can definitely see what I am talking about. I will be back there this year and will try to get a better picture if we are lucky enough to catch another one.

    Take care,
    Jeremy Perkins

    My brother and I were on Lake Nipissing west bay last week and in the midst of getting some small walleye my brother Bryan nabbed this little beauty - extinct? I think not. It was clearly bright blue. My cousin also got about a 5 lb blue on the French River north channel few years back. We didn't know what the hell it was. We have a polaroid of it somewhere.

    Mat

    These fish were caught 70 km NE of Dryden ON, I've been fishing this particular lake for 30 years and have never seen one like this before. The pictures never seem to do the fish justice but to the naked eye the blue coloration was very intense.

    tight lines
    Cam Imrie

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