Walleye

A Beautiful Fish of the Dark

2022
Author:

Paul J. Radomski

Walleye, the holy grail of game fish: on catching them, understanding their biology and history, and ensuring their survival

Few know the walleye as well as Paul J. Radomski does—a fisheries biologist, lake ecology scientist, and old fisherman. In Walleye: A Beautiful Fish of the Dark he unspools the mysteries of this fascinating fish. From the simple pleasures of fishing for walleye to the most pressing questions about how this species survives, this book is the best word on this beautiful fish of the dark.

Among the more than 34,000 species of fish, few have the walleye’s following—among anglers and diners, states conferring official status on the fish, and towns battling for recognition as the Walleye Capital of the World. And among those passionate fans, few know the walleye as well as Paul J. Radomski does—a fisheries biologist, lake ecology scientist, and old fisherman. In Walleye: A Beautiful Fish of the Dark he unspools the mysteries of this fascinating fish.

Radomski looks at walleye from every angle, with something to say to the curious naturalist, committed ecologist, and avid fishing enthusiast. People who view walleye as the “lion of the lakes” might be surprised to learn that rivers are their ancestral habitat. Some might wonder about the name “wall-eye,” a nod to an evolutionary adaptation to dark water environments. Others might simply ask: why walleye? What are they, where do they exist, how do they survive, and how have people come to depend on them? Radomski discusses the principles and pitfalls of managing this predator of the twilight (and the history and methods of doing so) and shares his informed perspective on when and where stocking is prudent. Finally, he explores three of the best walleye lakes: Winnebago, the largest inland walleye fishery in Wisconsin, and Mille Lacs and Red Lake in Minnesota.

From the simple pleasures of fishing for walleye to the most pressing questions about how this species survives, this book is the best word on this beautiful fish of the dark.

Paul J. Radomski, a fisheries biologist and lake ecology scientist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, is the state’s lead scientific expert on lakeshore habitat management issues. He has published extensively on walleye population dynamics, fisheries management, lakeshore habitat, and conservation and is coauthor of Lakeshore Living: Designing Lake Places and Communities in the Footprints of Environmental Writers.

Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Part I. The Fish of Interest

1. A Beautiful Fish of the Dark

2. Survival School: The World of Walleye

3. The Thrill of the Chase: Walleye Fishing

Part II. Walleye Management

4. Fish In, Fish Out: Walleye Stocking

5. The Long Emergency: Protecting Walleye Habitat

6. A Science of Questions: Walleye Harvest Management

7. Crossing the Ricker: Walleye Fisheries Dynamics

Part III. Walleye Fisheries

8. Conservation Goals: Lake Winnebago

9. A Fishery Predicament: Mille Lacs

10. Getting People Together: Red Lake

Epilogue: Walleye Futures

Glossary

Notes

Bibliography

Index