How Fast Can A Walleye Swim?
According to the Minnesota DNR, when a moving waterway containing walleye is managed or constructed, the speed of the water moving through that waterway must be less than 2 feet per second to allow for the natural movement of the fish up stream.
With a few calculations we can arrive at a speed of the waterway and therefore a speed that the fish must travel to survive within the waterway.
1 Mile = 5280 Feet*
60 seconds per minute
60 minutes per hour
2 feet of water x 60 seconds = 120 feet of water per minute
120 feet of water per minute x 60 minutes = 7200 feet of water per hour
7200/5280 = 1.36 Miles per hour
Now it may seem that 1.36 miles per hour is not very fast however, at a continuous pace it becomes much more impressive. Many fish, not just walleye, must survive within moving waters their entire lives. They may find calmer water within a pool, pond or lake but for a significant period of their lives they must remain swimming constantly.
How exactly a fish creates propulsion depends greatly on the natural characteristics of the fish.
According to an MIT article published by Emerging Technology from the arXiv in 2018,
“In the characteristic undulatory swimming motion of fish, muscles contract sequentially along the body to generate a backward-moving wave of body bending. This pushes against the water and produces thrust.”
Said more generally by the same authors,
“When it comes to swimming, fish demonstrate an effortless grace and power that humans can only dream of. While the fastest fish swim at up to 70 miles per hour, no human has ever managed even 4 mph in water. Even the fastest submarines have a top speed of only 50 mph.”
When it comes to the native Minnesota fish we all know well, you have probably seen a bluegill, northern pike or even a walleye in shallow water seemingly disappear with nothing but a cloud of mud, muck or weeds left behind when it swims away.
Although there is no definitive answer, it should be reasonable to estimate that a healthy walleye could have a burst speed of up to 50MPH for short distances when necessary for survival.
How Does A Walleye Get It’s Name?
Named for its eyes, the Walleye has a reflective film or “wall” of pigment coving its eyes, helping it see in murky waters. This special adaptation, combined with its razor-sharp teeth, makes this popular game fish an effective predator.
What Does A Walleye Eat?
Walleye primarily feed in the low-light conditions of early morning and dusk. They tend to be most active on overcast days and windy days with choppy water. In more turbid or murky water, they will feed throughout the day. A walleye’s diet consists mainly of other fish, but they will also feed on crayfish, worms, and minnows.
Other Walleye Facts
- The current world record walleye is 25 pounds and was caught in Tennessee in 1960.
- Although the walleye is not related to the pike, they are sometimes known as “Yellow Pike.”
- Baby walleye are called “fries.”
- These fish are typically found in depths of 15 to 30 feet.
- During the nighttime, walleye will come closer to the shore.
- The oldest recorded age for a walleye was 29 years.
- Walleye are ranked high in the food chain.
- Walleye are known for their delicious and finely textured meat. They are the most sought after fish in many northern states.
- Walleye is the state fish of Minnesota, South Dakota, Ohio and Vermont.
- Walleye are believed to only see the colors red and green.
- Walleye prefer cold water over warm water.
Pelican Lake Walleye Fishing Tips
- Possession limit of 6. No slot limit. One walleye over 20” allowed per license.
- Due to sensitivity to light, walleye are more active at night.
- At night, walleye come to shallower water to feed.
- Although springtime will give you the most luck out on the water, walleye can bite year-round.
- Use gloves when holding a walleye. The teeth and dorsal fin of a walleye are both very sharp!
- The most common lures used for walleye fishing are jigs and crankbaits. Bottom bouncers and lindy rigs work well on Pelican Lake.
- The best baits include night crawlers and leeches during the summer and fat heads or shiners in the winter.
- Pelican Lake is mostly a mud bottom or weedy lake. There are however several sandy areas with underwater structure and elevation perfect for walleye habitat. Weed lines are also home to schools of walleye.
For excellent walleye fishing visit any Pelican Lake Resort this summer 2020!