Species Profile

Blue Walleye

Scientific Name: Sander vitreus glaucus
Other/Previous Names: Sander vitreum glaucus ,Stizostedion vitreum glaucum
Taxonomy Group: Fishes
Range: Ontario
Last COSEWIC Assessment: May 2000
Last COSEWIC Designation: Extinct
SARA Status: No Schedule, No Status

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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Habitat | Biology | Reasons for extinction | Documents

Image of Blue Walleye

Blue Walleye Photo 1



The Blue Walleye, also known as the Blue Pike, was a subspecies of the Yellow Walleye. The back of the Blue Walleye was slate-blue to steel-blue, its sides were ice-blue to silvery and the underparts were silver to white. The Blue Walleye measured 23.0 to 40.6 cm and weighed 0.1 to 0.7 kg.


Distribution and Population

The Blue Walleye was found in lakes Ontario and Erie and in the Niagara River. Commercial fishing of the Blue Walleye was intensive from 1850 to the 1950's. The populations of Blue Walleyes began to fluctuate by 1915, but fishing continued until the fishery in Lake Ontario collapsed in 1956 and the fishery in Lake Erie collapsed in 1959. The catch records from these fisheries indicate that the Blue Walleye was once very abundant in Lake Erie and abundant in Lake Ontario. The last Blue Walleye was taken in 1965.



Blue Walleyes prefered deep, cool, and slightly turbid water where the bottom is hard. During winter and fall, these fish were often found in shallower water. The habitat used for spawning is not known, but is assumed to have been boulder and coarse gravel areas.



There is very little information available on the general biology of Blue Walleyes. Spawning usually occurred in May. Males reached sexual maturity at 2 to 3 years of age, while females reached sexual maturity at 3 to 4 years of age.


Reasons for extinction

Overfishing was the main factor which led to the extinction of this species. The introduction of Rainbow Smelts into Lake Erie may have increased competition and predation on the young fish.




PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

0 record(s) found.