(Lake Erie, Wild-caught)
Walleye populations in the Great Lakes are still recovering from the effects of overfishing, habitat damage and introduced predators.
Dor, Yellow Pike, Yellow Pickerel
Environmental Defense Fund has issued a consumption advisory for walleye due to high levels of mercury and PCBs.
Walleye is found in lakes across North America. It has been commercially fished in the Great Lakes since the 1800s. The majority of walleye sold in the U.S. comes from Lake Erie.
Like other Great Lake species, walleye populations declined as a result of overfishing, habitat damage and introduced non-native species that competed for food resources and even preyed upon young walleye.
Due to natural resilience in the species, walleye populations recovered well from these impacts until the 1990s when they suffered another decline. The population in Lake Erie is now considered to be rebuilding.
Changes in their environment appear to impact the number of young produced each year and ultimately the number of adults available to the fishery. There is also concern that gillnets used by the walleye fishery catch other species (bycatch). Further research is required to establish possible impacts.
Although the population is not fully recovered and concerns remain regarding the impacts of the fishing gear, the management of the fishery is effective in maintaining population levels, resulting in a "Good Alternative" recommendation.