In Oregon, walleye are found in the Willamette, Columbia and Snake rivers. Walleye can be plentiful in these locations, and with their excellent taste are the star of any fish fry.
Features: Color varies, but walleye are generally dark olive-brown on top grading to almost white below. Walleye have two well-separated dorsal fins; the first fin has a large black spot at its rear base. The opaque eyes, giving the fish its common name, and canine teeth are other prominent features.
Habitat: Walleye are found in the Columbia, Willamette and Snake rivers. In the Willamette River, the walleye fishery is generally limited to the section downstream from Willamette Falls at Oregon City, although a few have been documented as far upstream as Dexter Dam. Walleye prefer large, clean and cold or moderately-warm lakes and rivers with sand or gravel bottoms. Large walleyes live almost exclusively on fish when they are available, but they will eat crayfish, frogs, snails and other items. Young fish feed on zooplankton, soon shifting to a variety of vertebrates and invertebrates.
Technique: The best fishing for walleye in Oregon is in the Columbia River near Portland and in The Dalles and John Day pools. Walleye are predominantly nocturnal feeders, frequently moving inshore at dusk to feed in schools where they may be found along the edges of drop-offs. Another likely place to find walleye is at the mouths of tributary streams where cold water enters. With eyes specialized for low-light vision, they generally seek deep water or weedy areas during daylight hours. Fish for walleye by trolling slowly with a small minnow-spinner or worm-spinner combination, plugs, spoons or plain spinners, or cast and slowly retrieve a night crawler near the bottom.