For Walleye, what is considered an eater? and why?

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Dave M
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For Walleye, what is considered an eater? and why?

Post by Dave M » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:35 am

Never fished for them, never eaten them. Looks like we may go give it a try this year. I see so many reports where they talk about "eaters", and many that release the bigger ones. Is there a big difference from a certain size to the bigger ones in meat quality or something? I haven't read of any size restrictions as far as rules go.
Thanks

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DavidA
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Re: For Walleye, what is considered an eater? and why?

Post by DavidA » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:02 am

Hey Dave.

I have only been fishing walleye for the last few years but sure do enjoy it. Any ideas where you might be headed? Some friends and I are headed to Banks Lake this weekend.

While walleye won't give you the best fight per inch, they are fun to fish for, taste great and get up to a nice size. My personal best is 25". State minimum size dropped 2-3 years ago from 16" to 12", to cull some of the small ones, leaving more food for the larger ones. Since then, my friends and I have independently decided that smaller than 14" or 15" just isn't worth it (for us), though that almost always means leaving with less than a limit. I think people generally consider an "eater" in the 16-19" range. I've eaten smaller and I've eaten larger and can't say I can tell a taste difference that was definitely size related. Larger may be a bit tougher. I think much of the "eater" designation comes from not being too small (and thus having too little meat) and not being too big (removing a productive spawner). In most bodies of water, you are allowed to keep 1 over 22". The limit is usually 8 fish per day, though it is different in some lakes, e.g. Roosevelt.

Know the rules for the lake/river you fish and research (Youtube) bottom bouncers well before you go. Best of luck!

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Dave M
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Re: For Walleye, what is considered an eater? and why?

Post by Dave M » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:20 pm

Thanks David. Not sure when or where we will be going, I will be bank fishing somewhere on Roosevelt in a few weeks, but that trip is primarily to find trout for a friend of mines kids.

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DavidA
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Re: For Walleye, what is considered an eater? and why?

Post by DavidA » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:07 pm

I spoke with the Grande Lodge today and water levels in Roosevelt are way down in anticipation of the coming snow melt. Check on that before you go. Also, I've heard of rattlesnakes on the shores. I know little of them or when that might be a concern, but keep that in mind as well. Best of luck. I will report on my 4 day weekend.

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hewesfisher
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Re: For Walleye, what is considered an eater? and why?

Post by hewesfisher » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:44 am

Don't know who/what the Grande Lodge is, but levels are dropping and it is normal seasonal drawdown based on snow pack. We had a healthy pack this year and we've had a lot of rain this spring here in Eastern WA as well. The target level for flood control was 1222.7' but that has changed and level now will not drop below 1232'.

For boaters, this means there will be 4 usable launches until reservoir begins filling, those launches are Hunter's Camp - 1230', Keller Ferry - 1229', Seven Bays - 1227' and Spring Canyon - 1222'.

For more about reservoir levels see these two links:

Hydrologic report

https://www.usbr.gov/pn/grandcoulee/lakelevel/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Phil

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DavidA
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Re: For Walleye, what is considered an eater? and why?

Post by DavidA » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:01 am

I was referring to the Grand Coulee Center Lodge. I just couldn't remember the whole name. Good to know about the Spring Canyon launch. They had thought that it was unusable at this point.

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