The Fish We Cook, Walleye, Sauger
Because of its great taste, the walleye is a very popular fish for both sportsmen and commercial fisheries. Although it is usually called walleye pike, the walleye is not a member of the pike family but is actually a member of the freshwater perch family.
|It is most popular in the clear lakes of north central United States and is most abundant in Minnesota and Wisconsin. In different areas of the country it can be found under about 60 different names including such as dore, marble eye, pike perch and yellow pike. The walleye gets its name from its large eyes which have a special layer that enables them to see very well in low light conditions.
It is the state fish of Minnesota, South Dakota and Vermont. It was also declared the official fish of Saskatchewan.
The walleye has an olive-brown color with mottled brassy specks and a golden hue on the sides. It has a large mouth with many very sharp teeth. It averages 1 to 3 pounds but can grow to 22 pounds and 36 inches in length.
It is a mild flavored fish and is low in fat. The best way to cook walleye is to pan fry, deep fry, broil, bake or saute.
The sauger is a member of the freshwater perch family and is closely related to the walleye pike in both taste and appearance. Often mistaken for a walleye, the sauger has spots on its dorsal fin where the walleye does not.
It is found in the eastern half of the United States in shallow lakes and large rivers and is most popular in the Mississippi river valley and the great lakes region.
Saugers are more abundant in rivers where walleye is found mostly in lakes and reservoirs. It is a migratory fish and prefers warmer water than its cousin the walleye.
The sauger is a small fish averaging less than 1 pound and from 12 to 14 inches in length. It has a brownish back, darker than the walleye, with a white belly that has 4 dark vertical bars on its side.
In different areas it has many varied names which include gray pike, pike perch, pickerel, pickering, rattlesnake pike, sand pike and jack salmon. The sauger has a flakey flesh that is mild in flavor and low in fat. The best way to cook sauger is to Deep fry, Oven fry, pan fry, bake, broil or saute.
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