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Big Dawg

Last weekend I kept, cleaned, and eat a 17" walleye. I was extremely surprised to see the fish still full of spawn. Is this normal??? I always thought that if a female fish did not spawn, that they absorbed the eggs back into their body. I do not remember who told me this or where this idea came from, and I have no idea if it is true. Kind of an interesting conversation -- any ideas??? Thanks.

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Guest

that fish is already starting to develop eggs for next year. pretty much any fish over 15 inches will be identifiable as male or female now.

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minneman

I second that.

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Big Dawg

When do they start to produce eggs for the new spawning season? These eggs really looked like old eggs compared to eggs for the upcoming season. This assessment comes from what spring crappie eggs look like. What does happen to the eggs if the fish does not actually spawn in the spring? Can a fish hold eggs for over a year and are they still able to be fertalized? Hopefully this are not to dumb of questions. Just curious!!

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Brett Meyer

I've been to the fish hatchery a couple of time, and usually the mature eggs are a little bit lighter than they might be now if i remeber correctly. The eggs now should be a reddish tan color(something like that). Whenever i catch walleyes, and usually in the winter they be full of eggs, along with other fish like perch.

Someone please correct me if i'm wrong about the color thing, it's been a few years since i was at the hatchery, and for my own info i would like to know that agian.

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Guest

I tried to find published information about what happens to a female walleye's eggs if she doesn't spawn, but came up blank. I think they are absorbed, and that absorpsion would happen fairly quickly once the water warms in the spring, so that by the end of June or so the eggs would be gone. NOTE: this is purely speculation on my part!

I didn't notice either spawn or milt (sp?) in the walleyes I cleaned in September, but the ones I got the first weekend of October were easy to tell as male or female. So I'd say the process begins around the beginning of October.

As far as color of the eggs inside the fish in fall VS. spring, I wouldn't know, but the eggs do get larger in size as Spring approaches... Also, I do believe Walleye eggs in spring are slightly larger than crappie eggs.
Let's hear from a fisheries biologist!

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