Yellow Walleye

LiebelsGuide

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This yellow walleye was caught on a guide trip last week just south of New Town. Has anyone ever seen anything like this?

IMG_3194.jpgIMG_3210.jpgIMG_3215.jpgIMG_3197.jpg

I emailed the G&F and here was their response:

Hi Matt, this is the second yellow fish we had reported this year. The first was a burbot that was caught on the river this spring. I'm assuming this walleye was caught on Lake Sakakawea?

Not sure if this is the actual cause or not, but the most likely explanation is a condition called "Xanthochromism", which is a genetic mutation that causes a very bright expression of yellow pigment in organisms. See a brief explanation here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanthochromism

Near as I can tell, it just affects the pigmentation and not the quality of the flesh itself. It's certainly uncommon in wild fish - in my career the two reports this year are the first and second I've heard of! Thanks to the internet, I've learned it's fairly common in the aquarium trade to breed color into captive fish.

Thanks for the interesting report.

Scott


Scott Gangl
Fisheries Management Section Leader
North Dakota Game and Fish Department
100 N Bismarck Expressway
Bismarck, ND 58501
 


Ericb

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Wasn't there just a article about Williston waste water? I hope Scott is right, but you think they would ask to examine the fish.
 


Sum1

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with all of that out of state doo doo flowing into the system via Williston I imagine some with a brown tint will soon show up.
 

Vollmer

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I've never even heard of that before. My uncle said he has seen one in Canada before.

Very cool.
 

Enslow

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First i have seen or heard of that as well. I would be mounting that.
 


eyexer

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when you get up into the northern canadian rock shield lakes the walleyes are very gold in color. they seem to take on the mineral element in the water.
 

MSA

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That walleye looks xanthic, which is genetic, and not caused by habitat or chemicals. There are several genetic color mutations that happen in animals. Melanistic for example would be black, hypomelanistic would be less or no black and be white or lighter in color, erythristic would be red, and so on. The blue walleyes are tinted blue in a few certain lakes from an algea or bacteria in the lake, like the greenbacks in Winnipeg from the minerals in the water. If one of these yellow walleye spawn with a normal one, about half the offspring will be yellow and most will at least carry the gene to pass that trait on to their offspring.
 


snow

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We have'em in the ST Louise river system just south of Duluth minn,yellow walleyes are contaminated from the paper plant water discharge,cunsumption advisory for these fish,white belly "good" yellow "bad" donot eat. Totally different than Canadian gold walleyes from stained waters.
 

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