Freshwater Fish - Species

Walleye - Click to enlarge photo

Species Specific Regulations


Freshwater Fishing License required.

Complete fishing regulations

Guide to Freshwater Fishes

Guide to Freshwater Fishes
(Adobe PDF - 3MB)

Walleye (Sander vitreus)

Description: (Anatomy of a Fish)

Walleye are a long, slender-bodied fish with a large mouth that extends back past the middle of the eye, large canine teeth and a silver eye.  The body of a walleye is yellow-olive to brown in color with a creamy white belly.  Two dorsal fins atop the body are separated.  The spiny dorsal has a black spot at the base.  There are six or seven faint saddles on the back. 

Range:  Lake Hartwell and some waters immediately downstream

Average Length:  18-24 inches

Average Size:  2 ¼ pounds

South Carolina State Record: 10 pounds (1994)

Life Expectancy: Approximately 8 years

Preferred Habitat

Walleye are found in clear and cool pools, runs and backwaters of large rivers and reservoirs. 

Food Habits

  • Fish


  • Walleye spawn in streams, along shores of reservoirs and over substrate that ranges from boulders to gravel and sand in lakes at night in March and April. 


Walleye were stocked as fry in lakes Greenwood, Hartwell, Murray and Thurmond from 1962 to 1972 by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.  However, only Lake Hartwell has a viable, reproducing population. 

Commonly Mistaken Species

One species of fish that is commonly mistaken for this species is:

Literature Cited

Rohde, Fred C, Arndt, Rudolf G., Foltz, Jeffery W., Quattro, Joseph M. 2009. Freshwater Fishes of South Carolina. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, South Carolina.

Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. 2009. South Carolina Guide to Freshwater Fishes.

Fish Illustration by Duane Raver.