Walleye or Pickerel Canada

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Subject: Walleye or Pickerel
Hi,New to the forum.I have a question about terminology,I live in Winnipeg and I´ve fished all my life in and around most bodies of water in Manitoba but I´ve also fished all over Canada and one thing puzzles me...Why do only Manitobans call Walleye "Pickerel"??A Pickerel is a Pike and has nothing to do with a Walleye,Not even the same species as far as the literature goes.i made the mistake a couple of times fishing in BC referring to a Walleye as a Pickerel and ended up confusing more than one person.Just wondering if ANYone out there knows where this misrepresentation started.

Same question (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
Beleive it or not, but I had the same question about walleye and pickerel. Now that you are asking, I would also like to know, hopefully someone will clearify that.
pickerel (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
Walleye or Pickerel (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
Anyone out there with any constructive criticism on my question??To the anonymous poster that simply replied "Pickerel"...care to elaborate a little??
pickerel or walleye (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
A walleye is a walleye, a pike is a pike, and a pickerel is a "chain pickerel". They are separate species.

The chain pickerel has a body shape and fin location very much like a pike, but has a greenish colour, with random chainlike markings on its side and top. I have never caught one in Ontario, but I have caught several in New Brunswick, in the Kennebecasis River.

Parts of Ontario and manitoba erroneously called walleyes Pickerel. I don´t know why or where that started but it´s still done today.

(in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
Yeh...Being a life long born and bread Manitoban I know this all to well!Was just very curious to know if anyone knows where/when this misrepresentation started.Thanks all for the help...and keep fishin´!!
Picture?? (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
I was wondering where I can get a picture of a pickerel? I have tried looking on the NET but it just keeps talking and showing pictures of Walleye and Pike. Can somebody help with this. I do most of my fishing in and arounf Eastern Ontario. I´m 59 and new at this game so please be gentle with me.
Walleye or Pickerel (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
The walleye or yellow pickerel or pickerel (Sander vitreus vitreus, formerly Stizostedion vitreum vitreum) is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the northern United States. It is a North American close relative of the European pikeperch. The walleye is sometimes also called the yellow walleye to distinguish it from the blue walleye.

In some parts of its range, the walleye is also known as the colored pike, yellow pike or pickerel (esp. in English-speaking Canada), although the fish is related neither to the pikes nor to the pickerels (which are actually a species of pike called the chain pickerel), both of which are members of the family.

In Southern Ontario the name Yellow Pickerel has been around for a hundred years. People dropped the yellow and call all walleye pickerel.

The fish is a Walleye but the habit of calling them Pickerel is handed down from each generation to the next.


pickerel vs. walleye (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
I grew up fishing in The Lake of the Woods, just south of Minaki....Pickerel is the Canadian name, Walleye is American. Northern Pike is Jackfish
(in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
walleye is the canadian term and pickeral is american, walleye and pickeral are the same fish
walleye or pickerel (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
we also use the term pickerel for walleye in ontario.
but really pickerel is not walleye it is not even a pike.
it is more closely related to the pike then the walleye and looks a lot like a pike but dosn´t get as big.

danika fisher girl
(in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
We in Ontario have always considered walleye and pickerel the same thing (even if they are different species). Anyways, maybe we can blame the Ontario Provincial Gov´t for this...see the following link: http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/publications/590b14-fishid.pdf


Is a pickeral a walleye (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
I have fished for pickeral for over 50 years.
Just about everybody I know that fishes in southern Ontario call pickeral "pickeral"
I always thought walleye was an American term.
I was advised yesterday by an avid fisherman friend that what we have been catching all these years is in fact a walleye and a pickeral is more related to a pike and I guess I have never caught one. I´m not sure yet whether to continue calling the best tasting fish in the world a walleye or a pickeral.
Pretty hard to teach a real old dog a new name.
Apparently the fishing guide calls them walleye and pickeral is not listed. I guess the provincial government knows.

walleye vs. pickeral (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
I have been fishing for about thirty years now here in eastern ontario and always knew them as Pickeral. I always thought it to be an American name to call them Walleye. As soon as my brother in law moved out west he was quick to try to correct me on this. I´m going to keep calling those tasty fish Pickeral and people around here will do the same I´m sure. This term seems to be common from the Ottawa Valley on down to Central Ontario.
Mike the pike
They are two different Fish. (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
I grew up in Manitoba, and did most of my fishing there, as well as in Northern Ontario arouund the Kenora region. Since I was a kid I have been catching "Pickeral."

When I moved to New Brunswick my friend said he was going pickeral fishing and I got really excited "I didn´t know they had pickeral in New Brunswick." out on the boat I caught this spiney looking jackfish, and I asked where the pickeral were, he told me I caught one. After much debate and him pulling out the fishing book I quickly learned that this spiney looking jackfish was indeed called a pickeral. What i have been calling pickeral all my life was a Walleye.

Now I always new it was a Walleye, but I had no idea there was a different fish entirely called a pickeral. So when I´m out east I call it a walleye, because everyone would think you mean this grass pike looking thing. But when i´m back home out west Pickeral means the tastiest fish in the world!! (Walleye)

Brian L
(in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
I have looked at the map of Ontario for years and have NEVER found a walleye lake OR walleye river. HOWEVER!!! There are many pickerel lakes and rivers on that same map. Leads me to wonder where the name walleye even came from??? If it is indeed a species that is in Ontario, why would it not be on a map ( as in a lake or river named after it )?
walleye vs pickeral (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
im american....lived in canada.....i have known walleye as walleye.....and pickeral as pickeral......does anyone really know...
(in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
Been fishing all my life in Northern Ontario and in Thunder Bay, walleye and pickeral were interchangable. Walleye American and pickeral Canadian. Neither had anything to do with a pike or northern or jackfish.
Darren McGinnis
Canadian & American?!? (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
Canadian or American has nothing to do with it. I´m in Saskatchewan & people are equally ignorant here. If it is a Canadian thing then we are allowing the USA to be smarter than us. Pikerel isn´t a nickname, for walleye, it is an actual name of an actual fish that IS NOT a walleye.

I´m going to start telling people my gold fish is a salmon.... It´s the canadian way.

.......I´m not actually an A-hole... just tired of being right and told I´m wrong.

(in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
Well I asked and it is now clear as mud and no one really knows for sure. But in Northern Ontario Pike is very boney and not easy to eat but pickerel YUM!
margo w
Walley or Pickerel (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
I am American and Canadian; grew up in both places; have citizenship to both. Here are the FACTS: Walleye, Sauger, Yellow Perch are all members of the Perch family. Muskie, Pike and Pickerel(s) are members of the the Pike family (they look like fresh water Barracuda.) I have ONLY heard of Walleye (a really big Perch) referred to as "Pickerel" (not a Perch at all) in Canada. Some in defending their colloquial misnaming of Walleye, even assuage themselves by saying the two fish look alike, when nothing could be further from the truth. And anyone with a modicum of intellectual honesty would admit it. Why and when a Walleye (Perch) became known as a "Pickerel" is irrelevant. One could call a Walleye "Rumplestiltskin" but as the adage goes...a rose by any other name...is still a Perch. I always find it very intersting that Candians get particularly defensive, nay obstinate, in the face of the facts when an "American" is pointing out their fallacy. ;-)
Walleyes AKA Pickerel (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
In Canada, Walleye are also known as Pickerel. It does not matter that it is a mislabel. It has been happening for many, many years. You can not change history so accept it. Trying to correct someone that uses the term "Pickerel" just exposes one as ignorant and uneducated.
Walleye or Pickerel (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
In Ontario, the term Pickerel has always been used. The comment that there are many lakes+rivers here named Pickerel and none named Walleye should make this clear. As there are no Chain or Grass Pickerel in Ontario, one must assume these bodies of water are named after the fish some call Walleye. I was told that Walleye comes from Walleyed Pike, and Pickerel comes from Yellow Pickerel. Both terms have been in use for 200 years, and Walleye seems to have gained more traction than Pickerel (especially in the USA) over time, but both are correct. Colloquialisms are terms unique to particular geographic locations+are part of what makes travelling interesting. Americans call all soda pops "a soda" and Canadians call all soda pops "pop". Both are right in their respective locations, but if an American orders a soda in Toronto, he/she gets a soda water, not a coke. So who´s wrong there?

Brian McCullough
Walleye or Pickerel (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
We call the fish we catch in northern Alberta´s "Lesser Slave Lake" ....Walleye, because that´s what they are. Has nothing to do with the Americans.

walleye is walleye and pickeral is pickeral (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
After reading through this thread, having this argument with many a northern fisherman and studying the subject I would like to set the record straight. Just because you have been taught to call a fish by an incorrect name does not make your argument any more valid. Walleye and Pickeral are two completely different fish from two seperate families. The range of Pickeral are mostly in the eastern US and very much resemeble a pike. As for the naming of lakes and rivers, it is more a matter of the incorrect nomenclature being passed down through generations. All you have to do to verify this is read up on the numerous scientifically valid pieces of literature availible to all. Dont take your local lodges word for it, they were taught the wrong thing to. To just ignore the facts and carry on this tradition is in my opinion ignorant. Spread the word, a walleye is a walleye and a pickeral is a pickeral, two different fish. Ignoring science is a big problem in the world today.
provincial expert
Pickeral Walleye (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
It´s a matter of semantics not science thank you.
If they have been called pickeral in places for hundreds of years they are pickerel in those particular places.
In other places they are called walleye.
It´s the same throughout the world, species are known by entirely different names.
Nothing what so ever to do with science.

Pickeral or Walleye (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
A chain pickeral is a member of the Esox family, or Pike-Like fishes. The other members of this family which can be found in Mb are northern pike and muskellunge (Muskey). The walleye is in the same family as Yellow Perch, Sauger and several other species of fish. People who say pickeral but mean walleye are simply incorrect.
Canadian's Keep Calling it a Pickerel (in reply to: Walleye or Pickerel)
Canadian´s hold on to your traditions and call it a pickerel. 95% of Americans call a bison a buffalo when its scientific name is bison. We would never think of changing because we like the name buffalo better. The U.S. has an old nickel that is still refered to as a buffalo nickel.

I am an American and grew up along the Detroit River by Lake Erie. My grandfather (1900-1976) called "the" fish a pickerel as did most of the fishermen in our area. He was regarded as one of the best anglers on the water. It wasn´t until I moved to Minnesota that I noticed that everyone here refers to this fish only as the walleye.

My grandfather´s family has lived by the Detroit river since about the year 1700. Personally I believe the name pickerel predates the scientific name of walleye.

Canadian´s hold on to your traditions, don´t stop just because some scientist gave this fish another name. Whenever I hear the word pickerel I smile becasue I remember the grandfather and I think that honors him.

Happy Fishing!

Bob in Minnesota

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