What Do Walleye Eat?

Walleye are piscivores (i.e. fish-eaters) and usually feed on any species of fish that they can catch and swallow, states the University of Minnesota website. They commonly eat yellow perch and various species of minnows and darters. Larval and young walleye eat waterfleas, copepods, small insect larvae and larval fish.

Walleye are strictly carnivorous and eat animals only, according to the critter catalog provided by the University of Michigan. Young walleye feed on microscopic organisms called zooplankton. Older walleye mostly consume other fish, such as freshwater drum and yellow perch. They also eat mudpuppies, snails, crayfish and aquatic insects. Moreover, their diet includes small mammals when fish and insects are not available. Walleye generally feed at night.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources states that walleye have low-light vision and sensitivity to bright light that allow them to feed in shallow water at dawn and dusk. During daylight, they seek cover in the shadows of cliffs, logs, boulders and heavy weeds. When they cannot find cover, they seek shelter in deeper water. Walleye feed on open-water species by suspending over deep water. They heavily prey on yellow perch, which do not have good vision in low light and are easy prey at night.