Biology, Management, and Culture of Walleye and Sauger

Chapter 1: Introduction

Peter J. Colby


I am honored to introduce the revised and updated walleye synopsis. Now there is sufficient published knowledge available to include sauger. The 1979 FAO synopsis has served the profession well, but the need for a revision was long overdue. Thanks to the authors, the editor, the Walleye Technical Committee, and the American Fisheries Society for their vision and dedication that made this new and outstanding compendium a reality.

Biology, Management, and Culture of Walleye and Sauger represents another information milestone that contributes to our knowledge of these important species. The accumulation of scientific knowledge of the family Percidae with the help of several international symposia has accelerated rapidly over the past four decades.

The first Percid International Symposium (PERCIS I) was held in northwestern Ontario in 1976 and was published in 1977 in the Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada (Colby and Wigmore 1977). Much of the background material compiled for that symposium was also used to produce the perch (Thorpe 1977) and walleye (Colby et al. 1979) synopses for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Another block of percid knowledge was gained at Vaasa, Finland, in 1995 when percid aquaculture was included in the PERCIS II proceedings. These findings were published in 1996 in the Annales Zoologici Fennici by the Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing Board (Rask et al. 1996). In retrospect, I am pleased that the science of aquaculture was included in PERCIS II. At about the same time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s North Central Regional Aquaculture Center published an encyclopedic collection of practical papers covering all aspects of methods and related issues on the culture of walleye (Summerfelt 1996). Through the integration of the various disciplines, we have learned much about percid physiology, endocrinology, and tolerance limits that can be applied to raising, managing, and understanding their behavior in nature.