American Oceans

The Largest Walleye Ever Caught in Oregon

a fisherman holding a world record walleye

The walleye stands as a fascinating species within the freshwater fish community, celebrated for its elusive nature and highly regarded by anglers for the challenge it presents. Oregon, with its diverse aquatic habitats, has been home to some notable catches, including records that stand out in the fishing world. The state’s varied water systems provide a backdrop where the walleye can thrive and grow to impressive sizes, making the quest for the largest walleye ever caught in Oregon a captivating story for fishing enthusiasts.

Part of the perch family, walleye is identified by its distinctive eye shine, which is reflective and aids its hunting during low light conditions. This characteristic, coupled with its preference for cooler, deeper waters, contributes to its reputation as a top predator in its native environments. The record for the largest walleye caught in Oregon is not just a testament to the angler’s skill but also an indication of the healthy ecosystems that allow such species to reach their full potential.

Key Takeaways

  • Walleye are a top predator in Oregon’s freshwater ecosystems.
  • There is a record for the largest walleye caught in Oregon.
  • Walleye are known for their unique eye shine and preference for cooler, deep waters.

Oregon Record Walleye

person holding a big walleye

Weight of Record Walleye: 19 lbs 15 oz
Angler: Arnold Berg
Year of Catch: 1990
Location of Catch: Columbia River, Oregon

Fishing enthusiasts often celebrate notable catches, and in Oregon, Arnold Berg’s achievement stands out. He set the longstanding state record for walleye with his catch on the Columbia River, a prominent location for anglers seeking trophy walleye. At nearly 20 pounds, his catch outpaced all others in Oregon’s history, and this achievement has remained unsurpassed for over three decades.

The walleye, renowned among both Oregon and Washington anglers, holds a special place in the list of impressive catches. Despite other historic catches in Oregon waters, such as the earliest-recorded massive Chinook salmon dating back to 1910, Berg’s walleye is the pinnacle of walleye fishing in the state, solidifying his record within the annals of the International Game Fish Association.

Species Profile: Walleye

fisherman holding a walleye

The walleye (Sander vitreus), sometimes referred to as yellow pike or yellow pikeperch, resides predominantly in the cool, freshwater bodies of northern North America, stretching across parts of the United States and Canada. Despite occasional references to the fish as a type of pickerel, particularly in Canada, it does not belong to the pickerel family.

Physical Characteristics:

  • Maximum recorded size: Approximately 31 inches in length
  • Weight range: Up to 20 pounds
  • Record-breaking specimen: 42 inches long and 29 pounds

Walleyes are esteemed for their size, with the more impressive individuals commanding attention due to their substantial length and weight.


  • Preferred waters: Cool, northern freshwater regions
  • Geographic distribution: United States and Canada

Employing collective insights into the walleye’s lifestyle and habitat preferences can aid in understanding their role within freshwater ecosystems. As a prominent species within its natural range, the walleye is a significant component of the ecological community, as well as a popular target for angling activities.

Note: While they are informally called pickerel in certain areas, especially within Canada, this is a misnomer as they are distinct from true pickerels.

Biographical insight disclosed by the author, Megan Martin, reveals a profound engagement with animal ecology, underpinned by a BA in English alongside studies in biology and professional writing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Record Size of Oregon’s Largest Walleye

The largest walleye recorded in Oregon weighed a notable amount, showcasing the potential for substantial catches within the state’s waters. However, the specific weight and measurements of this record-setting fish are subject to official state records and databases.

Premier Walleye Fishing Locations in Oregon

Columbia River is recognized for consistently yielding impressive catches of walleye, making it a popular destination for anglers seeking sizable fish in Oregon.

Comparison of Oregon’s Record Walleye to National Records

Oregon’s record walleye, while remarkable, does not surpass the national record. The national record is held by a walleye that signifies the pinnacle size for the species in the United States.

The Catching of Oregon’s Largest Walleye

Details regarding the capture of the largest walleye in Oregon involve the angler’s strategies, the time of year, and the fishing conditions on that particular day, underscoring the challenging yet rewarding experience of fishing for walleye.

Additional Noteworthy Oregon Fish Records

  • Chinook Salmon: Notable weight. Location: Columbia River.
  • Steelhead Trout: Impressive length. River system: Deschutes.
  • Largemouth Bass: Considerable weight. Reservoir: Anawanna.

These records exemplify the diversity of fish species and the potential for record-breaking catches in Oregon waters.

Strategies for Landing a Large Walleye in Oregon

For anglers aspiring to catch a large walleye in Oregon, here are a few strategies:

  • Seasonal Timing: Understanding the migratory patterns and optimal seasons.
  • Bait Selection: Employing live bait or lures that best attract walleye.
  • Location Insight: Spending time in well-known walleye hotspots such as deep pools and below dams on rivers.

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