Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Research Update

DR. WAYNE SCHAEFER
BLUE WALLEYE STUDY UPDATE
January 31, 2010

1. Two factors contribute to the blue color in walleye:
a. lack of yellow pigment in the skin of the fish.
b. presence of blue pigment in the skin mucous of the fish.

2. We have identified the blue pigment in the mucous as a new protein never before described in the literature. We have named the pigment "Sandercyanin". Sander is the genus name for walleye and cyanin means blue in Greek.

3. Sandercyanin consists of a large lipocalin protein which carries "biliverdin". Biliverdin is a normal excretory product secreted in urine of all vertebrate animals. It forms from the breakdown of "heme", a blood protein.

4. Sandercyanin occurs in the mucous of walleye in many lake and river systems in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba. It is equally present in both blue and yellow walleye in any given lake or river system.

5. Sandercyanin appears to be moving south across the Canadian-U.S. boarder into upper Minnesota and upper Michigan.

6. Sandercyanin does not harm the health or taste of the fish.

7. Sandercyanin is produced seasonally, with more in summer than winter. It is produced only on the dorsal (upper) part of the fish, above the lateral line. Specifically, Sandercyanin is produced on a line just posterior (toward tail) to each spine in the dorsal fins.

8. One factor that causes the breakdown of heme to biliverdin is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. The earth is normally protected from UV radiation by ozone in the upper atmosphere. In recent years ozone "holes" have been noted over both the north and south poles as a result of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) entering the atmosphere. In some species of animals, biliverdin is known to act as a photo-protectant.

9. It is possible that walleye in Canada use, as a sun screen, the very chemical which forms in their blood from exposure to too much sun. This conclusion is still only speculation but it is our best hypothesis.

8 comments:

Wayne Schaefer said...

Dear Anonymous: Thank you for reminding us of the importance of Mother Earth. Life is a wonderful gift. Without Mother Earth we would have no life.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wayne: I would assume from your reseach update that the blue walleye (without slime) I provided from Lac Seul did not match the DNA of the extinct Lake Erie walleye and was albino.

Steve Natzke
Tigerton, WI

Joseph Venier said...

The truly blue walleye is not extict. I used to catch Blue Walleye in an inland lake in Northwestern Ontario. This lake had both yellow and Blue walleye in it. The blue walleye were not a mucous coloring in a yellow walleye but all blue and a very distinct blue color very close to the comparison pictures on this web site. The blue walleye we used to catch had a very bright blue coloring to them with absolutly no yellow in the coloring of the fish. This lake was connected to Lake Superior thru varios streams, creeks and rivers connected to Lake Superior.
Joseph Venier mailto:jmvenier@sympatico.ca

Anonymous said...

I live in dryden ontatio and recently a small lake southwest of here was forested close enough to allow easier access for fishing. Last winter we went in and caught nothing but blue walleye and the northerns were almost all black except for their bellies. The water in this lake is extremely tea stained, can only see about 8" under water and very dark. This lake is also at the top of the watershed, only one small minnopw lake feeds it. Hope this maybe helps.

Anonymous said...

Wayne, if you would like to ask me any questions about the lake these walleyes come from or the fish themselves you can e-mail me at silly69billy@hotmail.com look forward to hearing from you.

Anonymous said...

We have been fishing a remote lake and connected rivers east of Ear Falls, where you did some of your research. We catch many Walleye that are blue. I recall them being much darker blue than those in your picture. We will be back there in a couple weeks. We will compare the size of the eyes and see if we can "remove" the blue color. All the blue Walleye we catch are small. The information on this blue Walleye vs. Blue Pike story has been very interesting to study on the internet, particularly your research. Thanks. The controversy continues but non the less, it is still a treat to catch this rare blue colored Walleye even if it isn't related to the Blue Pike.

And by the way. For my tree hugging friends from mother earth. No one is claiming that the blue color is caused by pollution. No one has claimed that their DNA has changed. The chances of the remote lakes east of Ear Falls being polluted are as remote as the lakes themselves. It’s best for all of us, that are interested in preserving nature, that you don’t exaggerate and make false acquisitions. It just hurts our cause when we address real problems.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wayne.I cought a blue walleye in the Montreal River by Lady Evelyn Lake in Mowats Landing Ontario.The fish was caught in July 1998 at Skull Rapids Montreal river.It put up an enormous fight (45 minutes to land) It was caught on a single egg salmon hook with a worm.It measured just under 36 inches in length and girth was 18.5 inches and weighed an even 9 pounds.I actually had it mounted by a taxidermist who does work for the Royal Ontario Museum and he told me it is the largest blue walleye specimen he has ever seen.The process took about six months as he had difficulty finding eyes to replace the originals.The Montreal River empties into Lake Temiskiming and was caught about 2 miles south west of Lady Evelyn lake dam...regards Jeff.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jeff:
Thanks for your sighting on the Montreal River. That fish was bigger than any we have caught during our project. We will add your sighting to our data list. Good fishing!
Wayne Schaefer