Difference between Sauger and Walleye

Sauger and Walleye are two closely related species of freshwater fish that are often confused with each other due to their similar appearance. They both belong to the same family, the Percidae, and are highly prized by anglers for their delicious taste and sporting qualities. However, there are some key differences between these two fish that set them apart.

Below are the main Differences Between Sauger and Walleye

  1. Physical Appearance:

The sauger and walleye look similar at first glance, but there are some key differences in their physical appearance. Saugers have distinct black spots on their dorsal fin, while walleyes have a more mottled appearance on their dorsal fin. Saugers also have a darker coloration on their back and sides, while walleyes are more golden in color. Saugers are generally smaller than walleyes, with a maximum length of around 20 inches, while walleyes can grow up to 30 inches in length.

  1. Habitat:

Saugers and walleyes both prefer cool, clear waters and can be found in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs throughout North America. However, they have slightly different habitat preferences. Saugers are more commonly found in rivers and prefer faster-moving water with rocky bottoms. Walleyes, on the other hand, are more commonly found in lakes and reservoirs and prefer slower-moving water with sandy or gravelly bottoms.

  1. Behavior and Feeding Habits:

Saugers and walleyes are both predatory fish and feed on a variety of small fish, insects, and other aquatic creatures. However, they have slightly different feeding habits. Saugers are more likely to feed on smaller fish and insects in the water column, while walleyes tend to feed on larger fish and other prey near the bottom of the lake or river. Walleyes are also known for their unique ability to see in low light conditions, which allows them to feed more effectively at dawn and dusk.


While saugers and walleyes are similar in many ways, there are some key differences between these two species of fish. By understanding these differences, anglers can better target their preferred species and enjoy the unique challenges and rewards of fishing for saugers and walleyes.

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