Can You Eat Walleye While Pregnant?

Last Updated on May 26, 2024 by Marjorie R. Rogers

Yes, you can eat walleye while pregnant in moderation and with certain precautions.

Walleye is a popular freshwater fish that is a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other essential nutrients. However, like many predatory fish, walleye can accumulate high levels of mercury, which can be harmful to a developing fetus. Therefore, it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of consuming walleye during pregnancy.

What is a Walleye?

Walleye, also known as yellow pike or walleyed pike, is a freshwater fish found in lakes and rivers across North America. It is a predatory fish that feeds on smaller fish, making it prone to accumulating higher levels of mercury and other contaminants.

Nutritional ValueDetails
ProteinHigh in lean protein, providing essential amino acids for fetal development.
Omega-3 Fatty AcidsRich in omega-3 fatty acids like DHA, which are crucial for brain and eye development.
Vitamins and MineralsGood source of vitamins B12, D, and niacin, as well as minerals like selenium and phosphorus.

Risks of Eating Walleye During Pregnancy

Mercury ContaminationAs a predatory fish, walleye can accumulate high levels of mercury, which can harm the developing fetus.
Other ContaminantsWalleye may also contain other contaminants like PCBs and dioxins, depending on the water source.

Safe Ways to Eating Walleye During Pregnancy

It is generally safe to consume walleye during pregnancy in moderation and by following certain guidelines. Limit your intake to 6-8 ounces per week, and choose smaller walleye (under 20 inches) from clean water sources. Properly cooking the fish can also reduce potential contaminants.

SalmonAvoid fish from contaminated waters or with advisories.
TilapiaLimit intake of larger predatory fish like swordfish and shark.
CodConsult with your healthcare provider for specific recommendations.

Experts Tips

  1. “Walleye can be a good source of nutrients during pregnancy, but it’s important to limit your intake and choose smaller fish from clean water sources.”
  2. “Pregnant women should avoid eating walleye longer than 20 inches, as these larger fish tend to accumulate higher levels of mercury.”
  3. “If you’re unsure about the safety of a particular fish, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider or local health department.”


Can I eat walleye sushi or raw during pregnancy?

No, it’s not recommended to consume raw or undercooked fish during pregnancy due to the risk of foodborne illnesses.

How much walleye is safe to eat during pregnancy?

The recommended limit for walleye consumption during pregnancy is 6-8 ounces per week.

Can I eat walleye from any water source during pregnancy?

It’s best to choose walleye from clean water sources and avoid fish from contaminated waters or with advisories.

Is it safe to eat walleye while breastfeeding?

Yes, but it’s still important to follow the same guidelines for moderation and choosing fish from clean sources.

What are some good alternatives to walleye during pregnancy?

Safer alternatives include salmon, tilapia, cod, and other low-mercury fish.


While walleye can be a good source of nutrients during pregnancy, it’s important to consume it in moderation and choose smaller fish from clean water sources. Following guidelines and consulting with healthcare providers can help ensure a safe and balanced diet during this crucial time.

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