Skip to main content - The Official Portal for North Dakota State Government
Sauger illustration


North Dakota Game Species

Perch Family: Walleye, sauger and yellow perch are popular game fish in this family. Darters, which seldom exceed 4 inches, also belong to the perch family.

Sauger Identification

  • Two completely separated dorsal fins
  • The first fin is spiny (2 spines), while the second fin has soft rays (11-14 soft rays)
  • A native fish that resemble walleye but are usually thinner in build
  • Blotched body color and rows of dark spots on the dorsal fin (compared to the one black blotch of the walleye)


Sauger typically inhabit turbid and fairly fast-moving water of rivers, such as the Yellowstone River, and streams.

The saugeye is a cross between a walleye and sauger but cannot be positively identified by external physical characteristics.