It’s tough being a twin! Almost identical to its closest relative, the goldeye, the mooneye is often mistaken for its next of kin, and equally, vice versa. The best part about this mistaken identity is that the mooneye has everything to offer that the goldeye does. Whether it’s the highly demanded angling experience or gourmet qualities, they are both one in the same, with a slight difference in distinguishing details.
Telling them apart is really quite easy, with the most obvious difference being the gold colored eyes that are absent on the mooneye. If you study the latter part of its body you will also notice that the mooneye’s dorsal fin is near the front of the anal fin, where the goldeye’s dorsal fin begins behind where the anal fin starts.
With mooneye largely inhabiting the boundaries of a few traditional rivers, angling opportunities can be limited to specific locations. Most commonly caught throughout the Winnipeg River system, mooneyes have also been found in the Assiniboine and Red Rivers. With all locations regularly producing mooneyes that exceed 16 inches!
Angling opportunities for mooneye are popular during the months of August and September.
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For more information on angling season dates, regulations, and more – Check out the current 2021 Manitoba Angler’s Guide.