Walleye/Pickerel (Sander vitreus)
Walleye is a freshwater fish native to most of Canada and the northern United States. It is a North American relative of the European pikeperch. In some parts of the world, the walleye is known as yellows, yellow pike, pickerel, and walleye pike. The name Walleye comes from the fact that their eyes, like those of lions, reflect white light. Walleye anglers will commonly look for days and locations where there is a good “walleye chop” (i.e. rough water). This excellent vision also allows the fish to populate the deeper regions in a lake. They can often be found during the warmest part of the summer in deeper water.
Walleye are identified by their olive and gold color, white bellies, a golden hue on the flanks, and five darker saddles that extend to their upper sides. The Walleye is considered a delectable freshwater fish with its pure white meat, mild taste and flaky texture. It is a very highly prized fish with a long history in the Great Lakes region.
Fresh Walleye and pickerel are available from springtime through the end of the year. Frozen products are available year round.
Yellow Perch (Perca Flavescens)
Yellow Lake Perch has been a Great Lakes staple for more than 100 years! Lake Perch is the most valuable commercial catch in Ontario with the greatest commercial production coming from Lake Erie. Heavy production of Lake Perch occurs from June through November when the fish inhabit warmer, shallow waters.
Lake Perch is a cool-water species most common in the open waters of lakes. Since the early 1900s Canada and the United States have been commercial harvesting Yellow Perch in the Great Lakes with Gillnets and Trap-nets. Due to its ability to crossbreed the Yellow Perch is sometimes classified as subspecies of the European Perch, its European cousin. During different seasons, Lake Perch prefer different areas of the lake. In spring, they are found in bottom structures such as rock piles and bottom drop-offs; in summer, they prefer outside edges of submerged vegetation; in fall they are in prominent land points with bottom structures; and in winter, they stay over the flat bottom reaches near bottom structures.
Lake Perch is one of the finest flavored of all the “panfish”, with its sweet tasting white meat. Lake Perch is a versatile option for the end consumer; Lake Perch can be found from Friday Night Fish Fry’s in the Midwest, to Pub style restaurants in the Northeast. As one of the easiest fish to catch, Lake Perch travel in thick schools and tend to come near shore in spring. Lake Perch is available fresh or frozen in fillet form. Best preparation is to be pan fried, but they can also be deep fried or boiled.
Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis)
The Lake Whitefish is a member of the Salmon family, inhabiting lakes across Canada and the United States. As a cool-water species, the whitefish moves from deeper to shallower water in the cool months.
With a long streamlined body ranging from 1.5 to 3 pounds, the Lake Whitefish is identifiable by its olive green back that extends down to its bright silver side and white belly. Lake Whitefish has been recognized for its exceptionally fine flavor since the days of the early explorers. Its delicate and tender meat is light in color with succulent flakes that are often praised by chefs as being versatile enough to allow for unlimited creativity. Packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega 3, the Lake Whitefish is a nutritional powerhouse, while not sacrificing flavor.
Lake Whitefish have very distinguishing characteristics when it’s at its freshest. The firm flesh will not separate from its bones. The fillet will smell mild and fresh, while the skin remains shiny and colorful. When storing fresh Lake Whitefish fillets, keep the fillets chilled just above 32 degrees with a sealed bag of ice placed gently on top of the wrapped fillet for up to 2 days before use. Keeping the ice separated from the fillet prevents water from modifying the texture, flavor and color of the fillets.
Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush)
Lake Trout is freshwater fish native to the northern parts of North America, principally Canada, but also Alaska and, to some extent, the northeastern United States. About 25% of the world’s Lake Trout are found in the province of Ontario, Canada. The Lake Trout is a slow-growing fish; it is also very late to mature. The preferred habitat is large, deep, cold-water lakes. Lake Trout spawn in the fall but the time varies among lakes and depends on such factors as latitude, weather, and the size and topography of the lake.
Lake Trout possess a deeply forked caudal fin and a slate grey to greenish body with lighter undersides. Creams to yellow spots are generally present on the head, body and dorsal and caudal fins. The lower fins tend to be orange-red with a narrow white edge. Although the average weight for this species is 6.5lbs, some have been caught weighing up to 60lbs. Lake Trout feature a delicate range with a flakey texture, allowing for maximum versatility in the kitchen.
Lake Trout have very distinguishing characteristics when it is at its freshest, often smelling like a cucumber. The firm flesh will not separate from its bones. The fillet will smell mild and fresh, while the skin remains shiny and colorful. When storing fresh Lake Trout fillets, keep the fillets chilled just above 32 degrees with a sealed bag of ice placed gently on top of the wrapped fillet for up to 2 days before use.
Herring (Coregonus Artedi)
Lake Herring are small slender school fish that generally inhabit the midwater regions of the Great Lakes. As water temperatures drop in the fall, the Herring forms large spawning schools. In the Great Lakes region this occurs in late November or early December, a week or two after the Whitefish have spawned. Lake Herring inhabits the clear cold waters of most deep lakes. In Ontario, it occurs in all the Great Lakes and in numerous inland lakes. It enters brackish water off the mouths of rivers which flow into Hudson Bay. The Herring needs an abundant source of oxygen which is usually present in deep, infertile lakes, as opposed to a deficiency of oxygen in some deep, fertile lakes in late summer.
Herring are slender and silvery, and each has two flaps on the septum dividing the nostril. However, the lake whitefish has a rounded, blunt snout, while the lake herring has a pointed snout with a longer lower jaw. The Herring are an oily fish rich in protein, vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to health. They can grow up to 40cm/16in in length.
Argentine Shrimp (Argentina)
USA Shrimp (USA)
USA Scallops (USA)
Lobster Tails (East Coast Canada)