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Bluegills for Fish Stock???

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You all will think I'm crazy, but after fishing with grandson's all summer and throwing back hundreds of mostly stunted bluegill, I got to thinking. There's a lot of receipes I avoid because they call for fish stock. I have no fish monger from which I can get fish bones. I would be willing to gut and gill the little buggers if they could be put to some use. Seem to me I'm just throwing away good protein. Also catch a lot of walleye in the spring. Could their carcass's also be used for stock?? In the case of the "gills, would I have to trim the meat to keep the stock from becoming cloudy, or could I just toss in the whole fish sans guts and gills?
Any advice/experiences would be appreciated.
Bob
P.S. Any big gills go right to the frying pan!

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  1. Throwing back the little ones?? I remember several weekends on overstocked ponds, pulling out masses of tiny bluegill that would bite on ANYTHING, coming home with a washtub full and cleaning and frying them. Just two bites per fish, but ooohh what nice bites! Lord, how I miss bluegill...

    I don't recall ever having seen freshwater fish recommended as a source for stock. Since you're generating walleye carcasses anyway you may as well experiment - you'll really waste not much more than water and the gas and time to boil it.

    1. I agree that experimentation is worthwhile. I would not worry too much about trimming beyond the guts and gills. I have made fish stock with skeletons in various states of disrepair--including a trash bag full of mangled specimens from a cooking class I took in which we were learning to bone fish. I have not fussed much and I do use the whole thing minus the guts and gills.

      I am a native Michigander, and talk of fishing for bluegills brings back a lot of very nice memories!

      1. Growing up in PA, never heard of walleye stock--they were sometimes cooked in shrimp or chicken stock. Being a lean, mild fish, you might want to goose the flavor by browning both the flesh and bones before adding the liquid.