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Do you prefer saltwater or freshwater fish?

As a group, do you prefer fresh or saltwater fish?

So, if your favorite fish is trout but your next 6 favorites are tuna, halibut, mackerel, sardines, salmon (most of the time), and swordfish, unless there's a huge gap between trout and tuna, you should say saltwater.

I have a strong preference for saltwater, especially if you include invertebrates.

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  1. tuna, swordfish, mako, salmon are my favorites so i'd say salt water.

    1. Sea fish are for the most part more interesting as centerpieces for dinner, and for cooking classic fish dishes, but a lot of freshwater ones can be treated that way, too. My kid brother introduced me to catfish done with beurre noir and capers, as you'd do skate, and last night I poached a gang of farmed trout (as I would salmon) that came out pretty well. The bluegill, bass and crappie of my Midwestern youth are critters I'd love to re-visit, and I'm still looking forward to trying sturgeon and walleye. But cod, salmon and mahi-mahi, pretty much in that order, are the fish at the top of my list, and skate and squid, and then I start thinking about all the rockfish and sea bass and, oh! let's not forget sand dabs...

      4 Replies
      1. re: Will Owen

        Walleye is the best thing that comes out of fresh water, never did beleive it 'til I tried it! All in all the ocean dwellers are the best.

        1. re: mrbigshotno.1

          Any kind of pike is hard to get in this country unless you catch it, but I figured there was a reason that it's the fish-of-choice for quenelles, the French fish dumplings. I've been told you really CAN make those from any fish at all, but I'm going to hold off until I can get me some walleye.

          1. re: Will Owen

            Not to be a know-it-all but just for clarification, the walleye is actually a member of the perch family, not pike or pickerel. It's often referred to as a "walleyed pike" but it's not a pike in any way. That said, I just caught my limit on Detroit river last Monday and will fry them up next week. Excellent!

            1. re: SonyBob

              SonyBob, good job old boy. Glad to see people keeping fish and not just throwing them back. I like catch and release, into the frying pan. Before everyone jumps on me for being non-consevation minded, I'm sure the Michigan fishery folks know what they're doing, just as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department do where I live. It's actually good for the different species to harvest fish. Tomorrow, if the wind holds, I'm going for speckled trout, my favorite eating fish, in the Galveston surf.

      2. Saltwater. I grew up on the Gulf, so it may be that I'm just more familiar with salt water fish. My fresh water experience has mainly been catfish, trout and bass. Really, the only thing I've had from the water that I don't care for is skate - the texture just doesn't do it for me. I could be quite happy eating from the sea daily!

        An interesting item I read a few years ago - Fl. raises tremendous amounts of farmed eel, but sells most over seas. Such a shame - you seldom find eel in the states except on a sushi menu. I've never come across it in a seafood market. Is this different in other regions?

        3 Replies
        1. re: meatn3

          Wild freshwater eel in America have been approaching extinction for several decades, and nobody seems to care.

          1. re: Veggo

            It doesn't have the cute n cuddly aspect going for it....that often seems to contribute to apathy, unfortunately.

            What are the major contributing factors to this situation?

            1. re: meatn3

              Main reasons are dams and other barriers to migration routes (their life cycle is more migratory than salmon), habitat loss, hydropower plant mortalities, pollution, and overfishing.

        2. salt water for me, fresh water can be too muddy tasting and I am not a fan of farmed fish which tends to be a fresh (sic) water industry.

          1 Reply
          1. re: smartie

            Freshwater farming appears to be a much more benign activity than ocean farming, for the simple reason that the freshwater installations use enclosed ponds, which allows easy entrapment and recovery of wastes, while ocean farming occurs in open pens that shed waste, including not merely fish crap but antibiotics and other chemicals into the surrounding sea.

          2. Sort of a loaded question, because there are so many more salt water varieties from which to choose.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Veggo

              i agree, and there is quite the saltwater fishing industry, that doesn't have a freshwater correlary. as a result, most people have access to fresh saltwater fish, and not so much to freshwater fish. if you don't come from an area where you can get good, fresh, fresh-water fish, or have never tried it apart from frozen-battered, you'll answer that you prefer saltwater.

              if i had to answer the question, i'd say: "whatever's freshest."

              1. re: soupkitten

                These are fair points. For myself, my preference for saltwater pertains more the the "muddy" taste of many freshwater fish but you're right, saltwater is more available.

            2. If it swims...............

              1. Lake perch prepared properly is amazing--I think fresh wild caught lake fish has a more subtle flavor than sea fish. But no farmed anything, thank you.

                But that said, if I'm in the PNW, it's salmon FTW.

                1. I grew up next to Lake Erie and had an uncle who fished every day. Therefore, fresh perch, pike, trout, etc. I HATED fish with a passion.

                  Then we moved to California and I discovered swordfish, halibut, etc. and LOVED fish. So, saltwater.

                  I do not like catfish either.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: laliz

                    I can only say that I wish I'd had your uncle...

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Will, he was an excellent uncle, except for that "fishing" thing. He had a huge tree stump where he cleaned the fish when we returned home. I stayed as far away from that tree stump as I possibly could. (little girl, it was "ewwwwwwwwy")

                  2. Theres some good points on this thread.
                    I love walleye too - called dore in my parts (pronounced 'dory' or 'doray' depending on who you are, don't know how to put an accent on the e with this keyoard).
                    Theres also something to be said about fresh yellow perch cooked on the grill by the shore!
                    As pointed out, availability may play a big part in people's habits and formed preferences.
                    "Muddy" taste found in certain fish (and maybe certain times of year), but I don't think all. I love the river water taste of fresh caught fish.
                    Then again, ocean perch, or a small grouper, or the fried skin of haddock...

                    Its kinda like asking which is your favorite child.

                    1. When I was a kid, my father took us on a fishing trip in Canada....a region known as the 30,000 Lakes or Thousand Lakes if I can recall correctly. There we fished every morning and the Large Mouth Bass and Pike were very plentiful. The guides would prepare the fish we caught that morning. The menu was Cowboy coffee for the adults as a beverage. For the meal, the guides would render a couple of packages of bacon on an open fire...and then dust the freshly filleted fish in flour and pan fry in the rendered fat......decades later, that fish is still the best tasting and most memorable fish I have ever had.

                      1. As noted in posts above, the question is unintentionally loaded to the salt water fish side. Most people will find that 90% of the fish at a fish market come from the ocean, so their exposure to salt water fish is much greater than their exposure to fresh water fish.

                        Even adjusted for availability, the salt water fish are going to win because there are so many more varieties of them which exist. How many types of fresh water fish can you name? How many salt water varieties can you name?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: gfr1111

                          I do think that one could argue that there's a lot more ocean than freshwater so there's a lot more fish in the sea than in rivers and lakes.

                          However, given the sophistication of our food distribution system, if freshwater fish were so desireable, why don't we see more in stores?

                          1. re: toomuchfat

                            Apart from farmed catfish and tilapia, freshwater fish cannot be harvested in ecomomical commercial quantities by the typical high volume methods of nets and long lines that dominate salt water fish harvesting.
                            The Great Lakes account for 95% of the volume of fresh water in America, and beyond pollution and overfishing, the final death knell humans can inflict on them is to allow the dreaded asian carp to maneuver through the locks and enter the lakes. Game over then. But the "vital" transportation links and those with political clout to protect them, the very means by which the carp will come calling, will guarantee our next grand scale national disaster.

                            1. re: Veggo

                              You're right about that, Veggo. The Asian carp is going to be an ecological nightmare.

                        2. Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Swordfish, Sea Bass, Rockfish, Pompano, Hogfish, Red Fish, Snapper, Trigger Fish, Rainbow Runner, Bonita, Yellowtail...yep that about covers it!

                          1. Mackeral (all time favorite) to grill. flat fish (flouder, sole), and tuna (sushi).

                            However the best stuff from the sea are shell fish. YUM.

                            1. Speaking from the Gulf Coast I just hope we have a viable seafood industry left when they figure out how to stop the oil leak. That said nothing better than red snapper, red fish, or some good Gulf speckled trout. So I guess I have to go with saltwater.