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Mar 1, 2013 02:33 AM

DTW: Retail sources for Great Lakes caught seafood and recipe ideas needed

Hi all - I am writing about Great Lakes caught seafood, and would like to compile a list of where consumers can purchase it to prepare at home. Where do you buy your Great Lakes seafood? What is your favorite way to make it?

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  1. Not exactly "Great Lakes caught" but Hillers Markets has Michigan farm raised shrimp.


    5 Replies
    1. re: BobRe

      Any idea what they feed those shrimp? Just curious. Honestly, while local fish sounds good, I worry about our lakes. Nevertheless, I'll research Oakland County retail sources re: OP, and post back.

      1. re: VTB

        Not really VTB, but based on this article it sounds like it's some sort of grain:


        1. re: VTB

          VTB: How silly. Everyone knows they eat Purina Shrimp Chow! Don't you watch tv?

          1. re: goatgolfer

            Hehee. I have more of an aversion to grain fed fish than I do for grain fed cattle. But, I guess fish farming is the ecological way to go.
            In any event, I'm guessing that all Great Lakes fish roads for me will lead Papa Joe's, but the OP raises an interesting question for me. Must test my assumptions.
            PS--speaking of grocers, my wife saw you at Kroger on South Blvd a while back, but couldn't put a name with a face. Sorry. She says Hi, after the fact.

            1. re: VTB

              PPS-- Has anyone been to Tobemory, a long ways due north of London, Ontario, near Bruce Peninsula National Park? OMG the country roadhouses sell fresh GL whitefish, breaded with cornmeal that is unspeakably delicious!

      2. I will try to remember names, but on the pricier Oakland County market end, Papa Joe's in Birmingham and Hillers in Royal Oak (as far as I recall) both get Lake Superior Whitefish and perhaps other fishes from Leeland and Mackinaw suppliers and do/did advertise the fact that they were getting them from Up North. I don't have recipes for either as we've segued back into another vegetarian phase (and when I get a salmon jones I get Trader Joe's canned alaskan pink or a chunk of smoked salmon from Durham's in AA).

        1. Monahan's Seafood in Ann Arbor has a good selection of Great Lakes fish.

          5 Replies
          1. re: ebethsdad

            Thanks, I live in Ann Arbor, and I have to say I don't recall Monahan's ever carrying Great Lakes caught seafood, I facebooked them to ask and I haven't gotten an answer yet, but I will stop in there personally this week to find out for sure.

            1. re: momskitchen

              On our last visit to Ann Arbor my daughter had her first walleye from Monahan's.

              1. re: ebethsdad

                Good news! I got this note from Monahans just today:

                Yes! We do carry Great Lakes fish. Right now we have whitefish and lake trout that are in season. In the warmer months we have lake smelt, walleye & lake perch as well. We do, however, get walleye & lake perch from Canadian lakes this time of year. It's always best to call first to see what is available. 734-662-5118

                1. re: momskitchen

                  Update:; Monahans didn't actually have any trout in stock and only a small amount of whitefish when I stopped in yesterday.

                  1. re: momskitchen

                    The smelt lunch special at Monahan's around this time of year is, uh, pure Michigan. Very tasty and fresh.

          2. For us for yellow perch fillets it's Loop Fisheries about an hour away in Wheatley, ON-- which from an East Sider perspective is not appreciably worse time-wise than driving up to The Root in White Lake for dinner. Loop's fish are just hours out of the water. Some sort of Ontario (or Canadian?) government reg prohibits the fishermen from selling directly off their boats, so the local processors are the next best thing. Loop also sells other Lake Erie fish.

            Also Wheatley Harbor is a great place to take kids to show them where Fish Sticks come from! From "The harbour is home to the largest freshwater commercial fishing fleet in the world with approximately 45 fishing tugs."

            Prep is simple: hot frying pan + butter + fresh yellow perch fillets.

            If you want to eat your perch right now, there's this very casual little (seasonal) place conveniently located between the harbor and Loop's.



            Closer to home there's always (or usually anyway) Superior Fish in Royal Oak or even many area Meijer fresh fish counters.

            These folks used to sell at Eastern Market but no longer do so. I think they were coming from up near Mackinaw City somewhere. Anyway their note indicates someone else has take over for them, so Dan from DMS Distributors may be worth looking for at market.

            "May 4, 2012
            Hello everyone:

            Just wanted to introduce to you Dan from DMS distributors. He will be taking our place at Easter Market selling the same fresh fish that I was selling for the last year. His brother in law is the fisherman that I received my fish from. So it will be the same delicious quality!

            I believe his first day is tomorrow! So welcome him and enjoy their fish!

            Chuck and Joann
            Joann's Great Lakes Fresh Catch"

            3 Replies
            1. re: ak994

              Meijer doesn't carry Great Lakes fish. I asked. If you ask me, they should, but they don't.

              1. re: momskitchen

                I bought Wild Caught (how else?) Yellow Perch Fillets from Meijer yesterday. They were definitely from the small Lake Perch we're used to seeing around here, not from their larger European cousins. I asked where they came from. Canada. From Canadian vessels fishing the Great Lakes was the response.

              2. re: ak994

                The guys from Bayport Fishery (up in the Thumb) are at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market, just not this time of year.

              3. Holiday market Royal Oak MI sells Michigan smoked whitefish pate (at least at the holidays) but the trout pate is unlabeled as to origin. Last time I bought it at $6.99/lb I made a mistake and didn't buy two pounds it was that good.

                3 Replies
                1. re: goatgolfer

                  Which? The whitefish or the trout?

                  1. re: boagman

                    Ah, the ambiguity of the English language. It was the whitefish and the counterman made the "good choice" comment when I didn't take the trout.

                  2. re: goatgolfer

                    Michigan whitefish pate from Holiday today. $9.99 per pound. No Michigan whitefish (whole or filet) sighted but I also didn't ask. Happy St. Pat's!