Michigan Lake Perch lovers are in for a big surprize

Sadly, this is probably necessary.

Sorry to hear it. Here in the Northeast as I am sure you know, both commercial and recreational coastal fisheries have had limits placed on catches of various species. For instance, 2014 was the last time Maine’s winter shrimp season was open and the closure will last through 2021.

Looks like Lake Michigan is keeping us company. I wonder if historically people simply overfished?

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Touchy subject. The U.S. shares the Great Lakes fisheries with Canada, which has a wholly different approach to game management. Those restaurants we frequent for Perch dinners usually get their catches from commercial boats fishing Lake Erie. Most, if not all of them are out of Canada.

I don’t know that sport fishing for Lake Perch would have an effect on the depletion of fish stock.

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Anything having to do with fishing limits is a touchy subject around here, as well. I do feel for the people who make their living that way.

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I wouldn’t think so. Our commercial fishing methods have become extremely efficient - overly so since unwanted fish often is included in the catch. Combine this with better methods of transporting fish long distances and the result is a huge increase in fish consumption. Used to be many people from the interior of a country had never tasted ocean fish. Even 25 years ago when I lived further inland the only fish I could reliably purchase was farmed cat fish and once in a while salmon. Nothing else traveled well enough to bother with.


Yellow Lake Perch fished from the St Clair River, Lake St Clair and the Detroit River is generally a small sized fish, 11 inches is considered a monster by most sport anglers I know. And the two filets from a seven, eight or nine inch Perch are rendered quite small by pan frying. A satisfying dinner by volume is a minimum of six filets, with a go-with or two.

So feeding a family of five a fresh Perch dinner would usually require catch clean and cook 15 fish just for that one meal. That notion was overlooked in the article.

And then there are those of us who would scarf down way more than six filets at a sitting…


I think the previous years hurt our current situation. When I was a kid we took bucket after bucket of perch home. I’m sure fishing has evolved in efficiency and responsible behavior; but what’s done is done. In the 70’s there was no limit. We limited our future.

The Canadian Lake Erie yellow perch has been selling at my indie grocery store for $35 Cdn / lb. Same price as Halibut. Halibut has tended to be the most expensive fish available in my city over the years.

The Faroe Island salmon costs $25ish Cdn/ lb, domestic Atlantic Salmon often $15 Cdn / lb. Pickerel and Trout $15 Cdn/ lb.

While I am sorry to see the stocks are depleted, I don’t like any lake fish enough to pay $35/ lb.