The Great Lakes whitefish has quietly sustained people in the Great Lakes for thousands of years. Recognizing the potential to promote a great native species, Michigan Sea Grant facilitated a
marketing program aimed at bolstering the local fishing economy and creating a sustainable market for the fish. Since the initial effort, a cooperative of whitefish fishermen has formed, the price per
pound of Great Lakes whitefish has gone up, and awareness and demand for the native species has increased. The effort culminated in the 2010 cookbook, Wild Caught and Close to Home: Selecting and Preparing Great Lakes Whitefish, produced by Michigan Sea Grant.
“It’s the history, the culture, the families who have fished for generations — it’s the connection to our state that adds value to supporting the whitefish,” notes Chuck Pistis, past Extension Director for Michigan Sea Grant.