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Record Hatch

Lake Erie walleye fishermen welcome near-record hatch in Western Basin By James F. McCarty, The Plain Dealer jmccarty@plaind.com CLEVELAND, Ohio - Lake Erie appeared to have solidified its crown as the Walleye Capital of the World this week with news that the walleye hatch in the Western Basin this spring could be ranked as the second-largest in the lake's history, and the largest in 15 years. Those were the preliminary findings of an August survey conducted at 40 locations by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. The yellow perch hatch counts also were strong and well above average year numbers, the agency announced. The walleye survey report could hardly have come at a better time for the fleet of 650 or so fishing charter boat captains whose businesses have suffered in recent years in the wake of Lake Erie's annual, harmful algal blooms. "Oh boy, yes, it's like a gift has fallen from heaven here," said Captain Dave Spangler, skipper of Dr. Bugs Charters out of Oak Harbor, and vice president of the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association. "With the amount of first-year walleye hatching this year, combined with the large walleye classes of 2014 and 2015, this is going to give us a real good look for at least the next 20 years down the road," Spangler said. Retired Plain Dealer outdoors writer D'Arcy Egan, who lives in Marblehead, was equally impressed by the survey news. "It's a pretty amazing graphic," Egan said. "I never thought I'd see [...]

Record Hatch2018-10-07T12:21:57+00:00

Fish Out of Water

Fish out of water: The sustainable seafood guide A fresh report by the UN food and agriculture organization says the world is eating a record-breaking amount of fish, some 20 kilos per person a year. According to the FAO, nearly a third of stocks are now overfished. So what's an ocean-wise choice? KOLAPORE SPRINGS TROUT Trout is the second most popular fish in Canada after salmon, and if farmed right, it's a good local option. Kolapore Springs trout farm fish are fed an all-natural diet, a mix of leftovers from fish processing plants combined with all the freshwater marine insects and wild fairy shrimp the cold spring offers up. No hormones, antibiotics or colourants here. Available at Hooked, Big Carrot, Fiesta Farms, Rowe Farms, Fresh from the Farm and the Sweet Potato. AKIWENZIE's FISH This small First Nations fishing company just north of Wiarton is actually a small family business: Dad catches the fish, Mom smokes and processes them, and the boys help with cleanup, customer service and labelling. They sell mostly wild trout and whitefish caught in the deep waters of Georgian Bay. (The province now tops up the regional trout population with local hatchery trout.) They've also got really tasty smoked options and occasionally caviar. Available at the Brick Works, Wychwood, Sorauren, Dufferin Grove, SickKids' farmers' markets. BC POLE-CAUGHT ALBACORE TUNA Tuna's long been a four-letter word among ocean-conscious eaters who know big fish are having a hard time. Compared to 1950 levels, only [...]

Fish Out of Water2018-10-07T12:55:38+00:00

Pickerel Cheek Salad

We put chicken, salmon and beef on our salad, so why not pickerel cheeks?  The cheeks will be ready before you know it! Pickerel Cheek Salad (Serves 4-6) 1 lb pickerel cheeks 2 tsp butter 1 bunch fresh tarragon (or other favourite fresh herbs) salt and pepper, to taste splash Mirin, to deglaze pan (can use Vermouth or for non-alcohol uses, apple or pear juice) 1 large bowl full baby salad greens (can use mixes or spinach or arugula) Oil and vinegar vinaigrette (1 part vinegar:3 parts good oil, salt and pepper and dried herbs and/or 1 tsp Dijon mustard). Try different vinegars such as sherry, balsamic, apple cider, champagne, etc. Sauté pickerel cheeks on both sides in melted butter with herbs over medium high heat. Deglaze and season with salt and pepper. Toss in with prepared salad and serve immediately. You can also let the pickerel cheeks cool first and then serve cold.

Pickerel Cheek Salad2018-10-07T13:03:08+00:00

Heirloom Pickerel Dinner

Try this tasty recipe for something different! Ingredients 4 pickerel filets (2 fish) 1 sleeve of Saltine Crackers (un-salted tops), finely crushed. Paprika Olive Oil 2 Cups Water 2 tsp. Salt 2 cups Buttermilk * Directions Soak fish filets in a bowl of salted water for at least 2 hours; drain, rinse and then soak filets in the Buttermilk for another hour. Drain and rinse filets and pat dry with paper towels.  Thoroughly coat filets in the crushed cracker crumbs and place on a foil lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Liberally sprinkle filets with Paprika and drizzle lightly with Olive Oil. Bake in a pre-heated 375°F oven for about 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of your filets.  Fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy! Serves 2 * Buttermilk can be made at home by taking 1 cup of milk and adding 1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice or Vinegar.  Stir and let sit for a few minutes and then use as directed above.

Heirloom Pickerel Dinner2018-10-07T13:12:32+00:00

Algae Blooms Cost Fishermen Money and Harm the Environment

An algae bloom on Lake Erie is wreaking havoc on fishermen already struggling with smaller catches and migrating fish. Bobby Cabral has been fishing smelt and pickerel in Wheatley, Ont. for the past 20 years but believes blue-green algae in Lake Erie is making his job more difficult. Algal blooms "are a very big problem for the commercial fishing industry in the west-end of Lake Erie," says biologist Kevin Reid with the Commercial Fisheries Association of Ontario. Smaller catches Reid says harmful algal blooms are "a wicked problem" that can reduce catches even though the fish might still be there. According to several experts, fish can more easily spot fishing nets covered in algae, resulting in lower catches for fishermen like Cabral. "Then, you have the double whammy that the fouled gear has to be cleaned before it can be used again," Reid said. The problem appears to be getting worse. "Within the last five years it's been getting worse and worse and worse," Cabral said. Migrating fish Fish are also moving further away from traditional fishing areas. Cabral and other fishermen have to travel further than before to fill their nets. Cabral says fish are migrating away from Wheatley and are going northeast toward Port Stanley and Port Dover. "The fish are running away from it [the algae] so we gotta go chase it further away from home," Cabral said. "It's costing us money and it's not safe for the environment either." His concern is echoed by the Mayor [...]

Algae Blooms Cost Fishermen Money and Harm the Environment2018-10-07T13:26:13+00:00

First Blog

Welcome to Taylor Fish and our very first blog! Taylor Fish is a small, family owned fish company located in rural Wheatley, Ontario. The proud owners are John and Donna Hyatt. Donna grew up as the daughter of a fisherman and John has worked in the fishing industry for more than 25 years. My name is Yvonne, and I will be attempting to write these blogs with the assistance of everyone who works here at Taylor Fish, but predominantly from John and Jake, the Plant Manager. We are so very excited to embark upon this journey with you as we have so many great videos and topics to discuss and share; from how fish are caught to how to prepare them. We want to share our blogs because we feel that everyone, regardless of economic means or physical location should have the opportunity to eat and learn about Lake Erie fish. Please get involved in our community and encourage others to do so too. It is our hope that together we will create a meaningful community of fish lovers. First of all, I should divulge that I have only been working at Taylor Fish Company since early April and that technically, I am still very green to the fishing industry. I still find many things that happen here quite fascinating and hope that I can convey some of my enthusiasm to you. When I arrive in the morning, one of my favourite things to do is to open the totes [...]

First Blog2018-10-07T13:32:27+00:00