Fish Facts

Fish Facts for Fish Folk

There are quite a few myths regarding seafood that just aren’t true. Outlined below are some of our researched fish facts for fish folk, to help you better understand the importance of fresh fish in your diet, as well as better your relationship with the idea of eating fish!

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources states that Michigan has almost more than four times as much water area than any of the other 48 contiguous states. All of Michigan’s water is freshwater and is home to 154 kinds of fish. Anglers typically fish for only 30 of the available species. The state of Michigan allows commercial fishermen to catch the following fish: Whitefish, Yellow Perch (Saginaw Bay only), Chubs (Lake Michigan only by permit), Channel Catfish, White Perch, White Bass, Sheepshead, Quillback, Carp, Suckers, rock bass and crappies.

The Monger’s focus much of their attention on lake whitefish, which is Muskegon’s primary catch. The commercial whitefish season is open from December 1- November 1 at noon. Due to weather and ice conditions we primarily fish early Spring through November 1.  So, why do so many people rave about eating fish?

According to the Washington State Department of Health, fish is healthy due to being low in fat, but high in protein. Fish contains a variety of supplements that promote good health, including:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids – Omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood pressure, fight inflammation, promote brain health, especially during pregnancy, improve vision, and more.
  • Calcium – Calcium is necessary to maintain bone strength, as well as the functionality of one’s heart, muscles, and nerves. Some studies also suggest that calcium lowers the risk of cancer and high blood pressure.
  • Phosphorous – Phosphorous, like calcium, increases bone strength and health, but also is needed to create energy and move one’s muscles.
Other notable health benefits of eating fish include providing vitamin D, lowering the symptoms of depression, speeding up metabolism, and increasing concentration, which is perhaps why so many consider fish brain food. Fish also contains minerals like iron, magnesium and potassium that provide their own advantages to the body. The body need iron to grow, magnesium to stay healthy, and potassium for nerve function and cell nutrients. The Washington State Department of Health even made note that the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times a week.

Doesn’t Fish Contain Mercury?

A common myth about fish is that it contains high levels of dangerous mercury. While nearly all fish contains trace amounts of mercury, most will provide more health benefits than do harm, unless you’re eating shark or swordfish on a regular basis as larger fish contain higher amounts of the mineral. Fish is safe to eat, but it’s important to choose species that are low in mercury and not to indulge in those that tend to consist of higher amounts.

Other Fish Myths

Fish is hard to cook.

We have several simple recipes to get you the winner fish dinner you deserve. Head over to our recipes page for the easy fish recipes you’ll love.

I don’t like fish.
This is certainly a myth to us! Maybe you only like really good fish. Ask us for “beginner” fish, as well as simple, delish ways to cook it.
Women who are pregnant should avoid eating fish.
False. As stated earlier, fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which promote brain development and vision in infants. There was even a federal study done in 2010 in which expecting mothers were recommended to eat at least two to three servings a week to promote the developments stated above.
You shouldn't eat fish and dairy together?
Eating fish and dairy is truly a matter of preference, but won’t harm your health. This myth spread from an ancient religious belief containing the misinformation that eating fish and dairy together causes skin patches. There is no scientific evidence that this is true. Actually, several fish recipes involve curd, which is a dairy.
You should only eat oysters during months that contain the letter “R.”
Originally, people only were told to only eat oysters from September to April. This was because oysters spawn in summer months and tend to be soft, flimsy, and smell during this time in their life cycle. Red tides may also occur in the summer where there is more algae that is toxic to humans. This algae can be absorbed by shellfish. Modern farming methods now allow shellfish to be eaten year-round. Many oysters are now farmed in cold water and there are strict regulations enforced around oyster farming.

Michigan Fish Facts

  • Michigan is the only state with access to four of the five great lakes.
  • Michigan has the largest freshwater coastline in the world at 3,288 miles.
  • Michigan’s state fish is the brook trout, which is actually a char and part of the salmon family.
  • The largest fish caught in Lake Michigan was a lake sturgeon that was eight feet long and weighed 300 pounds.
  • The male lake sturgeon has an average lifespan of 55 years, while females can live anywhere from 80-150 years.
  • Although Michigan fish are freshwater, they only have slight nutritional differences from saltwater fish, such as containing higher amounts of calcium.
  • The most dangerous fish in Lake Michigan is the sea lamprey, a parasitic fish threatening native species.
  • Fishing season is usually from April to June, but different fish can be caught during different seasons. For example, coho salmon can be caught from June to October.

Michigan Lake Whitefish

As stated earlier, the Mongers have an affinity for catching whitefish. Lake whitefish range from 5 to 20 pounds and reach anywhere from 20 to 31 inches. Younger fish eat zooplankton, while adults eat claims, shrimp, and smaller fish. Due to its fat content, whitefish is great for smoking, which creates a delicate, salty, and smoky flavor. You can purchase smoked fish at our Norton Shores location, or in our online shop.

Whitefish is King in the Great Lakes! One 3-oz. serving of whitefish features Omega-3 fatty acids (a very good thing): .35g of EPA and 1.03g of DHA, to be exact. That’s more than pink and sockeye salmon. The government requires us to add: *Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

We know about fish! And what we don’t know, we’ll find out for you. 
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