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Wisconsin fish will be in the spotlight at national “Fish Fry”

To highlight fish from the Great Lakes region, Wisconsin Sea Grant will serve Atlantic salmon and greens from Superior Fresh in Hixton and smoked whitefish from Susie Q Fish Co. in Two Rivers at the 44th annual National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fish Fry on June 5 in Washington, D.C.

The national fish fry promotes public understanding of aquaculture and commercial fisheries. Each year, it attracts up to 1,100 people who pay for a ticket to enjoy seafood samples near the National Mall at the Department of Commerce building, which is home to NOAA.

Kyle Woolever, aquaculture manager at Superior Fresh in Hixton, holds a farm- raised salmon. Superior Fresh fish will be served at the NOAA Fish Fry on June 5. (Photo: Sara Stathas)

This year, guest chefs and others such as Wisconsin Sea Grant Director Jim Hurley and Fisheries Specialist Titus Seilheimer will prepare and serve fish—cod, salmon, crab and more, along with the offerings from the Great Lakes. Steve Summerfelt, Chief Science Officer of Superior Fresh, will also attend with Hurley and Seilheimer. In all, 17 organizations will be represented from places like Alaska, Florida and Maine.

“For generations, the Great Lakes have been home to commercial fishing,” Seilheimer said. “I’m excited that the region is poised to make a big mark in aquaculture. We’re pleased to showcase both vibrant industries—wild-caught and farm-raised—before the audiences who will attend the fish fry, including administration officials, members of Congress and their staff.”

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Michigan Sea Grant will join Wisconsin at a booth.

Wisconsin Sea Grant has developed and is sharing an Eat Wisconsin Fish campaign to inform consumers, restaurateurs and retailers about the local, healthy and delicious fish that are harvested from the Great Lakes and the sustainable aquaculture operations across the state. The campaign provides information through a website, eatwisconsinfish.org, and events and cooking demonstrations.

Wisconsin’s aquaculture industry is worth $21 million annually. The U.S. portion of the Great Lakes Basin fishery is valued at $22.5 million.