Catching Great Lakes goldfish

LUNA PIER, MI — Whenever Dave DeLong brings in one of his Maumee Bay seine nets, there’s almost always one or two distinctive bright orange fish swimming around the writhing mass of bullhead, catfish and carp.

DeLong, a Lake Erie commercial fisherman, makes a living hauling live fish to the Luna Pier Harbor Club, where his catch is weighed and sold. He’s been fishing for 45 years on Lake Erie and goldfish have been part of that catch every year.

“We used to throw them away,” he said.

Not anymore.

Goldfish — larger versions of the species found in household aquariums — have been a part of the Great Lakes ecosystem for a long, long time. While that’s really no secret, most would be surprised to learn just how many actually inhabit the bi-national waters.

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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