Great Lakes FreshFishFinder.org Website

Are you looking for local, fresh fish caught and raised by producers in the Great Lakes region?

Check out the Great Lakes FreshFishFinder.org.

Created by Minnesota Sea Grant and the Sea Grant programs in Illinois-Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Vermont/Lake Champlain and Wisconsin, this new website features businesses where consumers can buy wild-caught and farmed fish and shellfish to eat, for stocking ponds, to use as bait and for ornamental purposes.

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Project description

FreshFishFinder.org was developed to meet a need to directly connect fish producers with consumers after the disruption of traditional markets during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Created by Minnesota Sea Grant and the Sea Grant programs in Illinois-Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Vermont/Lake Champlain and Wisconsin, this new website features businesses where consumers can buy wild-caught and farmed fish and shellfish to eat, for stocking ponds, to use as bait and for ornamental purposes.

FreshFishFinder.org features a map of the Great Lakes region with fish locator “pins” for each participating fish producer. Each featured business may include a list of the types of fish sold, whether sales are online and/or in-person, retail outlets that sell their products, a short description about their business and a link to their website.

Partial map of United States showing locations of fish producers in the Great Lakes region.
Fish producer map from the Great Lakes Sea Grant FreshFishFinder.org website.

The Great Lakes FreshFishFinder.org website is one of a growing number of Sea Grant-led fish and aquaculture education and extension programs in the Great Lakes region, including the Sea Grant Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative.

Project activities:

2023

  • Summer 2023: The Great Lakes Fresh Fish Finder project team is conducting a survey to determine how fish producers are benefiting from the Great Lakes FreshFishFinder.org website.
  • Summer 2023: Minnesota Sea Grant continues to update the Great Lakes FreshFishFinder.org website as businesses change through the use of a survey that is available on the Great Lakes Fresh Fish Finder “Add your Business” webpage. This survey makes it easier for producers to provide their information and add their businesses to the website.
  • Summer 2023: The Great Lakes Fresh Fish Finder project team partnered with Monte Consulting, an advertising service, to produce five different videos. These videos provide viewers with an overview of how to use the FreshFishFinder.org website and introduces the types of products that can be found using the website. These videos will be available to watch on FreshFishFinder.org in the coming months.
  • The Great Lakes Fresh Fish Finder team is working on contacting all of the businesses and producers listed on FreshFishFinder.org to update their information and determine whether or not they are still interested in being listed on the website.
  • January 2023: The project team developed a survey that is currently available on the Great Lakes Fresh Fish Finder "Add your Business" webpage that makes it easier for producers to provide their information and add their businesses to the website.

2022

  • June 2022: Members of the project team created picture icons and corresponding infographics to help describe both how fish are produced in the Great Lakes region and for what purposes.
  • May 2022: The Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative hosted and recorded the webinar "Finding Fish for Food and Fun: Exploring the Great Lakes Fresh Fish Finder" to provide an overview of some of the businesses and products listed on the FreshFishFinder.org website.
  • February 2022: Members of the Great Lakes Fresh Fish Finder project team conducted a usability study of FreshFishFinder.org to better understand what was working well with the website and what could be improved. The team continues to use the results of this usability study to make using and navigating the site easier.

2021

  • December 2021: A postcard aimed at both producers and consumers to advertise the website was developed.
  • September 8, 2021: The Great Lakes FreshFishFinder.org website was launched, with social and traditional media announcements. Continued website support for FreshFishFinder.org is provided by Minnesota Sea Grant. New and updated business information provided by the participating Great Lakes Sea Grant programs.

Why Minnesota Sea Grant?

The Great Lakes FreshFishFinder.org website supports Sea Grant's mission to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine and Great Lakes resources in order to create a sustainable economy and environment. Specifically, this project supports our national and state focus area of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.

What have we done lately?

  • Fall 2023: A “Frequently Asked Questions” webpage has been added to the Great Lakes FreshFishFinder.org website to help visitors understand aquaculture in our region.
  • Fall 2023: The Great Lakes Fresh Fish Finder project team is conducting a survey to determine how fish producers are benefiting from the Great Lakes FreshFishFinder.org website.
  • Fall 2023: Minnesota Sea Grant continues to update the Great Lakes FreshFishFinder.org website as businesses change through the use of a survey that is available on the Great Lakes Fresh Fish Finder “Add your Business” webpage. This survey makes it easier for producers to provide their information and add their businesses to the website.

Participants & audience

Target audience: FreshFishFinder.org is designed to provide consumers with an easy-to-use map of fish seller locations and businesses throughout the Great Lakes region where they can purchase wild-caught and farmed fish and shellfish to eat, for stocking ponds, to use as bait and for ornamental purposes.

Great Lakes FreshFishFinder.org state Sea Grant program contacts:
For fish producers in the Great Lakes region who want to be included on FreshFishFinder.org, all they need to do is contact their state’s Sea Grant program person listed below:

  • Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant: Amy Shambach, aquaculture marketing outreach associate.
  • Michigan Sea Grant: Lauren Jescovitch, extension educator.
  • Minnesota Sea Grant: Amy Schrank, fisheries and aquaculture extension educator.
  • New York Sea Grant: Michael Ciaramella, seafood specialist.
  • Ohio Sea Grant: Nicole Wright, aquaculture extension educator.
  • Pennsylvania: Amy Shambach, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant aquaculture marketing outreach associate.
  • Vermont/Lake Champlain: Theodore Willis, aquaculture education specialist.
  • Wisconsin: Sharon Moen, Eat Wisconsin Fish outreach specialist.

Funding

The Great Lakes FreshFishFinder.org website was funded by two one-year (2020-2021, 2021-2022) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Rapid Response grants.


Upcoming Events

Program Staff

Amy Schrank headshot
Extension Program Leader (2023); Fisheries and Aquaculture Extension Educator
Marie Thoms headshot
Communication Manager

Program News

Staff from Minnesota Sea Grant Fisheries and Aquaculture Program will be presenting recent and ongoing projects that addres

Featured Stories

The Sea Grant Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative, led by Minnesota Sea Grant, hosted a Great Lakes aquaculture seafood booth at the annual NOAA Sustainable Seafood Celebration in Washington D.C. in June 2023.


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