Taste and Nutrition
Ciscoes (lake herring) have roughly the same level of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) per ounce as sockeye salmon. They are more buttery than lake whitefish but are similar in many ways (mild flavor, flaky). Food critic, Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl said, “…Lake Superior herring are singularly delicious. It’s an incredibly clean-tasting, light and delicate fish.”
How They Are Harvested
Ciscoes are harvested from Lake Superior with gill nets by both tribal and state-licensed commercial fishermen. Most of the ciscoes harvested during the non-spawning season are sold locally to restaurants, retail stores or directly to consumers. In October and November, when the bulk of the harvest occurs, supply exceeds local demand, so many ciscoes are sent out-of-state to be made into gefilte fish and the roe is made into caviar. Ciscoes cannot be harvested in Lake Michigan and occur in very low numbers.
- Safe to eat up to 8 servings per month (MI DNR).
- Women under 50 and children under 15: safe to eat up to 1 serving per week (WI DNR).
- Mercury is the chemical of concern.
- See — Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: Eating Your Catch