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Whitefish shortage in Great Lakes causing problems during Passover

Lake Michigan Whitefish (Photo from: Rmhermen/Wikimedia Commons).
Lake Michigan Whitefish (Photo from: Rmhermen/Wikimedia Commons).

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - There's a shortage of whitefish in the Great Lakes -- and it's causing problems for Jewish families during the Passover holiday which began Monday night.

Whitefish is a key ingredient in a traditional Jewish recipe, but the long cold winter has prevented commercial fishermen from bringing in enough.

Chuck Bronte of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Green Bay says many boats still cannot get out to fish, as record ice levels on the Great Lakes continue their slow melting. As a result, fish wholesalers are not getting anywhere near the whitefish they need.

Wholesaler Kevin Dean of suburban Detroit said he got only got 75 pounds in his latest shipment, although he asked for 500.

Whitefish is a key ingredient in gefilte fish, a traditional Jewish recipe that normallyincludes ground up fish and other foods like eggs, carrots, onions, and bread crumbs. Other fish are also used, but whitefish is the most popular.  

Experts say the Great Lakes whitefish population has dropped in recent years anyway. Some blame invasive species like zebra mussels.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)