Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lake Erie Perch

A note about Lilly's birthday party: it was more than a week ahead of her actual birthday. We wanted to steer the event clear of the weekend ahead of Thanksgiving, which is also the weekend ahead of her birthday, so November 10-11 got the nod.

I went downtown for lunch today, to a place just off Michigan Avenue. It was a business lunch, but a pleasant one. There was some discussion of exotic resort real estate.

"Lake perch" was on the menu. I asked the waiter, which lake? "Lake Erie," he said. That sold me instantly. Lake Erie has come a long way since that embarrassing Cuyahoga River Fire in '69.

Later, I learned that Lake Erie produces a lot of fine fat fish of the perch variety. Eric Sharp, writing in the Centre Daily Times on May 29, 2005, noted that "dramatic changes in the ecology of the Great Lakes, most brought about by the arrival of exotic species from the oceans and Europe, have resulted in equally dramatic reductions in perch numbers and sizes throughout much of their Great Lakes range.

"The one place that has not been the case is the Canadian shoreline of Lake Erie, where the bottom topography and food web remain nearly perfect for producing not only large numbers of perch but exceptionally big ones."

Bet I had some Canadian perch on my plate. Tasty fish too, even if the value of a Canadian perch has increased significantly in recent months, pushing higher than the equivalent US perch.


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