TRAVERSE CITY – Many fish markets in the Great Lakes region are running short of whitefish, and it's coming at a bad time: the Passover holiday.
Whitefish is a key ingredient in gefilte fish, a traditional Jewish dish that originates in eastern Europe. Recipes vary, but it often consists of ground fish, vegetables such as onion and carrots, and bread crumbs formed into loaves or balls.
The shortfall results partly from the bitterly cold winter that caused vast sections of the Great Lakes to freeze over. The ice cover kept some commercial fishing crews stuck in port. A drop in the whitefish population is also to blame.
Kevin Dean of Superior Fish Co. near Detroit says his latest shipment amounted to just 75 pounds, although he requested 500 pounds.