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Consumers always have questions about the food they eat. At Great Lakes Food Company, we certainly welcome yours and may even add it to our FAQ’s list.

To contact us:
Toll-Free: Canada | USA 1.877.997.6358


Where do your smelt come from?

We harvest our fish in Canada in the freshwater of Lake Erie, part of North America’s Great Lakes system.

How do you catch your smelt?

We catch our fish by ‘Otter Trawl’ which is rather like a purse pulled behind the boat.

Where can I buy your smelt?

We generally deliver to wholesalers who in turn service their local supermarkets. With the odd exception, we do not know store locations. Please feel free to call our Toll Free number for more specific information.

Can I buy smelt directly from you?

Sorry, we do not sell directly to consumers.

How do I cook your smelt?

Please look on our website for several of our own recipes. Also, just Google ‘smelt recipies ‘ there are hundreds. Also, feel free to call us at our toll-free number and we would be pleased to provide you with some helpful tips.

Can I eat the bones in your smelt?

Yes. Lake smelt bones are quite soft when cooked plus they are actually a high source of calcium.

Why is there no Best Before Date on your packaging and how do I know if they are still usable?

We do not specify a Best Before Date as freezers can vary widely in temperature. However under ideal conditions product should be acceptable up to 12 months after purchase.

What is on the outside of your smelt?

We use an exterior glaze in our processing that consists of regular drinking water. There are no additives.

How do I know your smelt are safe to eat?

The fish inside the bags should be separated and hard frozen.

What do you use to clean your smelt?

Our smelt are cleaned using highly automated machines.

How do you freeze your smelt?

Our fish are frozen in a tunnel freezer in 6 minutes.

Why are your smelt different sizes?

Smelt have a 4-year life cycle and grow with age. They live in schools consisting of all sizes which will change based on natural conditions.

How big do smelt get?

At full maturity they will normally grow between 6 to 8 inches. We have occasionally seen 10-inch fish.

Are your smelt farmed or wild?

Great Lakes Food’s smelt are all natural and wild caught.

Are your smelt sustainable?

Yes, our smelt are harvested under the Canadian sustainable quota management system.

When do you catch your smelt?

Lake Erie smelt can be caught year round. Normally the ideal time is April through October.

Are smelt healthy do eat?

Smelt are a good source of Calcium, Omega-3 Polyunsaturates and Protein plus trace amounts of minerals, Potassium and Iron.

Can I re-freeze the smelt if they are defrosted?

No. If defrosted, keep them refrigerated, cook and eat them quickly.