Smelt fry held at Big Lake Fire Department

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Staff Writer
Jennifer Edwards
The Big Lake Fire Dept. had some help from the Big Lake Lions to put on their annual smelt and fish fry at the fire hall Friday.
The event, which benefits the Firefighters Relief Association, drew a crowd of around 300 people, who paid $10 each to partake in the traditional meal.
While the Lions took charge of the fryers, the Big Lake Ambassadors helped serve the tasty fish. The Big Lake Lioness also had a large table laden with desserts for sale to finish the meal.
Smelt are little fish introduced to the Great Lakes by European settlement. The small fish swim upstream to breed as soon as the ice melts and the water temperatures get above 40 degrees, making them a tasty spring treat.   So many little fish swim together, they can be scooped up in nets or buckets, an activity which takes place at night because smelt are extremely light-sensitive. The numbers of smelt coming in to spawn or “running,” has declined over the years.
Smelt are gutted and their heads cut off, coated in flour, deep fried and eaten whole. Friday they came with baked potatoes, coleslaw, baked beans and fried perch. The Lions fried them to a crisp and crunchy golden brown and served them hot with tartar sauce.

photos


Phyllis G. Monson

THE TEEN BAND PLATYPUS will perform at the Big Lake Chamber of Commerce annual Block Party at McPete’s Sept. 6.

NO LEFT TURNS ALLOWED exiting from Big Lake High School property onto Eagle Lake Road when school starts up in September. The new rule is to alleviate congestion and and is part of the county plan which changed traffic lane configurations. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

Pictured from left to right are scholarship winners Jordyn Edling, Madi VanHorsen, and Breanna Cornwell volunteering to sell ducks for Monticello’s Riverfest celebration. (Submitted photo.)