Lake Erie yellow perch more expensive than it used to be

The price of yellow perch appears to be on the rise.

'It's up substantially — probably about $3 a pound, just even in the last month'

The price of yellow perch is going up, according to people both selling the fish and serving it. (Ohio State University)

The price of yellow perch appears to be on the rise.

Trevor Loop, the co-owner of Jack's Gastropub in Kingsville, Ont., has warned his customers they are going to pay more to dine on perch from Lake Erie.

That's because it is all of a sudden costing a lot more for him to buy it.

"It's up substantially — probably about $3 a pound, just even in the last month," Loop said in a telephone interview on Thursday. "It's kind of caught people off-guard."

Yellow perch is generally a popular item on his menu. Loop said it tends to be one of the top two sellers during the summer months and a top-five pick among his customers year-round.

Right now, many people visiting the area for its birds, are also dropping by his restaurant.

"Of course, when people come to a new region, that's one of the things they want to do, is taste that region," Loop said. "And Lake Erie yellow perch are on the top of their list for our area."

At the Taylor Fish Company in Wheatley, Ont., Operation Manager Jake Guenter confirmed the perch price increase.

"They're up, oh yeah," he said in a telephone interview.

Guenter said a pound of perch is selling for between $15 and $15.50 right now. That's up from between $10.50 and $11.95 a year ago.

It might seem pricey to some, but that is what you have to pay for perch. And Guenter said customers accept that.

"If you want to eat perch, that's what it is. If you want to eat a steak, that's what it is," he said.

With files from the CBC's Robin Brown and Peter Duck and CBC Radio's Windsor Morning