1. What is Michigan Catch & Cook?

Launched in 2012, Michigan Catch & Cook is an effort to promote and encourage creative, yet safe, marketing of Michigan Great Lakes sports fish through a partnership with the charter fishing industry and local restaurants. Michigan Catch & Cook allows charter fishing clients who catch fish from Michigan’s Great Lakes an opportunity to take their fresh catch to a participating Michigan restaurant to cook and serve those fish to those clients.

The following government, industry and academic partners collaborated to develop Michigan Catch & Cook:

2. Does the state agency that regulates food and restaurants approve of the program?

Yes, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development – Food and Dairy Division is a key partner in the program and supports the growth and success of Michigan Catch & Cook on a statewide basis.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has prepared this guidance document – Michigan Catch & Cook Guidance Document (MDARD) under the authority of The Federal 2005 Food Code, §3-201.14(A) states:

“Fish that are received for sale or service shall be: (1) Commercially and legally caught or harvested; or (2) Approved for sale or service.”

Under the Catch & Cook program, charter fishing clients are approved to have their recreationally caught fish from Michigan waters prepared and served to them by licensed restaurants.

If you are a member of the
Michigan Charter Boat Association then the
Michigan Catch and Cook logo can be downloaded to use on your website
Michigan Catch and Cook

3. How do charter services register as a Catch & Cook charter?

Michigan licensed charter services may register their charter service by visiting the Add Your Service page and complete the online registration to Submit A Listing.

It is recommended that you have a written description of your boat and a picture or business logo to upload with your listing. If you do not have a picture or logo to upload when you register your charter service, you can come back later to add to your submission.

4. Can I use the Michigan Catch and Cook logo?

If you registered and a member of the Michigan Charter Boat Association then the Michigan Catch and Cook logo can be used on your website. If you are a participating restaurant  you can use the logo. Prior to its use we ask you to email michigancharterboats@gmail.com Please note, no other videos or pictures can be used with out written permission.

5. How do restaurants register as a Catch & Cook charter?

Michigan licensed restaurants may register their restaurant by visiting the Add Your Service page and complete the online registration to Submit A Listing.

It is recommended that you have a written description of your restaurant and a picture or business logo to upload with your listing. If you do not have a picture or logo to upload when you register your restaurant, you can come back later to add to your submission again to make changes.

6. What are the responsibilities of participating charter services and restaurants to ensure fish are safe to cook and to eat?

All charter services and restaurants participating in Michigan Catch & Cook must be licensed to operate in the State of Michigan.

Michigan charter captains are United States Coast Guard licensed for the Great Lakes and their charter boats are inspected by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division and required to display a decal indicating they’ve been inspected. For your safety look for that decal since only legally sanctioned charter services can participate in the Michigan Catch & Cook program.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development – Food and Dairy Division determined specific food handling guidelines for charter services and restaurants participating in the Michigan Catch & Cook program. All participants are encouraged to review the Participants Responsibilities page for details.

7. Why should a charter service or restaurant participate in Michigan Catch & Cook?

A significant benefit for captains who register with this program and who refer customers to restaurants is that participating captains are ensuring their customers of their compliance with the Michigan Food Code. The Code states that fish must be “approved” for consumption. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has determined that under the Michigan Catch & Cook program, charter fishing clients are approved to have their recreational caught fish from Michigan waters prepared and served to them by licensed restaurants. Charter services that are not registered with this program do not enjoy that approval status.

The Michigan Catch & Cook website is a one-stop, online resource for residents and tourists of the state to locate participating charter services and restaurants.

Listing your charter service or restaurant is free, so listing your charter service or restaurant on the Michigan Catch & Cook website is FREE advertising.

In its first season of existence, the Michigan Catch & Cook website experienced nearly 11,000 pageviews by in state, out-of-state and international online visitors.


Benefits of Participating in Michigan Cook & Catch

Charter Fishing Operators

Restaurants

Clients/Customers

New Charter Clients New Dining Customers New Dining Experience
Repeat Charter Clients Repeat Dining Customers Fun of Catching Your Own Lunch/Dinner
Recognized Relationships with Dockside/Community
Restaurants
Recognized Relationships with Charter Boat Captains/Crews No Worries Over What to Do with Your Catch
Play a Role in Shaping a Community’s Local Food Identity Play a Role in Shaping a Community’s Local Food Identity Local Good Source with Minimal Food “Footprint”


8. Are charter services required to be trained in food safety?

Michigan Catch & Cook recommends all charter service participants take a food-handling course that can be found online. Again, charter boat captains must be United States Coast Guard licensed for the Great Lakes and all restaurants must have a valid Michigan Food Service license to participate in this program.

9. Can I participate with more than one charter service or restaurant?

Yes! Charter services may partner/affiliate with more than one restaurant and restaurants may partner/affiliate with more than one charter service. When completing your online registration on the Add Your Service page, simply list the all the restaurants or charter services with which your business is associating.

Charter services and restaurants are encouraged to seek each other out to establish these partnerships to help increase your business success and add to the experience of charter service clients in the catching and eating of Great Lakes fish.

10. How do charter services prepare fish for delivery to restaurants?

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has prepared this guidance document – Michigan Catch & Cook Guidance Document (MDARD) under the authority of The Federal 2005 Food Code, §3-201.14(A) states:

“Fish that are received for sale or service shall be: (1) Commercially and legally caught or harvested; or (2) Approved for sale or service.”

Under the Catch & Cook program, charter fishing clients are approved to have their recreationally caught fish from Michigan waters prepared and served to them by licensed restaurants.

11. How do charter services obtain supplies of the Catch & Cook restaurant bag label?

Charter services are strongly encouraged to use the Michigan Catch & Cook bag label to identify fish caught under the Michigan Catch & Cook program. Charter services may contact Captain Larry Lienczewski to obtain labels as they make sure they have a sufficient supply on hand.

If your charter service temporarily runs out of labels, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has approved the following action:

With a permanent marker, write the following information on the bag containing the catch – Captain’s name, Boat, Date and Time of catch. This will provide the participating restaurant with the necessary information to determine that the catch is fresh and suitable for cooking.

12. More about the Michigan Catch & Cook program …

Pure Michigan recognizes the Michigan Catch & Cook program as a valuable residential and tourist resource in the state and was featured as a Pure Michigan blog entry in October 2012. Recently, Michigan Catch & Cook received the 2013 Governor’s award for Innovative Tourism Collaboration at the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Detroit. The Michigan Travel Commission and the Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan presented the awards.

mcba-logo mi_state_logo michigan department of ag and rural development mich_rest-logo m_seagrant-logo