Welcome to PURDY’S FISH MARKET one of Southwestern Ontario's finest
hidden gems offering you the finest in Fresh Lake Fish since 1900!

"We have been purchasing Whitefish and Walleye from Purdy Fisheries for the last 8 years. We have received nothing less than perfection from Purdy. Purdy's service, quality and attitude are second to none and is a testament to their 100+ year history. We look forward to our continued future."

Bob Sullivan, President
The Plitt Company, Chicago, IL

"Quality Fish for over 100 years!"

Purdy’s began Gill Netting in 1947 and one year later, the original Pond Nets were replaced with the more modern Trap Nets. Using both Gill and Trap Nets gave Purdy Fisheries a unique status on Lake Huron. Trap Netting is the preferred method of fishing as it has proven to produce a superior quality of fish, as the fish are free swimming when removed from the nets.

Purdy Fisheries workers un-loading live catfish from a trap net boat


A trap net is like a large minnow trap in which the fish swim in and cannot find their way out. Setting Trap Nets requires 2 boats. One boat sets the nets, while the other sets the anchors. An anchor weighs approximately 50 lbs. and each net has 14 anchors.

Trap Nets are fished with a method called "Lifting". When "Lifting" nets are first hooked over the back of the boat then pulled up the side using hydraulic winches. Once the net is secured, the top is opened and fish are removed using a dip net. Fish are then put into a tray where they are sorted by species and size. At this time, small and unwanted fish are released alive. Fish, to be kept, are quickly placed in large, insulated containers and covered with ice, to ensure the best quality of fish possible.

Once the nets are emptied they are lowered back into the water in order to continue catching more fish. Trap Nets remain in the water for 4-6 weeks and are then removed. Next, they are returned to shore where they are washed and mended.

Sometimes market demand dictates that particular species be kept alive. These fish are kept in live tanks, on the boat, and are transferred to raceways on shore. They will be used for stocking lakes and ponds throughout Southern Ontario and the North Eastern United States. Pickerel and Catfish are most commonly used for stocking purposes. Should you be interested in Purdy’s Live Fish, please contact us at purdyfisheries@bellnet.ca.


Purdy’s largest boat, The L&R, was a 54-foot Gill Netter, built by Purdy’s in 1949. Today, The L&R is one of a number of modern fishing vessels on Lake Huron. It has been renovated to the length of 75 feet and is equipped with the latest in marine technology.

Gill Nets are designed to target a specific species of fish. The desired species dictates the size and location of the nets to be used (this reduces the incidental catch to a minimum). Gill Nets were first made of linen and nylon, but are now made using the more durable and economical monophilament. These nets can be up to a mile long and are securely anchored at both ends. Depending on water temperature and target species they can be adjusted to the bottom of the lake or just below the water’s surface. Being virtually undetectable, fish swim in and are netted by their gills. When the nets are pulled from the water, they are coiled into large steel trays and then overhauled by the crew. Overhauling is the process of removing fish from the net while re-coiling the net in order for it to be re-setting.

Fish are sorted by size and immediately iced to ensure Purdy’s high quality product. Nets are re-set out the back of the boat using a roller to spread the net and to avoid tangles. Re-set position is determined by size of catch and fish movement.


Purdy Fisheries’ location on the Shores of the St. Clair River hosts federally inspected Packing and Processing Plants. These both operate under QMP/HACCP Plans that have been approved and monitored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Fish being routed to the Wholesale market is immediately packed into cardboard boxes. It is then iced and tagged for the destination. Within hours of the boats returning to shore, the packing process is complete. Purdy’s fish is then routed to major International Centres, such as New York, Chicago, Detroit and Ohio. Common National destinations include Montreal and Toronto.

Wholesale Fish Choices include:


An insulated tote of fresh pickerel caught and just off the boat!

Even with success in these major market places, the Purdy Family still caters to local customers through their retail stores. Before the fish can be sold to the general public, it first has to be processed. Through technological advancements, Purdy’s processing plant can process thousands of pounds of fish in very few hours. Fish, such as Pickerel, Whitefish and Perch are first run through a "Scaling" machine, then a "Heading" machine and lastly as "Filleting" machine, however, no machine is perfect and therefore each fillet of fish is hand checked before it is placed behind the fish counter for sale. Larger species are still processed by hand.

One of Purdy's processing rooms ... Pickerel processed for sale in Purdy's retail store.

The name "PURDY" has been synonymous with Quality fish for over 100 years. We are proud to place a quality product on your table and hope to do so for many years to come.

If you are interested in more information about Purdy’s Fish, please email purdyfisheries@bellnet.ca.