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David Lissner
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It’s local, it’s seasonal, it’s smelt!


Volunteers serve up freshly fried fish at the annual Port Washington, Wis., smelt fry.

They’re tiny and fishy and only available fresh for a very brief period in the spring. Smelt season is upon us!

For the ultimate Midwestern smelt experience, you have to head north to Port Washington, Wis., outside Milwaukee, for the annual American Legion Smelt Fry conducted by the Andrew Van Ells American Legion Post No. 82.

The 62nd annual event takes place beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 4:30 pm Saturday, April 5 and 6, at 435 N. Lake St., Port Washington, Wis. The fish come with fries and cole slaw for $11 and patrons are invited to bring their own condiments.

Call (262) 284-2855 for more information.

Too far to go? Shaw’s Crab House in River North and Schaumburg offers fried, breaded Lake Erie smelt throughout April ($10 for an appetizer portion or $15 to $18 with fries and coleslaw).