Cooking and Eating Invasive Species on the middle Green River

Karrigan S. Börk

Our ecogeomorphology class sampled five invasive species during our float down the middle Green River. We started with whitefish fried in taco sauce, followed with brown trout steamed with garlic, onion, and butter, then sampled a simple catfish preparation with salt, pepper, and butter. We also steamed rainbow trout in the same manner as the browns, and finished with Indian smallmouth bass in garlic butter. Recipes are presented below.

Whitefish in Taco Sauce

1 large whitefish

Olive oil

Taco seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

Fillet the whitefish and cut fillets lengthwise into two pieces to remove the row of bones running perpendicular to the spine above the ribcage. Chunk the fillets and add to a hot saucepan doused in olive oil and powdered with the taco seasoning. Cook whitefish until the chunked fish begins to flake, ~ 10 minutes, turning throughout. Fresh whitefish tastes better than fresh trout, and the taco flavorings complement the light fish flavor.


Steamed Brown or Rainbow Trout with Onion and Garlic

1 large trout

Aluminum foil sufficient to enclose the trout

1 coarsely chopped Vidalia onion 4

T butter

4 cloves garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Remove the head from the trout. Slit the belly and remove the entrails, making sure to remove dark the kidney line along the underside of the spine. Stuff the body cavity with 3/4 of the onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2 T butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Place the trout in the aluminum foil and lay the remaining butter, onion, garlic, and additional salt and pepper along the top of the trout. Wrap the trout in the aluminum foil and place the trout directly on the hot embers of a campfire, cooking roughly ten minutes per side. Unwrap the fish and check for doneness after 20 minutes; the flesh should flake away from the spine in the thickest part of the fish. When the fish is done, remove the aluminum foil and peel back the skin from the top side of the trout. Flake all the meat off the top side of the fish, leaving the backbone exposed. Lift backbone, fins, and tail from remaining meat, and then return flaked meat from the top side of the fish, leaving a bone-free trout. Serve with the butter, garlic, and onion sauce. Almost as good as Whitefish in Taco Sauce.


Buttered Catfish

2 catfish fillets


salt and pepper

Use catfish from clean, coldwater
streams for best flavor. Slather the catfish fillets in butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Wrap fillets in foil and cook directly on the campfire embers, flipping after 5 minutes. Check doneness after 10 total minutes; done catfish should flake easily. Serve immediately, with the butter as a dipping sauce. Simple but elegant, this preparation allows the clean catfish taste to shine.


Indian Smallmouth Bass in Garlic Butter

1 very large smallmouth 4 T curry powder

4 T crushed garlic

4 T butter

salt and pepper to taste

Prepare in the same manner as steamed trout above, but scale the smallmouth before cleaning. Also replace onion with curry, and distribute the curry powder evenly inside and outside the fish. Cooking proceeds in the same manner as above. This meal’s strength lies in the combination of the sweet smallmouth meat with the unexpected curry powder.





Figure 1. Pre-dinner gut analysis on a large rainbow trout.