9 Best Freshwater Fish to Eat

Looking for the best freshwater fish to eat? Your journey ends here! In this article, we will explore a selection of top-notch freshwater fish species that are delectable and offer exceptional nutritional value.

From the delicate and nutty flavor of rainbow trout to the mild and versatile catfish, we will delve into the reasons why these fish are highly regarded for consumption.

Whether you are a seafood enthusiast searching for new culinary experiences or simply looking to incorporate healthy and delicious options into your diet, this guide will help you discover the best-tasting freshwater fish to satisfy your hunger pangs.

Here are the 9 Best Freshwater Fish to Eat

Shortlist your lunch and dinner options with these best freshwater fish to eat.

1. Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout is an excellent source of lean protein, essential omega-3 fatty acids, and essential minerals such as selenium and phosphorus. The delicate and slightly nutty flavor of rainbow trout makes it a favorite among seafood enthusiasts.

Its popularity stems from its versatility in cooking methods, including grilling, baking, and pan-searing, allowing for a wide range of culinary creations. Plus, you don’t need much culinary background to cook one.

2. Catfish

Catfish boasts a tender, mild, sweet flavor that appeals to various palates. This species is rich in high-quality protein, low in saturated fat, and a good source of vitamins, including vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

Catfish is widespread in southern and Cajun cuisine and is often fried, grilled, or baked. You’ll typically find catfish in the form of po boy, a staple southern dish.

3. Tilapia

Tilapia has gained immense popularity as a freshwater fish due to its mild flavor and affordable price. It has a tender, white flesh that quickly absorbs seasonings and marinades, making it an excellent choice for various recipes.

Tilapia is a low-calorie fish that provides a good source of protein and essential nutrients such as vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium. Its popularity also stems from its availability and sustainability, making it a common choice for home cooking and commercial purposes.

4. Perch

Perch is a highly sought-after freshwater species known for its delicate, sweet flavor and firm, flaky texture. It offers a healthy dose of protein, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin D, B12, and selenium. It is often featured in gourmet dishes and appreciated for its ability to complement a wide range of seasonings and sauces.

5. Walleye

Walleye is a popular gamefish prized for its delicate and succulent flavor, often described as slightly sweet and buttery. This freshwater fish species is known for its firm, white flesh that holds up well during cooking. Another selling point is its lack of bones—you won’t spend much time de-boning this fish.

Walleye is an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential minerals like phosphorus and potassium.

6. Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass is a highly esteemed freshwater fish species known for its firm, white flesh and mild, sweet flavor. It offers a good amount of protein and essential nutrients like vitamin B12 and selenium. While largemouth bass is primarily sought after for recreational fishing, it is also valued for its steak-like fillets.

7. Salmon

Perhaps the most popular fish on the market, salmon is famed for its versatility and creamy taste. Although primarily associated with saltwater environments, certain species of salmon, such as the Chinook or King salmon, are known to migrate into freshwater rivers and are highly valued for their culinary qualities.

Renowned for its rich flavor, buttery texture, and vibrant pink flesh, salmon is a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, and vitamins like vitamin D and B12.

8. Bluegill

Bluegill, a member of the sunfish family, is a small but flavorful freshwater fish known for its sweet taste and firm yet delicate texture. Tates vary depending on the fish’s environment—you won’t get the same flavor from a warm-water Bluegill as you will with a cold-water Bluegill.

This freshwater species is a good source of lean protein, vitamin B12, and selenium. Due to its smaller size, bluegill is often prepared whole and can be cooked using various techniques such as pan-frying, grilling, or baking.

9. Crappie

Crappie is a popular freshwater fish known for its delicate, sweet flavor and tender flesh, similar to lobster or crab. Though you can technically fry crappie, baking or grilling it will bring out its best flavors. It offers lean protein, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin B12, selenium, and phosphorus.


Whether you prefer the delicate sweetness of perch, the tender flesh of tilapia, or the rich buttery taste of salmon, there is a freshwater fish to eat that suits every palate. These fish provide a valuable source of lean protein, essential omega-3 fatty acids, and vital nutrients, making them delicious and a healthy choice.

Learn more about the healthiest fish on the market in our comprehensive guide.

  • +

    Get fresh, sushi-grade Alaskan salmon delivered to your door.

    Alaskan Salmon Company Shop Salmon