Freshwater Fish Recipes

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

fresh salmon sides on display at fishmongers

This section for freshwater fish recipes is divided into types of fish as well as recipes. There are many salmon recipes here and a few for other types of river fish.

Freshwater fish is a term that's self explanatory - they're river fish as opposed to sea fish - bit simplistic as many fish (for example salmon) spend time in the sea - but you tend to catch them in the river.

On the whole, they tend to be a bit bony - apart from salmon and trout which are in a class of their own.

I think one of the best ways of eating freshwater fish is to barbecue at the side of the river or at your campsite if you’re on holiday.

freshwater salmon

What I intend to do here, is list the more common fish and give suitable general cooking methods for freshwater fish recipes - the seasons are applicable to the UK - please, if anybody has anything to add from other countries, I would be really grateful - thank you ;-)

The majority of freshwater fish recipes are for salmon, trout and their varieties – I will publish other recipes as I find them.

There is quite a debate around eating freshwater fish in the UK, with strict guidelines on the quantity, size and breeds you can take out of a river per day. Salmon and Trout are in a different category as they generally come from licensed rivers, but 'Coarse Fishing' is regarded as a catch and return form of angling.  The size of fish you're allowed to keep as a general rule (but some areas have slightly different guidelines and you need to check with the individual areas) are as follows:

  • Pike - one per day smaller than 65cm (26 inches)
  • 2 grayling smaller than 30-38 cm (12-15 inches)
  • 15 smaller species up to 20 cm (8 inches) eg common bream, barbel, chubb, carp, silver bream, roach, smelt.
  • all eels apart from conger eels must be returned to the river alive. 
  • you cannot sell rod caught salmon or sea-trout in England and Wales

Go here for the UK Government guidelines regarding river fishing - there are large fines for breaking the laws.  

Given the regulations and size of the fish, it seems a bit academic to give recipes, but I'm going to give some, bearing in mind that many of these recipes will be useful for cooking other fish either as fillets, steaks or whole fish. 

Methods of cooking freshwater fish recipes are baking, poaching, grilling, boiling, stewing, frying, deep frying and braising, exactly the same as sea fish or commercially bought fish. 

Grows to 10-16 inches (25-40cm) in season in the UK June to December. Imported all year.  Good eating, but bony. Suitable for any method of cooking.

Baked Bream
Baked Bream with a distinctly mediterranean flavor - tomatoes, black olives - mmmm... This recipe is for 'sea' bream but it's very similar and would work for any medium sized whole fish.

baked bream

Grows to 15-20 inches (37-50cm). Available all year except April and May.

It has white flesh with a good flavor. It is best baked or poached, but can be used in any method. 

Baked Carp
Tasty stuffed carp - this method can be used for any whole fish, just adjust the cooking times according to the size.

baked carp

Grows up to 36 inches (90cm). Available all year but best in autumn (fall).

It is best to buy them live - hit them on the head to kill them – then skin and cut them up - personally, I couldn't do it, they're too 'snake' like for me to have one wriggling around. 

It is very bony - grill, fry, bake or braise. There is a good eel with wine and tomato recipe here.

eel in tomato and wine sauce

Grows to 6-12 inches (15-30cm). Available all year except March and April - best in summer.

Good taste but bony. Suitable for all methods of cooking.

Perch Fish
Perch with parsley sauce - an alternative to bbqing at the side of the river.

Monsters of the rivers and ponds - grow to ove 4 feet (120 cm) and have seriously scary teeth. The very large ones will most likely be female breeding stock and over 20 years old - don't eat them, return them to re-stock the rivers.  There's a very interesting chart here which shows the estimated age and sex by size of the pike. 

Available all year - very bland, tasteless and bony - but if you've caught one and you’re determined to eat it, then try poaching it in a sauce - maybe wine and tomato.

It's more popular in France and quite often roasted, spiked with garlic slivers. There's a link here to a recipe outside this site for the very famous 'Quenelles de brochet' - making pike into a mousse and poaching it was one way of getting rid of the fearsome number of bones. 

Most people consider salmon to be the king of fish - I like it, but I prefer trout - it's got a more delicate flavour in my opinion. You can buy salmon all year round - normally farmed. If you can get wild salmon then you'll see the difference - the flesh is much firmer and a very much deeper in colour.

There are many more salmon freshwater fish recipes around the site - use the search box at the bottom of each page and click on the button for

If you look below, you will find some links for more tasty and simple salmon recipes.


Trout come as Brown (mostly what you would catch yourself in the river) Rainbow Trout - the ones you would normally find at the fish counter and Salmon Trout - related to Brown trout, but larger.

You can buy farmed trout all year round, but wild trout is generally available from February to August or September.

It's suitable for most methods of cooking, but don't waste its delicate flavour in overseasoned sauces. There are other trout freshwater fish recipes on the site - the search box at the top will find them for you.

Baked Trout
A really simple baked trout, quick and easy. It would be suitable for any medium sized fish that you may catch.

Trout in White Wine
A microwave method of cooking trout in white wine - ready in a few minutes.

Speckled Trout Recipe
A delicate flavored fish like trout needs few cooking additions. This simple pan fried dish doesn't interfere with the flavor.

A selection of trout recipes including a video showing you how to make baked stuffed trout and some information on mercury levels in fish. 

You may also like these recipes

Some of the links on this site include affiliate links, providing Find-a-Seafood-Recipe a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. 

Subscribe to Seafood Recipe News - complete the form below.

Your email address is secure and will *only* be used to send Seafood Recipe News. When you confirm your subscription, you will be taken to a page where you can access your free eCourse. Complete the form and it will arrive over the following five days.

newsletter subscribe image

Freshwater Fish Recipes


freshwater fish recipes

A huge selection of freshwater fish recipes. Salmon, trout, carp, eel and many more. Great ideas for cooking your catch of the day as well as superb dinner party recipes and family recipes. Salmon is considered the King of Fish and you will find simple as well as luxurious recipes here.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: varying

Main Ingredient: freshwater fish