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100 Years of Family Tradition

The little town of Munising, on the shores of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, has been home to our family fish market since 1914. Launched by Philip VanLandschoot, VanLandschoot & Sons Fish Market (VSI) is now a 5th generation family-run business. Where once there were over 1,800 fisheries, VSI is one of the 13 remaining on all five Great Lakes. VSI is one of the oldest commercial fisheries and is one of two licensed state fishermen left on Lake Superior. The Company has grown since 1914, adding additional ports in Houghton and Beta
Grise, as well as increasing our retail and commercial availability.


The American Fur Company was the first commercial fishing operation in the area, fishing near the shore of Grand Island in 1836. Across from Grand Island on the mainland is Powell's Point where the first fishing family worked from the late 8170's through the 1940's. Several hard working families have made Munising their home port over the years, all bringing delicious Great Lakes fish to dinner tables across the country.

Making a New Home

In 1906 a young Philip VanLandschoot immigrated from Knokke, Belgium, to the United States and settled in Gladstone, Michigan, on the north shore of Lake Michigan. After various laborer jobs, he became a fisherman's helper with the Schowy Brother fish Company in Gladstone.

In 1914, Philip started his own fishing enterprise and for the next thirty years successfully operated from Gladstone. "During summer," VanLandschoot sida, "I would fish from my boat and in the wintertime I fished through the ice and hauled my gear by horse and sleigh."

Working with Philip were his four sons, Paul, Joe, Jerome, and Francis. In 1942, the family moved to Munising where they built docks and boat houses on the west side of Munising Bay, initially leasing land from the Cleveland Cliffs Company. Brothers Paul, Joe and Jerome continued the family business into the second generation. Beginning in the mid-eighties, Jerome's son Jerry, David, and Gary carried on third generation of operations.

Philip VanLandschoot dressed in flannel, overalls, and a cap, smiling as he prepares to go to work.

A Family Affair

Through the years, the VanLandschoot family has adapted to their surroundings and come carved a place in the fishing industry.

Jerome VanLandschoot standing on the deck of a moving boat getting ready to deploy his invention the trap-net, a way to humanly harvest whitefish.

An Industry Innovator

In the late 1960's, Jerome VanLandschoot, together with Michigan State Representative, Dominic Jacobetti, worked for commerical fishermen's right in the Munising Bay area and helped set the course for commercial fishing methods in the Great Lakes

Anticipating the banning of gill nets on the Great Lakes, Jerome set about designing a new type of net called a 'trap net'. In 1965, while working with fierman, Clarence Dutcher in DeTour, Michigan, Jerome and his son constructed a portoype net, hand-tying thousands of knots. They tested the net on AuTrain Bay and realized its potential - more efficient harvet of desirable fish with minimum wast of other species. It was a proud moment for the VanLandschoot family and a milestone event for the commercial fishing industry.

A Continuing Legacy

At Vanlandschoots and Sons, we proudly continue the century long family tradition of fishing on Lake Superior.


As we honor our past, we look towards the future with the same level of enthusiasm. And, continue our promise to invest in technology, promote sustainably caught practices, and bring you the freshest wild caught whitefish around.

For more information about our journey, please, signup for our newsletter today!

The Vanlandschoot's fourth generation smiling at the camera while they stand inside the new fish market
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