LELAND, Mich. (WLNS) — Just thirty miles north of Traverse City in Leland is historic Fishtown.

Fishtown is a collection of classic Michigan history: weathered fishing shanties, smokehouses, overhanging docks, fish tugs and charter boats along the Leland River. 

The name Fishtown was not used to describe this area until the 1940s, influenced by the hard work of the Carlson family.

For more than a century now, the Carlson family has operated this fishery in beautiful northwestern Michigan.

Starting with Nels, who emigrated from Norway, to Will, Lester, Bill and now fifth generation Nels Carlson, they’ve handed down the tradition, adapted and transformed their small dock in Leland into historic Fishtown. 

Carlson’s buys and processes much of the Great Lakes fish each year. They distribute their products locally through their retail store, and through wholesale channels. 

Carlson’s in known for their fresh caught Whitefish and Lake Trout. They are also known for their original Smoked Whitefish Påté, made in Fishtown fresh every day. Smoked Whitefish Sausage, also an original, is made with a blend of Lake Trout and Whitefish.