Kirby Marsden bought Quality Fisheries in the early 1990’s and has operated the business ever since then. Kirby has served as the President Emeritus of the Illinois Commercial Fisherman’s Association, (the ICFA) which has 150 members. The ICFA is actively engaged in a program to rid Illinois rivers of bighead Carp, which are an invasive species that has crowded out more desirable native species and threatens the biological integrity of the Mississippi Basin ecosystems.
Quality Fisheries is a vertically integrated fresh fish and seafood seller operating in the Midwest. Founded in 1953, Quality Fisheries’ core business is to buy fish from commercial fishermen harvesting catfish, carp, buffalo, sturgeon, and other species from the Mississippi River, then sell them at wholesale to fish markets in Chicago and nearby restaurants, and at retail to residents of Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa.
The Niota Fish Market
Quality Fisheries is the Niota Fish Market located at 157 Arbor Street in Niota, Il. tel. 217-448-4241. At the Niota Fish Market, about a dozen employees, receive whole, often live fish, from commercial fishermen. The fish are cleaned, then sold fresh at the store, trucked to Chicago and other markets, smoked or frozen. Imports of frozen seafood are received at the Niota Fish Market, held in reefers, then sold at wholesale or retail.