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Spirit Lake Hatchery filling with northern pike

SPIRIT LAKE – Crews with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources placed fyke nets in the outlets of the sloughs that flow into Big Spirit Lake on March 23 to start collecting northern pike. Northern pike spawn in sloughs and shallow vegetated areas around the Iowa Great Lakes prior to ice leaving the lakes.

A total of 207 adult northern pike were collected in three days. The fish were transported to the Spirit Lake Hatchery. The broodstock produced more than 1.7 million eggs which are currently being incubated in special jars that allow fresh water to flow over the eggs, supplying oxygen.

In less than two weeks, the fry will hatch and be stocked into Iowa’s shallow lakes.

All DNR offices, including fish hatcheries, are closed to the public until further notice due to COVID-19 precautions.