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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 April 3 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 195 adult northern pike were collected in three days. The fish were transported to the Spirit Lake Hatchery. The broodstock produced over 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.

The Spirit Lake Hatchery is open to the public, starting Tuesday, April 12. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., 7 days a week until May 6.