New Water Filter System Approved For Spirit Lake Hatchery

Spirit Lake, Iowa — The Iowa Natural Resources Commission has approved spending $75,000 on a filter system for the Spirit Lake fish hatchery in Dickinson County to improve the production of muskellunge or “muskies.”

DNR fisheries supervisor, Jay Rudacille says the system is needed to obtain better water to raise the fish.

He says the gas supersaturation in the water they use from Big Spirit Lake is a natural phenomenon. He says the supersaturation caused up to 60 percent of the 1½ – 3 inch fish to die, and 26 percent of the fish had deformities and were removed in 2022. Rudacille says the new system will solve the gas problem and also keep out the potential zebra mussel larva.

The hatchery also has northern pike and walleyes, but they will not be grown in this system.

Kim Hawkins from DNR fisheries says the water issue has gotten worse in the last eight years.

Commissioners asked Rudacille about the cost for the system when only 3,000 fish are stocked in Iowa lakes. He says they do trade thousands of muskies that are not stocked for other species of fish.

He says Nebraska stopped trading with Iowa because of the potential for zebra mussels. The new system eliminates that concern and may lead to more fish trades.

Rudacille says the number of fish stocked right now is based on the requests they get and they are only stocked in certain lakes.



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