Massive 47-pound muskellage caught nearly 25 years after it was stocked into a lake in Iowa

47 pound muskallege caughtWEST OKOBOJI LAKE, Iowa – A muskellage fish, bought in 1991, is now more than three times the size it was when it was stocked into West Okoboji Lake in Iowa.

“A few years after being stocked, the muskies grow large enough to be caught in the gill nets set out by fisheries staff at night in the spring,” said a statement from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Muskies caught during gill netting season are tagged with a transponder that identifies them for life.

The last week of April 2016, the Iowa Great Lakes fisheries netting crew captured a 25-year-old, 41.6-inch, 17.5-pound fish which was originally tagged in 1994. When it was originally stocked into West Okoboji Lake in April 1992, the fish was 12.7 inches long.

The same fish had been previously recaptured 1998, 2000 and 2006.

“To my knowledge, this fish is the oldest known-age muskellunge ever recaptured by fisheries crews in the Midwest,” said Jonathan Meerbeek, DNR fisheries research biologist. This latest catch surpasses the capture of a 21-year-old, 41-inch musky in 2015.

They’ll use the anal fin and right pelvic fin taken from this fish to help researchers determine the age of muskellage fish across the U.S.

It is one of at least two massive muskies captured by netting crews in Iowa in April 2016; the DNR also posted video of a female musky captured April 9 in Spirit Lake.


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