Rare striped pike occurs in only one percent of population.
Have you ever heard of a striped northern pike? If you haven’t, don’t feel too bad, not many others have either. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources recently caught one of these rare fish, a 10 pound beauty out of Spirit Lake.
Most anglers are familiar with silver and spotted pike. Spotted pike are what you are probably used to. They make up about 90 percent of pike color patterns according to KWQC. Silver are much rarer, but not as rare as striped, which make up only one percent of the population.
As rare as this coloration is for northern pike, the Iowa DNR has noted a pretty varied population of pike lives in Spirt Lake. “In Spirit Lake we have an unusual population,” the DNR told KWQC. “80 percent are spotted, 19 percent are silver, and one percent are striped.”
The fish looks similar to a chain pickerel, but as the DNR noted on their Facebook page, they are two different kinds of fish. Most chain pickerel don’t grow beyond two pounds.
While striped pike are pretty rare, the fish may start to become more common in Iowa. Spirit Lake hosts a state fish hatchery and the state has been stocking rivers and lakes with offspring from Spirit Lake’s pike population.
The DNR noted on their Facebook page that Spirit Lake’s pike population is approximately 20,000 fish, which means only about 200 of the pike living in it are striped. That means if you want to catch a striped pike, the odds are definitely stacked against you somewhat.
But the good news is, that 10-pound female posted by the DNR is still in the lake. “We released the fish, so she’s out there for you to find,” the DNR said.