Old Muskie, Age 25, Caught In West Okoboji Lake

What’s the oldest fish you’ve ever caught? It’s probably hard to say just giving it the eye test. But for scientists who track fish around the nation’s waterways, it’s as simple as checking a tag number with a database.

At Iowa’s West Okoboji Lake, biologists with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) were able to use a similar approach to verify the age of a big muskie caught there in early May. They uncovered that the fish is a whopping 25 years old.

The fact that the fish reached the age is a big accomplishment, as muskies have a mortality rate of 25 percent after hitting just the age of four.

The last time the fish was caught by DNR officials was in 2006. It was snagged this year during gill netting season.

Okojobi Lake. (Credit: Mary Fairchild via Creative Commons 2.0)

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