DNR says manure runoff killed fish in 12-mile stretch of tributa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

DNR says manure runoff killed fish in 12-mile stretch of tributary and creek

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The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says a runoff at a dairy farm has killed fish in a 12-mile stretch of an unnamed tributary and Mill Creek in Cherokee County.

Tuesday the DNR said the manure discharge from Summit Dairy resulted in a fish kill reported on August 16.

After investigating, the DNR says rain washed the manure from the facility over a soybean field into the tributary.

Summit Dairy has since redirected the runoff to a basin and added a strip of land to prevent the runoff, but the DNR says the runoff is continuing to flow downstream.

“The runoff caused an elevated level of ammonia and lowered dissolved oxygen in the creek,” said Tom Roos, senior environmental specialist at the DNR's Spencer field office. “At the 12-mile mark the ammonia level is beginning to drop, but we're still seeing dead and dying fish downstream.”

DNR fisheries will return Wednesday to continue counting dead and dying fish, including suckers, minnows, darters, shiners, catfish, small largemouth bass, madtoms and others.

Officials say damages for fish restitution and enforcement action are likely.


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