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DNR Investigating O'Brien County Fish Kill

SUTHERLAND – The DNR responded to a manure spill in O’Brien County about five miles northeast of Sutherland Thursday afternoon.

When DNR staff arrived at Doug Streit’s hog operation to investigate a spill, they found high ammonia levels in Barry Creek causing stressed and dying fish.

Streit estimates he lost about 5,000 gallons of liquid manure to the creek when he stepped away from a pump. While he was gone, a hose broke spilling manure that he was transferring between tanks.

He quickly stopped the manure release and dammed an area above the creek to contain the remaining spilled manure.

Flows in Barry Creek are too high to dam and pump the creek, so DNR staff expects the fish kill to continue moving downstream.

“Mr. Streit responded quickly and did the right thing by notifying DNR, but this is why we advise producers to never leave equipment unattended,” said Ken Hessenius, supervisor of the DNR Spencer field office.

DNR is monitoring the progress of the fish kill and the cleanup. Fisheries staff will conduct a fish kill count. The DNR will seek appropriate enforcement action. 

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