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Investigation unable to pinpoint source of Delaware County fish kill

RYAN ­­– Investigators looking into a Delaware County fish kill that occurred in July have been unable to identify what caused it. 

DNR staff have made repeated trips to the area around Buck Creek to look for possible pollutants that may have caused the kill. However, the fish kill was reported on July 18, and DNR staff estimate the fish died at least three or four days before, making it difficult to identify a source.

One of the investigators, Brian Jergenson, with the DNR’s Manchester field office, said the contaminant may have washed downstream by the time DNR was alerted to the fish kill.

“That’s why it’s so important for people to give us a call as soon as they notice dead fish or a pollutant in a stream,” he said. “The sooner they notify us, the more likely we can find and stop the contaminant.”

Call 515-725-8694 anytime to report fish kills to the DNR’s 24-hour emergency response line.

More than eight miles of Buck Creek were affected with 41,665 fish killed, mostly minnows, shiners, chubs and dace, but also sunfish, rock bass, stone rollers and suckers. Fish restitution value is estimated at $6,010.74. 

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