Manure from Summit Dairy, located in southwest O’Brien County, caused a fish kill that will probably number in the thousands in a one-mile stretch of an unnamed tributary and five miles or more of Mill Creek.
The discharge apparently occurred Friday, August 15, during rainfall in the area. Saturday afternoon a concerned citizen reported seeing dead fish in Mill Creek. The DNR responded, determining the source of the discharge: a trench dug to a soybean field to redirect rainfall from a construction site at Summit Dairy.
The dairy has redirected the runoff to an old basin and added a berm to prevent further discharges to the stream. In the meantime the manure continued downstream.
Sunday, DNR fisheries counted dead suckers, minnows, darters, shiners, a few catfish, a few small largemouth bass, madtoms (a small tadpole-like catfish) and a few other species. The count will continue downstream today. Damages for fish restitution and enforcement action are likely.
Prompt reporting of fish kills allows the DNR to trace the source of pollution and stop it quickly. It’s important to report fish kills and spills to the state’s 24-hour spill line at 515-281-8694 as quickly as possible.
For more information, contact Ken Hessenius, 712-262-4177 or Kenneth.Hessenius@dnr.iowa.gov.