DES MOINES – More than 104,000 fish were killed valued at more than $96,000 along approximately 10 miles of Whitewater Creek near Peosta in Dubuque County.
The fish kill was determined to have originated at an open lot hog and cattle operation near Peosta owned by Wayne Demmer. Manure from the feed lots flowed to a reception pit that overflowed due to recent heavy rains in the local area, eventually reaching the stream on June 18.
Dead fish were found along 17.9 miles of Whitewater Creek, but most of the fish are believed to have been killed in the first five miles downstream from Demmer’s operation and were washed further downstream after dying.
All told, DNR fisheries biologists were able to document 20 different species of fish being killed which included bluegill, green sunfish and smallmouth bass. Smaller fish species that included dace, minnows and suckers comprised approximately 90 percent of the fish killed.
The DNR has the authority to seek restitution for the cost of the fish killed and take additional enforcement action. The incident is still under investigation by the DNR.