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Summer heat causes Otter Creek tributary fish kill

  • 6/5/2023 4:14:00 PM
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OELWEIN - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) investigated reports of dead fish in the unnamed tributary to Otter Creek that flows through Oelwein  in Fayette County.

“This is a natural kill caused by extremely warm water temperatures and low flow conditions on the stream,”said Theresa Shay, fisheries technician with the Iowa DNR. 

Just over two miles of stream was affected by the warm water. Less than 1,000 fish were killed. Species primarily affected include smaller minnows, dace and suckers.  

Shay said investigators saw live fish of multiple species in the same locations that appeared in good condition. 

If you see dead fish when you are at a lake or river, call the DNR’s 24-hour spill line at 515-725-8694 as soon as possible. Quick reporting can help DNR staff identify the cause of a fish kill and potentially stop a fish kill in progress.

For more information, contact Theresa Shay at the Decorah Fish Hatchery at 563-382-8324 or by email at