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DNR investigated fish kill in Winneshiek County over weekend

  • 7/12/2021 1:06:00 PM
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OSSIAN—The DNR investigated a fish kill about 1.5 miles west of Ossian on Saturday, July 10.

DNR staff found dead fish and a strong organic odor in Dry Branch Creek near County Road B32. Following the creek upstream, they identified the source as a soil conditioner leaking from an underground storage pit at the Milan Hageman farm. Hageman hauls it for land application on crop fields, storing the material until conditions are right for application.

Hageman hired a contractor to build small dams to protect the creek and to identify leaks in the building. The remaining soil conditioner was land applied.

Field tests showed relatively high ammonia levels for about 8 miles downstream, until water in Dry Branch Creek disappeared underground just upstream of the Turkey River.

DNR staff were onsite Monday to conduct a count of dead fish and to monitor the cleanup.  

The DNR will take appropriate enforcement action and seek a penalty for the fish killed.