KC McGinnis | October 6, 2015
Fish kills stretched across more than 20 miles of Iowa waterways last week.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources first reported on September 28 that a massive fish kill was spotted in Stoney Creek northwest of Spencer. After finding elevated ammonia levels in the creek, the DNR later concluded that egg washing liquid from Sunrise Farms near May City had been dumped into a corn field that flowed into Stoney Creek, leading to an 18.2 mile spill that killed more than 160,000 fish.
Another spill along Buchanan County Creek was traced to a hog confinement where below-building manure pits had overflowed, leading to a two mile fish kill. Spilled grease from a food processor led to another small spill west of Osceola in Clarke County.
DNR officials said fish can be at greater risk this time of year as manure pits begin filling up. DNR environmental specialist Sue Miller reminded farmers to check their manure levels frequently to avoid additional spills.
The string of fish kills affected mostly minnows and chubs, with those lost in Stoney Creek valued at more than $28,000.