Friday, August 26, 2011

Department of Natural Resources investigates fish kill in Squaw Creek, Hamilton County - 25th Aug 2011

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is in the fifth day of investigating a fish kill in Squaw Creek about four miles south of Stanhope in Hamilton County.

Reported on Aug. 19, a DNR investigator traced the pollutant to an underground tile line and began dye testing Aug. 24 to determine the source. The dye is harmless, being non-toxic and biodegradable.

The dye showed up in the stream Thursday morning, confirming that the source was manure from a crop field owned by Paul Sealine of rural Stratford.

Sealine spray irrigated the crop field with manure on Aug. 15, a method sometimes used when crops are still in the field. The liquid hog manure entered underground tile lines and travelled about two miles underground to flow into Squaw Creek.

Over the last four days, the DNR investigator found elevated levels of ammonia, cloudy water and foam on the water surface. He talked to area livestock producers and examined county tile drainage maps seeking the manure source.

The fish kill extended through about 2.75 miles of Squaw Creek. The dead fish were mostly common stream species like minnows, dace, shiners and chubs, with some larger fish including suckers, carp and smallmouth bass. DNR fisheries staff conducted a count to determine the number and species of fish killed.

The DNR will continue the investigation and take enforcement action as appropriate.

This is the third fish kill in Hamilton County this month. All three are unrelated to each other. Read More