DNR probes Delaware County fish kill

File photo

RYAN, IOWA – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is investigating a fish kill on Buck Creek in Delaware County that apparently occurred as long as one week ago.

An angler told the DNR Monday he saw dead fish while fishing over the weekend. DNR environmental services and fisheries staff found both dead and live fish in the stream Monday.

The kill affected mostly minnows, shiners and chubs but also suckers, rock bass and sunfish, the DNR said in a public statement. The state agency estimated there could be thousands of dead fish.

The fish kill is spread over about 8 miles of Buck Creek, beginning just downstream of Ryan to just past County Road X31. Buck Creek is a tributary of the Maquoketa River, although no dead fish were found along the lower stretch of the stream where it meets the river.

No source of the kill has yet been identified, but it appears the fish died around the middle of last week, the statement said. The DNR said it will continue to investigate and will consider possible enforcement action.

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    • The point has to be that the potential for such a catastrophe is as great here as any place in Iowa. We are awash in a sea of farm chemicals, unnaturally high levels of nitrates and enough hog manure to make a mountain. Iowa is an ecological nightmare. There is hardly any watershed in Iowa that is not under such dire threats.


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