Dubuque Fish Kill linked to Dairy Farm Runoff


A menhaden fish kill in August 2003 due severe hypoxia--near anoxia--in Greenwich Bay in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. credit: Chris Deacutis

Farm runoff can be deadly. Seriously.

A DNR investigation in early December found that runoff from a dairy west of Bernard in Dubuque County killed over 2,000 fish in an unnamed stream in late November, the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald reports.

Casualties included minnows, shiners, chubs, suckers, dace and sunfish.

The investigation identified many factors that led surface-applied manure to run off the 40-acre field, including: heavy rains, minimal corn stock residue, field slope, inadequate separation distances, limited manure incorporation, and not checking the area for recent drainage improvements.

“This incident highlights the need for manure-application planning and for choosing low-risk areas for application,” Rick Martens, a DNR environmental specialist at the Manchester field office told the paper.

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About jmalewitz

Jim Malewitz is a journalism intern at the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research. Additionally, as a master's journalism student at the University of Iowa, he is conducting research on non-profit journalism while serving as an assistant editor at IowaWatch.org. Malewitz graduated from Grinnell College in 2009, where he majored in political science with a concentration in global development studies. He loves America, the states of Michigan and Iowa and Detroit Tigers baseball. He also an odd fascination with the former German Democratic Republic. He likes the environment too.
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One Response to Dubuque Fish Kill linked to Dairy Farm Runoff

  1. Pingback: On the radio: Iowa’s water pollution problem takes toll on marine life | Iowa Environmental Focus

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