Emmett County to upgrade Tuttle Lake Watershed


Iowa map highlighting Emmet County. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

This spring, sparsely populated Emmett County will begin a large upgrade to the Tuttle Lake watershed, the Estherville Daily News reports.

Two wetlands will help filter runoff from a total of 3,212 acres. In the past, phosphorus, nitrogen and sediments in runoff cause algae and turbidity problems in the lake.

Because of those problems, the EPA placed Tuttle Lake on its Impaired Waters List in 2002.


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.