Iowa DNR cites New Vienna dairy for fish kill

Estimated 60,000 fish killed by manure leak

Iowa DNR logo
Iowa DNR logo

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has issued a notice of violation to a New Vienna dairy for a fish kill earlier this month in Dubuque County.

The DNR estimated 60,000 fish, including white suckers, stonerollers, minnows and creek chubs, died after manure leaked from an open lot at the dairy owned by John Hoefler, said Brian Jergenson, DNR senior environmental specialist. The small animal feeding operation has 240 mature dairy cattle with about 50 immature dairy cattle in an open lot.

“The manure discharge came from the open lot and was not intentional,” Jergenson said.

The DNR likely will seek fish restitution and additional administrative penalties, he said.

The fish kill was reported Oct. 9 on Hickory and Hewitt Creeks in Dubuque County. Department of Natural Resources staff started at the Highway 136 bridge in Dyersville and followed dead fish upstream for about five miles to an unnamed tributary of the Hickory Creek, where they believe the leak occurred.

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