Public Safety

Clayton County fish kill traced to agriculture cooperative

Iowa DNR logo
Iowa DNR logo

An Elkader fertilizer cooperative caused a fish kill on a Clayton County creek Monday, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported.

A private citizen called the DNR on Monday to report dead minnows, carp, suckers and other fish species along nearly 3 miles of Roberts Creek, a tributary to the Turkey River, near Elkader, the DNR reported Wednesday.

DNR field staff found elevated ammonia levels in a drainage ditch below Three Rivers FS, an agricultural cooperative northeast of Elkader, the agency reported.

The company told the DNR it had emptied a secondary containment structure around a fertilizer tank Monday. When it cleaned the containment area, it “found a potential contamination source.”

Three Rivers will upgrade water-testing equipment and train staff on testing and monitoring the area, the DNR reported.

The DNR will monitor cleanup on Roberts Creek and consider appropriate enforcement action against the co-op. The agency did not report how many dead fish were found.

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