- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A large fish kill in northwest Iowa was caused by a manure spill from a nearby dairy operation, state officials announced Thursday.

The state Department of Natural Resources said the August discharge killed more than 860,000 fish along 28 miles of stream in O’Brien County.

Most of the dead fish were minnows, shiners, dace and chubs. The DNR said elevated levels of ammonia and low levels of dissolved oxygen were found in the water.

The loss from the fish kill plus investigation costs total more than $160,000.

The department has also concluded that a fish kill at the Buck Creek County Park in northeast Iowa was traced back to a small dairy operation. The fish kill discovered on Sept. 3 involved more than 36,000 fish.

Officials said manure from the dairy operation was applied too close to a waterway, causing runoff from the manure to enter Buck Creek.

A third fish kill investigation involves more than 450 dead fish along Catfish Creek in Dubuque County over the Labor Day weekend. Bluegill, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass were among the dead fish.

Officials believe the fish kill was caused by storm water runoff. They were unable to verify it because the fish had been dead for several days when they were discovered.

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