Wisconsin manure spill kills more than 1,100 fish

Last week's spill killed more than 1,100 fish in Otter Creek, including brook trout.

LA FARGE, Wis. — A manure spill in southwest Wisconsin could have long-term impacts on a popular trout stream.

Wisconsin DNR officials tell Wisconsin Public Radio that last week’s spill killed more than 1,100 fish in Otter Creek, including brook and brown trout.

David Rowe is the department’s fisheries team supervisor in Fitchburg. He says bacteria in the stream that digest the manure also use oxygen in the water. The low oxygen level quickly kills the fish. Ammonia in the manure can also kill fish.

Jeff Hastings is the project manager of Trout Unlimited’s Driftless Restoration Project, which works to restore trout habitats in southwestern Wisconsin. He says it can take years for oxygen levels to return to normal.

Department officials say the cause of the spill is being investigated.

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