Skip to main content

State agencies are continuing to investigate what might have killed thousands of fish in a popular southeastern Minnesota trout stream earlier this summer. 

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said some 2,500 fish — mostly brown trout — died in Rush Creek near Lewiston in late July and there's reason to believe the deaths didn't occur naturally. 

The MPCA, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Natural Resources have yet to pinpoint the cause of the fish kill. 

Last week, the MPCA said state agencies are awaiting results of water quality tests and also gathered samples of the macroinvertebrate community from four different locations near the fish kill. 

According to state investigators, over 100 landowners within the 10-square mile area upstream of the fish kill are also being asked to provide detailed information about manure and pesticide applications on their property. 

A 27" brown trout washed up in apparent fish kill on Rush Creek near Lewiston, Minn. in late July. Photo courtesy of Robert Meyer / Minnesota Trout Unlimited. 

A 27" brown trout washed up in apparent fish kill on Rush Creek near Lewiston, Minn. in late July. Photo courtesy of Robert Meyer / Minnesota Trout Unlimited. 

While fish kills can occur naturally due to diseases or low oxygen levels, fish kills occurring after rainfall are often indicative of manure, pesticide or fertilizer runoff.

Toxic spills or discharges of wastewater or stormwater have also been linked to fish kills. According to the MPCA, fish kills driven by rain events often have less-discernible causes

In a statement Wednesday, the MPCA said state agencies have a long history of working together on fish kill incidents where a cause is not immediately known. 

"Our agencies are committed to conducting a thorough investigation and will collaborate to analyze data and details gathered from numerous sources," the agency said. 

John Lenczewski, executive director of Minnesota Trout Unlimited, said it's possible an exact cause won't be determined. Lenczewski is among trout anglers raising concerns about whether or not state regulations are doing enough to protect Minnesota's freshwater. 

"This isn't an isolated incident," he said. "Unfortunately, it's sort of a pattern," Lenczewski told Bring Me The News last month

"We all want clean water," he continued. "So this should be a concern to everyone, not just trout anglers." 

Next Up

University of minnesota sign

U of M gives some students 50% off meals for September after complaints

Students have complained about an array of issues surrounding dining halls.

image

Gallery: Sprawling estate near Superior National Forest listed for $2.9M

The property has been in the same family for over 60 years.

Screen Shot 2022-09-27 at 2.51.49 PM

Surgery clinic proposed to replace 111-year-old farmhouse in Eagan

A developer is proposing to transform the remnant farm property.

Hurricane Ian

Why Hurricane Ian could be catastrophic in Florida

Hurricanes are the atmosphere’s biggest show of force and energy, and Hurricane Ian is no exception.

image

Suspect arrested after man and dog shot on St. Paul's East Side

The shooting happened around 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.

MissingBemidjiTeenBCA

Bemidji police appeal to find missing teenager

Tahlia Poitra was last seen Wednesday.

PacoAndLime

Crisp & Green owner launches new chain, with 12 MN locations planned

Steele Brands already owns and operates Crisp & Green and Stalk & Spade.

0

New vendor to open at Rosedale Center food hall

POTLUCK Food Hall offers a rotating collection of local restaurants and food retailers.

MadelynHowardMugMonroeCo

Woman charged in drunk driving incident that killed Minnetonka HS alum

Nate Stratton, 20, died from his injuries on Sept. 18.

Related

Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 1.22.41 PM

Deaths of 2,500 fish in Minnesota trout stream unexplained

Trout anglers are concerned the incident represents a larger problem.

lake water

3,000 gallons of manure spills into Wisconsin creek, kills fish

The Wisconsin DNR is currently investigating the spill, which affected a creek in Vernon County.

Screen Shot 2022-06-23 at 2.21.45 PM

92-year-old driver killed in rural Scott County crash

The crash happened around 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

Chester Creek, Duluth

Body found in Duluth creek, investigation underway

The body was found by a passerby on Tuesday.

Merwin Liquors

AG investigating 2 Minneapolis businesses that are gun violence hotspots

Ellison said the investigation brings a new approach to solving the gun violence epidemic.

MNDeptofHumanRightsPhoto

State settles with St. Cloud company over racist work environment

Two employees resigned due to racial discrimination.