Investigation underway after fishkill on southeastern MN trout stream

Author:
Updated:
Original:

It's not clear what caused thousands of fish to die on the south branch of the Whitewater River this week, but investigators hope lab tests will help reveal an answer.

A DNR official tells the Winona Daily News the fishkill affected more than a mile of the southeastern Minnesota river, killing several species including brown and rainbow trout, chubs, suckers, and dace.

Ron Benjamin, the fishery supervisor for the area tells KTTC: "In that section of stream, we believe it took out everybody. Including the crayfish, including probably the insects, everything."

No other parts of the Whitewater were affected and the fishkill area is back to normal now, Benjamin tells the station.

This embed is invalid

The fishkill was discovered Thursday and officials estimate the fish died Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota Department of Agriculture have joined the DNR in the investigation and Benjamin tells KTTC laboratory results are expected early next week.

The station notes that more than an inch of rain fell within a few hours late Monday and early Tuesday and investigators are looking at whether that may have contributed.

Whatever killed the fish dissipated before reaching the DNR's Crystal Springs fish hatchery.

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d31601.085074262446!2d-91.98611810309293!3d44.068441252601076!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x87f9980e7e9772ad%3A0x8c4cb7fde69848fb!2sNatural+Resources+Department!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1438400172662&w=240&h=240]

Benjamin told news outlets southeastern Minnesota trout streams typically see three to five fishkills per year, but this one is larger than most.

The DNR says the Whitewater is safe for recreation but notes that anglers won't catch any fish there, the Daily News says.

Restocking of the river in that area will begin in a few weeks, Benjamin tells KTTC.

Next Up

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

Minnesota confirms America's 1st case of Brazil P.1 COVID strain

The strain was found in a Twin Cities metro resident who recently traveled to Brazil.

classroom

Gov. Walz announces education plan aimed at eliminating disparities

The plan covers seven categories, including closing the racial education gap and improving opportunities in rural Minnesota

Tax forms

Charges: Otsego cleaning business underreported sales

An Otsego woman is accused of owing more than $20,500 in sales tax, penalties and interest.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz gives vaccine providers 3-day, 7-day deadlines to use doses

Those that don't use their allocation will be given less in the future.

purse

Border officers seize more than $550K in counterfeit designer goods

The shipments of fake goods were seized on Jan. 22.

Landfill plastic bags

4 Twin Cities landfills seek to expand capacity

This comes as the area's waste-to-energy facilities are operating at capacity.

Marcus Carr

3 of 10 finalists for NCAA's top point guard award have MN ties

Not a bad way to represent the State of... Basketball?

Justice, court

Minnesota grants unconditional pardon to grandmother facing deportation

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the first full pardon granted by the state in 35 years.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota changes vaccine appointment process, here's what to know

Walz also announced plans for a mass vaccination event at Xcel Energy Center.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 25

The latest figures from MDH have been released.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota health leaders say state's vaccine progress better than figures suggest

Minnesota is lagging behind national vaccination rates, but MDH leaders say this is because it's holding 2nd doses in reserve.

Related

DNR to take comments on Lutsen's use of trout stream water

The ski resort's use of Poplar River water for snow-making is Minnesota's only exception to a law banning the withdrawl of water from a trout stream. Last year lawmakers approved a twelve-fold increase in the amount of water Lutsen is permitted to take. Now the DNR wants to lower the minimum river flow required, to allow withdrawls during a drought.

Lutsen ski resorts continue to draw from depleted trout stream

The DNR says there is just cause for the Lutsen Mountains ski area to continue to draw water from the Poplar River along Lake Superior's North Shore despite protest from environmental groups.