The Department of Natural Resources is making up a price list. The agency intends to set a value on fish and other aquatic wildlife so it can send an appropriate bill to polluters responsible for fish-killing chemical or manure spills into Iowa waterways. They’ve been using a table from the American Fisheries Society. Iowa fisheries chief Marion Conover says it’s not extensive enough. He says there are lots of other things like frogs, turtles and crayfish that need a price. The task before the DNR is putting a price on their heads so their loss can be calculated — and that could mean the responsible parties could face higher bills for a polluting spill. If there’s a resulting kill that claims walleye or bass it will increase, and the responsible parties will also be billed for the agency’s mileage, worker wages, and overall investigation. He says it’s a tough call for some life forms, and mentions that frogs are three-dollars-a-dozen at the bait store but it’s even harder to put a price on clams and other aquatic life. The list they use now sets a price of fifteen dollars for each catfish killed, and that’s also the price for trout, bass, sunfish, walleye and a list of other fish.
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