Department of Natural Resources officials have found the likely source of a massive fish kill in northwest Iowa. Ken Hessenius, with the D.N.R., says the discharge into the West Branch of the Floyd River south of Sioux Center was traced to a local business.
“Sioux-Preme Packing Company is a hog kill packing plant and they have a wastewater system,” Hessenius said. The reason for the discharge is still under review and it’s unclear if the company was aware it was happening. D.N.R. staff were notified of the situation on Monday by a local resident who reported the stream looked “murky.” Elevated ammonia levels were discovered in the stream, along with dead fish.
The fish kill is still being counted. “The preliminary information is the kill will be in the thousands, not hundreds, as initially reported,” Hessenius said. The dead fish have been found at least nine miles downstream of the plant, according to the D.N.R.
Hessenius said potential enforcement action and fines against Sioux-Preme Packing are under review.