Rush Creek Fish Kill Press ReleaseScott Criqui
Minnesota Trout Unlimited 2-16-2023
After nearly 7 months, the state agencies investigating the Rush Creek fish kill today suggested that rainfall is likely to blame for killing over 2,500 fish. Nonsense. It rains regularly across the state and our rivers are not constantly filled with dead fish. Human actions in the watershed are to blame, not rainfall.
The spin in the press release is not surprising to those of us who have read the reports from past fish kills. But it is disappointing. The press release merely confirms what we knew within days of the fish kill: applications of manure and pesticides likely caused the fish kill, but the agencies are not able to pinpoint the exact cause. The MPCA claims “We share the public’s frustration . . . “, but there are no indications that it does. If it did, it would use its existing authority to change the status quo.
Where is the declaration that this pattern of recurring fish kills and perennially degraded water quality is no longer acceptable? Where is the announcement that the agencies are initiating a comprehensive review of the rules governing feedlot management and pesticide application? Where is the promise to examine whether counties to which the MPCA has delegated authority to manage feedlots are doing a good job or should have that authority taken back?
The report of the investigation’s findings has not been issued. Let’s hope it outlines steps that the agencies will take to prevent fish kills in the future.