Earl Hinz has lived near the small-unnamed creek in Lincoln County his whole life. And for the first time ever, it is black, all the minnows are dead, and it smells.
According to the DNR, last Sunday, a farmer at Park Avenue Dairy decided to intentionally spill some sewage from a slurry onto the ground. The slurry consisted of animal waste, water, and milk residue.
Instead of soaking in, the slurry washed right over the saturated ground and went into a small creek.
The nutrients in the slurry caused a microorganism bloom, which ate up all the oxygen in the creek. When the microorganisms died, they turned black, all the oxygen was gone and the minnows died.
A minnow netter says he found the creek surface covered in dead minnows on Wednesday. The DNR says they need time and a rainstorm to dilute the sludge and clean out the creek.
The investigation is still open, and Park Avenue Dairy could be fined or face criminal charges.