CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Just as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources announced a consent order for the city of Cedar Rapids to pay restitution and other costs associated with dead trout in McLoud Run, another fish kill was reported in the same trout stream.
The DNR was notified Jan. 25, 2024, of a fish kill at McLoud Run in Cedar Rapids.
According to the DNR report, on Jan. 23, the city of Cedar Rapids reported an estimated release of 450,000 gallons of chlorinated drinking water from an unoccupied building at 4425 Center Point Road NE, which eventually entered McLoud Run. City officials believe the release was caused by a fire suppression line that may have burst during the recent cold snap, but were unaware of any pressure loss.
DNR staff reported observing between 200-300 dead fish as of the morning of Jan. 25, including trout and white suckers, but the Fisheries Bureau’s investigation was hampered by murky stream conditions.
McLoud Run is Iowa’s most southerly trout stream and the only trout stream near a major urban area. Several popular fish species in the stream include Brown Trout, Creek Chub, Rainbow Trout, Green Sunfish and White Sucker.
The DNR estimated the dead fish count would be finalized by the end of the week.
Also on Jan. 25, the DNR released details of an agreement related to a previous fish kill in McLoud Run.
Under the consent order, in which the DNR and city voluntarily entered into a legally enforceable agreement, Cedar Rapids was ordered to pay $22,022.10 in fish restitution; pay a $500 administrative penalty and fund a $1,500 supplemental environmental project with the Linn County Conservation Board.
The agreement related to the March 30, 2023, discharge of treated drinking water into McLoud Run that led to the killing of 1,359 rainbow and brown trout, according to the order, and 311 white suckers of various sizes.
That same afternoon, the city reported a water main break that resulted in the discharge of treated drinking water to a storm sewer that discharges into McLoud Run. The DNR observed cloudy water entering a storm sewer inlet at Evergreen Street and Northwood Drive NE, according to the order.
In a followup investigation, the DNR reported it found the fish kill extended about 1.25 miles to J Avenue NE.
The two incidents are not the only fish kills in McLoud Run, according to the DNR’s fish kill database.
The DNR encourages anyone who sees dead or stressed fish at a lake or river to call the department’s 24-hour spill line at 515-725-8694 as soon as possible. Quick reporting can help DNR staff identify the cause of a fish kill and potentially stop a fish kill in progress.
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