Yellow River Wastewater Discharge Fish Kill

State TrusteeState of Iowa
AO Bureau

Also Known As

Incident Type

Wastewater discharge



Case Status



Hecker Creek, Yellow River


Contaminants of Concern Include

Affected DOI Resources Include

Migratory Birds, DOI Managed Lands

Financial Summary

Restoration Funds Collected:


*Restoration Funds Allocated:


*Restoration Funds Remaining:

* Restoration Funds can contain multiple settlements/projects. All collections are placed in interest bearing accounts. For detailed information on individual settlements/ projects please visit: NRDAR Status Report

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Case Description

In March 2002 an unpermitted release of partially treated sewage caused a fish kill in the lower reach of Hecker Creek and a portion of the Yellow River at its confluence with Hecker Creek, in Allamakee County, Iowa. The sewage had built up in the nearby municipal sewage treatment lagoons from industrial clients. It contained high ammonia concentrations and created biological oxygen demand conditions that were toxic to aquatic life. Approximately 3.1 miles of stream length were affected by the kill. A total of 4,860 fish were found dead including 4467 minnows, 276 darters, 106 suckers, and 11 stonecats.

The fish resources in the Yellow River are used for recreational fishing and serve as food for resident wildlife and migratory birds. It was expected that over time, aquatic life would re-colonize the affected reaches of these streams and fish species, numbers, and age structures would recover to the pre-spill condition. Therefore, the intent of the restoration action was to compensate for the interim lost use of the natural resources injured by the fish kill.

Case Documents

 Document TypeDocument NameDocument Date


 MOA/MOU Trustees Agreement 08/15/2006


 Consent Decree Consent Decree-Iowa Turkey Products 01/07/2005


 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment Restoration Plan 09/24/2007

Map View

Case Contact

Rock Island Ecological Services Field Office

Moline, IL | (309) 757-5800 |

Associated Restoration Projects

Case Trustees

AO Bureau
State TrusteeState of Iowa

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