A local farmer will likely see a significant increase in his business expenses in the near future.
Personnel from several different county and state agencies investigated a significant fish kill in Pusheta and Owl creeks on Friday.
Workers from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Auglaize Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), the Auglaize County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), the Ohio Division of Wildlife and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) gathered at the scene at 9 a.m. after receiving a call about numerous dead fish in the two creeks.
At approximately 9:30 a.m., EMA Director Troy Anderson said a likely source had been determined and the different agencies were investigating to confirm the source. The cause was from runoff after manure application on a farm.
Anderson declined to release the name of the owner until the investigation was finished.
During their investigation, Anderson said a second source of pollutants were found when fuel oil was found to be running into Pusheta Creek from another source.
Both sources of the runoff were not announced as the investigation is completed.
At 3 p.m. Friday, eight workers with the Ohio Department of Wildlife had covered the entire length of Pusheta Creek and Owl Creek from the Auglaize River to Burr Oak Road measuring and counting dead fish in the lake.
Anderson did not have a current count at that time.
“It appears the problem was caused by some combination of hog manure and fuel oil littering the two creeks,” Anderson said.
Ohio Department of Wildlife workers counted and measured each fish as they walked the stream.
Anderson said a certain amount is charged based on the length and type of each fish they encounter. Officers barely moved down the stream before encountering more dead fish floating on the surface or dead fish at the bottom of the creeks.