A popular fishing stream in southwest Wisconsin will be stocked with 600 trout after most of the waterway's adult game fish were killed by a 2-mile manure spill last month.
The Department of Natural Resources plans to release 8 to 9- inch yearling brown trout into Castle Rock Creek before trout fishing season opens in May, fisheries team supervisor David Rowe told the Wisconsin State Journal.
The department is investigating Misty Morning Dairy near Fennimore after it reported Feb. 18 that a hose had come loose from a portable pump and spilled manure into the stream.
Rowe said he couldn't disclose the results of a survey of the creek conducted March 14 because of the ongoing investigation of the dairy farm. But dairy farm neighbor Chuck Horn, who assisted with the survey, said fewer than 50 adult trout were counted in a stretch where Rowe said 200 to 400 are usually found.
On Feb. 22, fisheries personnel with the department counted 50 dead fish, but they were unsure how many more were hiding in murky water.
The department is investigating whether the owners of Misty Morning Dairy violated their operating permit.
A full inspection of the business was conducted by the department Thursday, according to wastewater engineer Mark Cain.
In addition to the special release of yearlings, the department will release 6,000 small fingerling brown trout into Castle Rock Creek as part of an annual restocking, Rowe said.