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Bloody Run Creek Watershed CAFO Concerns

Iowa Trout Unlimited Sues Iowa DNR over Cattle Feedlot

Group contends excessive nutrients will impact water quality, harm trout

Jan. 12, 2022

Contact: Michael Chilton | Chair- Iowa State Council of Trout Unlimited |


The Iowa State Council of Trout Unlimited (Iowa TU) has petitioned to intervene in a lawsuit against the Iowa DNR over a large cattle feeding operation within the Bloody Run Creek watershed in Clayton County, Iowa.

Iowa TU contends, among other things, that Supreme Beef miscalculated the amount of Nitrogen and Phosphorus to be generated by the operation, planned for 11,600 head of cattle. That led the Iowa DNR to approve a Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) that would otherwise exceed Iowa DNR standards. The result is excessive nutrients will likely reach Bloody Run Creek through runoff, soil erosion, and groundwater, damaging the naturally reproducing population of brown trout, along with stocked brook and rainbow trout.

As recently as 2019, an Iowa TU chapter contributed to the purchase of a 165-acre addition to Bloody Run WMA, expanding public access to over half a mile of this popular, high-quality trout stream.

“Iowa TU is not inherently opposed to livestock operations, and we appreciate the economic impact and cultural identity of agriculture that is central to our state,” said Iowa TU chair Michael Chilton. “Landowners are critical conservation partners for TU’s mission. Throughout our history, we’ve worked hand in hand with farmers and the Iowa DNR, and will continue to dedicate ourselves and our resources to beneficial projects along our Coldwater streams, enhancing the quality of life for all Iowans. In this case, that means standing up for Bloody Run.”

Iowa TU’s goal in this litigation is for Iowa DNR to diligently apply their existing regulations to the Supreme Beef NMP, and protect our shared natural resources. A hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 28, 2022 to consider Iowa TU’s request to participate in the legal challenge initiated by Sierra Club Iowa Chapter late last year.


Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest Coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to caring for and recovering America’s rivers and streams so our children can experience the joy of wild and native trout and salmon. Across the country, TU brings to bear local, regional and national grassroots organizing, durable partnerships, science-backed policy muscle, and legal firepower on behalf of trout and salmon fisheries, healthy waters and vibrant communities


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