Scientist to dye Missouri River red for fish larvae study

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ST. LOUIS – A portion of the Missouri River may turn red for a few hours this week. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey will use a non-toxic red dye as part of a study on the endangered pallid sturgeon.

The photos illustrate previous dye assessment tracing on June 29, 2017 near Sidney, MT. (Public domain.)

They will follow the dye downstream from the I-70 bridge near Columbia. They are trying to figure out where the fish larvae go after hatching.

This study is following up on other experiments in the Yellowstone and Upper Missouri Rivers in Montana in 2016 and 2017.

Study details:

  • The research will be dependent upon weather and is expected to be one day during the week of May 3, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The study will involve releasing a non-toxic fluorescent dye along the Missouri River near Huntsdale, Missouri. Scientists will monitor flow patterns for 2-10 miles downstream from the Interstate-70 bridge in Boone County, Missouri.
  • The assessment will help scientists understand how larvae from the critically endangered pallid sturgeon drift downstream after hatching and how they find supportive habitat in the complex Missouri River.

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