Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey will be conducting a dye-trace assessment of the Big Piney River to help characterize the river’s water flow patterns. For a few hours during this research, several miles of the Big Piney River, and possibly portions of the Gasconade River, will appear reddish due to the Rhodamine WT dye used for the assessment. This non-toxic dye is commonly used for these types of assessments throughout the country and is considered completely safe. The red color will dissipate rapidly and disappear after it travels several miles downstream. During the study, USGS scientists will deploy equipment along the river, as well as use boats and an aerial drone to monitor dye concentrations and dispersal. The dye-testing is expected to be conducted sometime this week. The exact day and time will depend on the weather and river conditions. Scientists will monitor the dye’s flow patterns for 2-to-10 miles downstream. This work will give scientists information about the river’s flow patterns, which will further their understanding of how the environmental DNA of the Spectaclecase mussel, an endangered freshwater mussel, moves downstream. EDNA is the detectable DNA a species leaves in its environment or in water. Freshwater mussels like the Spectaclecase play a vital role in river ecosystems as filter feeders and help keep rivers clean.